Luke Andersson

Luke field work full size

Degrees: BSc (Hons), University of Ottawa

Current Position: MSc Student

Predator-prey interactions are key features in the natural functioning of ecosystems and can drive trait divergence via selective pressures imposed on prey. This evolutionary response can be rapid enough to affect population dynamics and community structure. Studies of these interactions have led to an increasing understanding of the reciprocity of evolution and ecology.

I am studying predation on salmon by bears in multiple streams on the central coast of British Columbia to test how selective predation by bears affects physical characteristics of the salmon, mediated by characteristics of the streams. The indirect effects of stream characteristics on population traits via their influence on predator selectivity have not yet been well established. Understanding these dynamics will demonstrate the importance of an ecosystem-wide conservation approach. Specifically, effective salmon conservation programs should also incorporate the preservation of large predators and heterogeneous habitats.