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Welcome to the Rooney Lab

The focus of our lab is on aquatic ecology, restoration ecology, and landscape ecology.  We look at the relationships between plants, invertebrates, and birds with their abiotic environment; both in terms of ecosystem properties and processes.  In particular, we focus on the response of these biotic communities and their environmental correlates to human disturbance. 

We are recruiting talented, bright, hard working, self-motivated students with solid communication skills.  If this describes you and you are interested in the type of research questions we address, please look at our Biology Department program requirements and contact Dr. Rooney: rrooney(at)

Right now, we have an opportunity open for a PhD. student interested in working with a comprehensive dataset on nearly 100 wetlands from Alberta, including bird, invertebrate and vegetation community data, as well as environmental covariates. This project affords the opportunity to publish extensively.  The successful applicant will have experience with multivariate analysis of community data in ecology. Experience with R software is a plus.

In addition, we are seeking a MSc. student to work with vegetation community data to develop biomonitoring tools for Albertan wetlands.  Experience with R software is a plus.

Word art depicting Dr. Rooney's research interests

  1. Nov. 17, 20172 Year Postdoctoral Opportunity: Bioindicators and Regional Wetland MonitoringDr. Rooney sampling sediment

    We're Hiring! 

    The Rooney Lab is seeking an ambitious postdoctoral fellow to join the lab and work collaboratively with Alberta Environment and Parks staff on development and validation of bioindicator tools in support of policy directives targeting the regional monitoring of oil sands mine impacts on peatlands.

    The position is fully funded for 2 years with the possibility of renewal.  

    Applications accepted now until the position is filled.

    Start date is ASAP.

  2. Oct. 17, 2017Paper Accepted in Freshwater Biology

    Congratulations Rooney Lab grad Jenny Gleason on having your latest manuscript from your MSc. thesis accepted for publication in the Journal Freshwater Biology. 

    Titled "Pond permanence is a key determinant of aquatic-macroinvertebrate community structure in wetlands," this paper uses multivariate analyses to identify hydroperiod as the main driver of macroinvertebrate community structure in prairie pothole wetlands, invoking a trait-based classification scheme that focuses on strategies for surviving desiccation.

  3. Sep. 14, 2017Wetland configuration is altered by landscape disturbance - new paper in Landscape Ecology

    In a new paper published in the journal Landscape Ecology, collaborators Ian Evans, Derek Robinson, and Rebecca Rooney examine over 1000 landscapes spanning a gradient in human disturbance to characterize how the configuration of wetland habitat is affected.  The paper, available freely at this link, provides a method for landscape-level habitat assessments and paves the road for the development of landscape performance indicators and suitable targets for large-scale reclamation projects.

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