Rooney Lab home

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)
Conceptual model of Rooney Lab Work

  1. Aug. 19, 2020*NEW* We're recruiting a PhD for microplastics experiment at ELA
    image of ELA and Rooney Lab conceptual diagram

    The Rooney Lab is recruiting a PhD student to work on a manipulative experiment on the fate and effects of microplastics in freshwater lakes at the renowned Experimental Lakes Area ( The student will measure the dose-response of the biofilm (a.k.a. periphyton) community metabolism and community composition to the addition of microplastics in a series of 12 aquatic mesocoms.

  2. Feb. 6, 2020Rooney Lab seeking Undergrad Hns. Students for BIOL 499 projects
    Schematic indicating how periphyton can bioconcentrate herbicides

    Rooney Lab is seeking motivated Biology students seeking BIOL499 Senior Honour’s project opportunities.  

    Terms: Spring and Fall 2020 (May-December 2020)

    Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Rooney

  3. Aug. 7, 2019Op-Ed by Drs. Rooney and Schindler calls for Indigenous partnership in conservation
    spider in a wetland

    Dr. Rooney worked with Dr. David Schindler to co-author this opinion piece in the Edmonton Journal, calling on the government to work with Indigenous partners to meet our conservation targets and protect biodiversity in Canada.  Read more here.

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Meet our people

Photo of Laura Beecraft collecting periphyton at Rondeau Provincial Park

Laura Beecraft

Post-doctoral Fellow

Dr. Beecraft recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo (2018) in the field of aquatic ecology, under the supervision of Dr. Ralph E.H. Smith.