Tag Archives: Christine Roussel

NBP is on YouTube!

Sarah Loboda, from McGill University, has created an incredibly entertaining compilation of video footage shot while she and the rest of Team Goose conducted sampling in Schefferville.

Check it out!


Updates from Lake Hazen and Iqaluit

From Chris Buddle, who has been working with Team Moose in Iqaluit:

Update from Team Moose in Iqaluit

Iqaluit has been great – although we had a few days of rain and cold, the weather has mostly been cooperative and the sampling has been spectacular.  On the warm days the butterflies, bumble bees, and wolf spiders have been incredibly active.  So too have been the swarms of mosquitoes! 

The team has serviced terrestrial traps once, and the samples look terrific.  Although the malaise heads are not full of tabanids, they are certainly brimming with a high diversity of flies.  One of our more exciting finds was a nest of the Arctic Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula norwegica)– this species has been found in Iqaluit before, but we now have “official” specimens, and are confident this species is overwintering in the tundra. 

 The aquatic sampling is also very productive:  the ponds are full of Trichoptera, and although the mayflies and stoneflies are not large, they are abundant.   Patrick has been overjoyed with the black fly collecting – in one day the team managed to collect black flies from at least ten different streams and rivers – ranging from tiny seeps emerging from the tundra to the impressive Sylvia Grinnell River, located just beside the Iqaluit Airport runway. 

We have also enjoyed a lot of local media coverage, including a TV spot on CBC north’s news program “Northbeat”. Chris Buddle did a public talk at Nunavut Arctic College that was well attended by entomology “enthusiasts” in town!  The team is also spending time with a kid’s Science Camp to talk about entomology.  Needless to say, the team has felt very welcome in Iqaluit, and there is a lot of local interest in topics related to insects and spiders of the North.  We are especially thankful for the Nunavut Research Institute (see: http://www.nri.nu.ca/ ) for logistical support, and for help from Jamal Shirley.

If you’d like to check out the CBC TV feature, click here (the clip is about 2/3 of the way through the program)

Update from Team Goose at Lake Hazen

Team Moose has been in contact (via Satellite phone) with Team Goose, currently at Lake Hazen.  Although they were two days delayed in Resolute Bay, the team arrived at Hazen and they have already set all their terrestrial traps.  On one day they reported temperatures of 15C (warmer than in Iqaluit!) and they also reported mosquito activity that day.  They report that “Camp Hazen” is quite comfortable considering the remoteness of the site, and their spirits are high.  They are, however, finding access to good aquatic sites somewhat difficult, and the streams and rivers are not that productive.  Three members of the team (Sarah, Meagan, Christine) also took a (quick and soap-free) swim in Hazen!  Floating among the ice floes….brrrrr.

Team Snapshots…what we’re up to

Team Goose:  is in training for a gig as a NASCAR pit crew (they’ve been changing a lot of tires).

Team Goose...changing yet another tire.

Team Moose: is traveling in style on the Polar Express, en route to Manitoba.

Team Moose...enjoying Happy Hour on the Polar Express

Team Kug: is sharing a love of entomological field work with others.

Kenneth, Crystal's new bear monitor, sorting through an aquatic catch

And they’re off!!!

The NBP field season officially kicked off today with the departure of “Team Moose” and “Team Goose”! 

Team Goose (consisting of Sarah, Meagan and Christine), arrived safely in Goose Bay, Newfoundland earlier today.  They will be joined by team leaders Donna and Chris in the next few days.   This is the first of three stops for the team.  After Goose Bay, they travel northward to Schefferville, Quebec, and wrap up their journey with a two-week stop at Lake Hazen, Nunavut.   All three locations will be intensively sampled, for both aquatic and terrestrial arthropods, for a two-week period.  Our months of planning, preparation and training are finally being put to the test! 

(L-R) Sarah, Christine and Meagan are thrilled to start their journey!


