In this laboratory, research is carried out in the fields of paleolimnology and paleo-oceanography. Paleolimnological research focuses on the analysis of fossil diatoms (top photo) and chironomid larvae preserved in sedimentary deposits of northern lakes, ponds, and peatlands (Labrador, Nunavik, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon), which serves to reconstruct Pleistocene and Holocene climatic and environmental change near the arctic tree line. Marine diatom valves are used for applications such as reconstructing oceanic paleocurrents along the Canadian West Coast, as well as sea level fluctuations in the Beaufort Sea (southern Arctic Ocean) and in coastal regions of the Atlantic provinces. In addition, diatoms are used as bioindicators of agricultural pollution in rivers and as indicators of water quality in lakes and drinking water reservoirs.
The laboratories also possess reference collections (diatom and chironomid slides) and several identification guides with some in electronic form.
Contact: Reinhard Pienitz
2405 rue de la Terrasse
Phone: (418) 656-2131 ext. 6630