This year’s UW Fulbright Canada Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies, Mark Mallory (Acadia University, Nova Scotia), has just published a co-authored paper in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. The article, “Global Phenological Insensitivity to Shifting Ocean Temperatures among Seabirds,” addresses the effects of climate change on the timing of seabird breeding across the globe, and includes Mark’s contributions from Canada. Co-authored with a team of scientists, the piece has been reviewed in Chronicle Herald News and has garnered international attention.
During his 2017–18 UW residency, Mark was also the lead author on a paper called “Mercury Concentrations in Blood, Brain and Muscle Tissues of Coastal and Pelagic Birds from Northeastern Canada,” published by Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (2018). This paper analyzes the mercury levels in marine environments from anthropogenic activities and the effects of biomagnification in food chains on predators such as waterfowl and seabirds.
Mark has also co-authored a paper titled “Sterols and Stanols as Novel Tracers of Waterbird Population Dynamics in Freshwater Ponds” that was recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. This paper describes a new technique using ratios of natural chemicals archived in sediments through time to determine changes in the size of breeding seabird numbers at colonies. This should give insights to help determine what has influenced changes in seabird populations in the past.
This spring, Mark published two new papers. “The Influence of Avian Biovectors on Mercury Speciation in a Bog Ecosystem” was published in Science of the Total Environment. Led by one of his MSc students, Mark’s research team shows that nesting gulls elevate mercury in waters of a bog, and in particular that elevated nutrients from gull faeces appear to influence mercury methylation.
The second paper is a collaborative study on tracking tiny seabirds from multiple colonies along northeastern North America entitled “Foraging Areas, Offshore Habitat Use, and Colony Overlap by Incubating Leach’s Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa in the Northwest Atlantic.” This paper demonstrates the tremendous distances these birds fly to feed, and explores the possible interactions between feeding birds and offshore oil and gas platforms.
Update 5/31/18: Mark was also in a radio interview on cbc.ca that ran in Newfoundland on his paper,“Global Phenological Insensitivity to Shifting Ocean Temperatures among Seabirds.” Listen to the interview here.
The Fulbright Canada Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies is supported by the UW Office of Global Affairs, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Social Sciences Division, College of Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment, and the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States of America, Ottawa. The Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, serves as the hosting unit for the Fulbright Canada Chair.