Team Moose (Patrick, Jana, Anna) and their team leader, Doug, will soon arrive in Moosonee, Ontario – the first leg of their journey.  After two weeks of collecting, they will move on to Churchill, Manitoba, then Iqaluit, Nunavut.  Hopefully we’ll get an update from them soon! 

The last member of the NBP team, Crystal, will be flying out to Kugluktuk, Nunavut, in a week’s time.  With the help of Angut Pedersen (a resident of Kugluktuk who has been attending school in Ontario), Crystal will be conducting the same intensive two-week sampling regime three times over the course of the summer along with her own experiments.  She and Angut will also be working within the community to develop training opportunities for students, and to create a scientific collection of locally significant insects.NBP team members have an incredibly exciting summer ahead of them – this is surely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Meet the Team: Christine Roussel

Say “hello” to Christine Roussel, an undergraduate student at the University of Prince Edward Island!


I grew up in the small town of Edmundston, in northern New Brunswick, where I developed my curiosity for nature. As a child, I spent most of my time exploring my backward, hoping to discover something new. Soon after I started University, I quickly realized that Ecology is what I like. I am currently an undergraduate student in Biology at the University of Prince Edward Island. This coming fall, I plan on completing my Honours on northern arthropods with Dr. Donna Giberson.

 This summer, as a field assistant, I will be collecting arthropods in Goosebay (Labrador), Schefferville (Quebec), and Lake Hazen (Ellesmere Island, Nunavut). I will also be participating in the bulk sorting of our samples, and learning about this new, particular ecosystem.

I am excited to take part in this year’s field season and I am looking forward to discover northern Canada’s ecosystem. I feel privileged to have the chance to assist in this incredible extended study concerning northern biodiversity. This is going to be a unique experience where I also hope to learn about the local communities and gain research skills in Ecology.

NBP in the News: “Northern Bug Study Tracks Climate Change”

Click here to read the full article published at cbc.ca

Also, look in the sidebar for the link to audio of an interview with students Jana Aker and Christine Roussel where they describe the upcoming field season and their research.

NBP has started….

“I still can’t believe I’m going to the arctic this summer to work on this incredible project”, says Christine Roussel, an undergrad student at the University of Prince Edward Island.  “I’m going to collect dragonflies, and compare what I find to what people found in the arctic from many years ago”.  Christine was recently interviewed by a reporter from the Charlottetown daily paper (the Guardian), and her enthusiasm was infectious. She explained that insects are moving north in response to climate change, so residents of northern communities are seeing some insects for the first time.  “Imagine seeing a dragonfly for the first time in your life!  Would you be scared?”.

Christine is one of 6 students participating in the Northern Biodiversity Project aimed at sampling 12 northern localities over the next two years to look at diversity and adaptation of northern insects.   The students are a special part of this project, and will each carry out research on some aspect of the overall project.  They will travel in teams to 6 locations this summer, and another 6 next summer, and spend two weeks collecting in each place. Insects will be collected in the same way at each place, then will be sorted and distributed to whoever is “in charge” of that particular group.  Then other teams of students will “mine” information from the incredible number of specimens and records from an earlier project, the Northern Insect Survey (1947-62), many of which can still be found in the Canadian National Collection of Insects in Ottawa.

The sampling doesn’t start until summer, but there is a team of people working behind the scenes this winter to make sure that the summer will go smoothly.  Logistics are always interesting in arctic work, and travel to 6 localities each summer give at least that many chances for things to go wrong. The main project activities through the winter, therefore, have focussed on these logistical details…recruiting our students and grad students, applying for permits for collecting throughout the arctic, and organizing the travel to exotic locations like Moosenee, Goose Bay, and Ellesmere Island. These have been very ably taken care of by Meghan Larivee and Karine Duffy at McGill, under the supervision of Chris Buddle.

Our big focus now is a training session to be held at the end of May at Mount St. Hilaire, near Montreal.  At that point we’ll finalize our sampling protocols and make sure we’re all trained in them, and then we’ll scatter briefly, before meeting up again as teams to head north to sample.