Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

International graduate students join StFX Marine Ecology Lab

July 5th, 2016
L-r, Dr. Ricardo Scrosati, Sonja Ehlers and Willy Petzold

Two new international graduate students have been attracted to StFX to complete their research work. The Marine Ecology Lab of StFX biology professor Dr. Ricardo Scrosati has recruited graduate students, Sonja Ehlers, a master’s of science student from the University of Göttingen, Germany, and Willy Petzold, a PhD student from the University of Bremen, Germany.

Using a variety of field experiments, Ms. Ehlers’ thesis will investigate the ecological role that waterborne chemical cues from marine predators have on the growth and demography of marine prey.  

 
For her research, she will use blue mussels (the prey) and predatory snails, which are common on Nova Scotia shores and suitable for this study. Dr. Scrosati says this research will build on findings his lab has obtained through the research of other students in recent years.
 
Mr. Petzold will complete his PhD thesis, investigating how coastal oceanographic conditions influence the dynamics of intertidal invertebrates and seaweeds and, ultimately, the intertidal biodiversity along the Atlantic coast of mainland Nova Scotia, about 400 km. “The scale of this project is unprecedented for our region, and it will serve to compare the marine ecology of our coast with other coasts where similar studies have recently been conducted, most notably the Pacific coast,” Dr. Scrosati says.
 
An important component of the work of these students, he says, is that it will allow undergraduate students to collaborate in specific parts of the projects, resulting in an interactive environment that students often find stimulating and productive.
 
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