Jessica Ives is a Research Assistant shared between the University of Windsor and the University of Waterloo. She spends part of her time working on with Lake Futures, studying drivers of eutrophication in Lake Erie using expert knowledge and 'fuzzy' cognitive maps.
Using 'fuzzy' cognitive maps to quantify expert knowledge lets us see how different people understand and perceive the issue of eutrophication. This can help us understand the roadblocks to solving our environmental issues, and how different 'understandings' of these issues can prevent effective communication between user groups. This work can have an impact by clarifying areas of consensus and areas of differing understanding among experts, and identifying areas ripe for future research. By condensing expert knowledge into a visual map, we can better communicate the complexity and connections between different factors affecting eutrophication.
Jessica completed an MSc at the University of Waterloo where she used stable isotopes to examine spatial and temporal niche use by the invasive bloody red shrimp (Hemimysis anomala) in the Great Lakes basin. She has since worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, both of which nurtured an interest in applied science that contributes to the management of the Great Lakes. She is generally interested in food web and energy dynamics, ecosystem services, and adaptive capacity of large lake ecosystems.