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Impacts of climate change on the microbiology of fresh water systems

Evgeniya Yangel, a Masters student at the Biodiversity Research Centre, describes her research on the microbiology of fresh water systems and how climate change impacts their diversity.

My name is Evgeniya Yangel. I'm a Masters Student in the Parfrey and O'Connor Labs in the Biodiversity Research Centre. I work with microbes in aquatic systems and my research aim is to understand how both warming and habitat connectivity through dispersal affect microbial diversity. This is of great interest since we live in a world that experiences global change. The change manifests through various processes but includes change in temperature regimes through warming as well as through habitat fragmentation throughout the planet. Both processes affect biodiversity and it is essential to understand how ecological communities will change in the light of both fragmenting landscapes and increasing changes.

What is your favourite research memory?

So mostly, fieldwork times - whenever we go into the field. For example, last summer we basically spent an entire day outside and we were just sampling from different lakes. At the end of the day we kind of made a zooplankton soup. It was just cool because we got to see the lakes in British Columbia and we just went in the local area. It was awesome and then you work with nice people.

What is your favourite organism?

Because I work with invertebrates, I love all of them, but for 2 years, I worked with this tiny, tiny microscopic one which is called a "mud dragon" or kinorhynch. The reason why it's called that is basically they live in the mud and they have an interesting morphology: They have a body of a worm which is segmented, but they have really sophisticated heads, and they have little "scallops" that kind of look like a flower but also look like a monster. So I think they're pretty cool.

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