Welcome to Swanson Lab Group

Research in the Swanson Lab Group is centered around northern aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology. We apply chemical tracers, such as stable isotope, fatty acid, and otolith microchemistry analyses to reconstruct fish ecology and fish life history. We relate ecology and life history to contaminant accumulation, and aim to understand how contaminant concentrations in fishes will respond to anthropogenic stressors, such as climate change.

  1. June 20, 2017Recruiting one PhD student!

    The Swanson Lab is recruiting one PhD student to begin in Fall 2017 or January 2018. Research will be undertaken to understand and compare fish community structure, age and growth, and habitat use between two northern lakes that differ markedly in stock biomass and contaminant concentrations. The successful candidate will employ acoustic telemetry techniques, stable isotope analyses, and fish growth analyses to newly collected samples. Historical data will also be compiled and analyzed.

  2. Apr. 19, 2017Congratulations Rachel, MSc!

    On April 19, 2017, Rachel DeJong successfully defended her MSc on life history of Cisco, Lake Whitefish, and Northern Pike from the Hudson Bay lowlands. Rachel reported on prevalence of migration and age of first migration in anadromous Lake Whitefish and Cisco, and found that Northern Pike in some coastal rivers of the Hudson Bay lowlands use brackish water habitats (first documentation in North America).  Congratulations, Rachel!!

  3. Dec. 23, 2016Holiday Door Decorating Contest 2016The aquatic food web Christmas tree

    The results of the annual Holiday Door Decorating Contest were announced today. Congratulations to the Rooney Lab's first place entry, with an invasive elf species theme. The Swanson Lab placed second with our entry.

    Happy Holidays to all! We wish you a Mercury Christmas and a Hg-ppy New Year!

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Meet our people

Heidi holding a large Arctic Charr

Heidi Swanson


Heidi's research interests lie at the interface of freshwater ecology, fish ecology, and contaminant bioaccumulation. Her research program reflects her interest in elucidating complex ecological interactions with chemical tracers. Many of her projects involve analyses of stable isotope ratios and/or otolith microchemistry.