Gregory van den Top

Degree: BSc Biology (Wageningen University, the Netherlands) with a teaching degree


I am a Master’s student at Wageningen University with degrees in Biology and Education. My thesis is a collaboration between the labs of John Reynolds, Ron Ydenberg, and Jim Mattson (SFU) and Wageningen University (WUR, Netherlands). I am studying the effect of marine-derived nutrients on the physiology of salmonberry. Salmonberry is an abundant shrub at the banks of streams on the coast of British Columbia. Previous work by Hocking & Reynolds (2011) showed that salmonberry is more abundant at streams with more salmon. This indicates that salmonberry exploits the nutrients brought into the system by salmon in this otherwise nutrient-poor environment. Studies of other species have shown that stomatal density of plant leaves can be used as an indicator of a primary production, related to nitrogen.  I am therefore studying the stomatal density of salmonberry leaves from a range of streams with different densities of salmon, as this is a plastic trait can be adapted by plants to local environmental conditions.