Graham Mushet

Systems Ecologist

Key skills: Quantifying fish productivity, fish habitat, statistical analysis of ecological data, paleolimnology, limnology and aquatic ecology, acoustic telemetry, programming in R, research and manuscript preparation.

Graham’s work focuses on identifying linkages between fish productivity and fish habitat in freshwater systems, and how they respond to stressors. In particular, he has interests in quantifying the impacts of climate change and climate variability, land-use change, and industrial development on oxythermal habitat, prey availability, littoral zone structural complexity, and trophic dynamics, and how they drive changes in the abundance, growth, survival, and reproduction of fishes. Graham also has an interest in applying flexible statistical models to acoustic telemetry data in order to identify spatial and temporal patterns in space use among species and individuals.

Prior to joining ESSA, Graham held a MITACS postdoctoral fellowship where he partnered with researchers from the IISD Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), government (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and academia to develop new indicators of fish productivity. Here, he used several decades of fisheries and limnological monitoring data from lakes at the ELA to 1) quantify annual variability in the slope of the fish community size spectrum, 2) identify drivers of changes in fish community size structure over time, and 3) assess it’s relationship with more traditional metrics of fish production. This work aimed to inform monitoring programs that wish to use size-based indicators to assess fish community health.

Graham holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), and a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Biology from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario). During his graduate research, Graham utilized paleolimnological techniques to investigate the impacts of a range of stressors on water quality. His Ph.D. investigated the relative roles of natural climate variability (ENSO, PDO) and recent changes in land and water use on nutrient and deepwater oxygen status in prized recreational fisheries lakes in British Columbia, while his M.Sc. investigated the impacts of enhanced nitrogen deposition on lakes in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. Graham’s training and previous work experiences have developed him into a quantitative-minded aquatic ecologist who can provide support in a wide range of areas, from study design development to appropriate statistical analysis and interpretation of resulting datasets.

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