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. May 12, 2018Heidi Swanson interviewed by Radio Canada International on $1.2 M investment in solving mystery of dwindling char in Arctic

    Heidi Swanson was interviewed by Radio Canada International (RCI) on May 12 on the $1.2 million she received to lead a research project that aims to help solve the mystery of dwindling char numbers in Arctic. The funding, to be received over a five-year period, will come from the Federal government’s $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund. The aim of the project is to support community-partnered research and restore fish in the Coppermine River and other river systems near Kugluktuk, Nunavut.

  2. Dec. 23, 2016Holiday Door Decorating Contest 2016
    The 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!

  3. Nov. 24, 2016Congratulations Justin, MSc!

    Congratulations Justin on a successful Masters Thesis defence of "Investigating trophic ecology and dietary niche overlap among morphs of Lake Trout in Lake Superior"! Justin used a multidimensional approach and novel statistical methods to investigate the trophic ecology of four morphotypes of Lake Trout in Lake Superior, including the newly described redfin morphotype.

    His thesis is available from UWspace, here.

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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.