Ryan Walquist

Education: BSc, Zoology, Michigan State University (2014)

Current position: MSc student

Email: rwalquis@sfu.ca


I joined the Reynolds lab in the Fall of 2016 as an MSc student investigating aquatic insect communities in small streams in the Great Bear Rainforest near Bella Bella, BC. My research is focused on how salmon influence the size spectrum and biomass of larval and adult aquatic insects.

Previous work done by our research group in collaboration with others revealed a shift in the size spectrum of terrestrial invertebrate communities in response to salmon (Hocking et al. 2013).  Other work by our research group shows a positive correlation between insect biomass and salmon density for several aquatic insect taxa in a different region of BC (Verspoor et al. 2011).  However, salmon are also recognized as a source of disturbance to aquatic insect communities via nest digging which dislodges aquatic insects living in the substrate. The opposing roles of Pacific salmon in streams makes it difficult to predict changes in the size spectra of aquatic insect communities. My goal is to identify the major biotic and abiotic factors that influence the shape of aquatic invertebrate size spectra across a salmon density gradient among streams. In addition to larval sampling, I plan to use emergence traps to sample the emerging adult aquatic insects to see if adult insect biomass or fecundity varies across a salmon density gradient. Emerging aquatic insects, a seasonal food source for many terrestrial taxa, play a significant role in both freshwater and terrestrial ecology.  This research will help us to understand their part in the marine-derived nutrient story.


Vader, M.J., B.K. Zeman, R.J., Schaetzl, K.L. Anderson, R.W. Walquist, K.M. Freiberger, J.A. Emmendorfer. 2012. Proxy evidence for easterly winds in Glacial Lake Algonquin, from the Black River delta in northern lower Michigan. Physical Geography. 33: 252-268.

Hill, R.W., E.J. Armstrong, A.M. Florn, C. Li, D.A. Jones, R.W. Walquist, A. Edward. Abundant Betaines in Giant Clams (Tridacnidae) and Western Pacific Reef Corals, Including Acclimation.   Anticipating 2016 submission.

Walquist, R.W., J.M. Bauman, T.L. Marsh, J. Kanefsky, K.T. Scribner. Benthic macroinvertebrate functional feeding groups differentially affect Lake Sturgeon eggs and free embryos.  Anticipating Jun 2017 submission.

Hill, R.W., M. Grezlik,T.E. Muhich, R.W. Walquist, M.M. Humphries. Thermoregulation of some North American cities. Manuscript in progress.