Photo of Rebecca Dalton

Rebecca Dalton

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Degrees:B.Sc. (Western), M.Sc. (Carleton), Ph.D. (Ottawa)
Office:Office: 330 National Wildlife Research Centre
Office Hours: By appointment
Lab: Dr. Mark Forbes
Website:Visit my lab website

Current Research

I am an ecotoxicologist and freshwater biologist who studies the effects of human activities on wetland and aquatic ecosystems.    I am particularly interested in assessing the effects of pesticides and excess nutrients on non-target organisms.  These contaminants may enter waterbodies from agricultural runoff and are a major source of pollution in freshwater ecosystems.  Understanding the effects of contaminants in the natural environment is challenging due to the complexity of freshwater ecosystems and the confounding effects of multiple stressors.  To overcome these challenges, I work at multiple scales of observation ranging in complexity and including laboratory, mesocosm (i.e. artificial pond) and watershed level studies.  I am also interested in how contaminants are measured, particularly in developing passive sampling techniques for contaminants.   Current projects include:

  1. A mesocosm study to assess the effects of the aquatic herbicide diquat on plants, algae, invertebrates and amphibians
  2. Laboratory and mesocosms experiments to assess the risk of neonicotinoid insecticides to amphibians
  3. The development of passive sampling techniques to assess pesticide contamination in streams and wetlands

Selected Publications

Dalton R.L., Boutin C. and Pick F.R. 2015. Nutrients override atrazine effects on riparian and aquatic plant community structure in a North American agricultural catchment. Freshwater Biology. 60: 1292−1307. DOI:10.1111/fwb.12563.

Dalton R.L.
, Boutin C. and Pick F.R. 2015. Determining in situ periphyton community responses to nutrient and atrazine gradients via pigment analysis. Science of the Total Environment. 515−516: 70−82. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.023.

Dalton R.L., Pick F.R., Boutin C. and Saleem A. 2014. Atrazine contamination at the watershed scale and environmental factors affecting sampling rates of the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS). Environmental Pollution. 189: 134−142. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.02.028.

Dalton R.L., Nussbaumer C., Pick F.R. and Boutin C. 2013. Comparing the sensitivity of geographically distinct Lemna minor populations to atrazine. Ecotoxicology. 22: 718−730. DOI: 10.1007/s10646-013-1064-y.

Dalton R.L. and Boutin C. 2010. Comparison of the effects of glyphosate and atrazine herbicides on non target plants grown singly and in microcosms. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29: 2304−2315. DOI: 10.1002/etc.277.