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Addressing real-world problems through interdisciplinary research designs

Connecting Dots

Our EcoTox projects all center around the phenomenon of: 

Insect-Mediated Contaminant Flux

Emergent aquatic insects (e.g., dragonflies, mayflies) play a significant role in the transfer of both energy and contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial landscapes. Emergent aquatic insects live their early lives underwater before transforming their bodies through metamorphosis, emerge to the terrestrial landscape, and become part of the terrestrial food web. Researchers have shown that contaminants can accumulate in these insects during their aquatic life stage and be retained or even concentrated as they go through metamorphosis and emergence. This phenomenon, referred to as insect-contaminant flux (IMCF), has gained the attention of scientists around the world due to the sheer biomass of insects that are known to emerge each year.



Riparian spiders are currently being used as sentinels of IMCF, in part because researchers have shown that a significant proportion of their diet consists of emergent aquatic insects. 

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