Biodiversity change in the Canadian Arctic

Arctic ecosystems are experiencing increased rates of environmental and ecological change. Vegetation cover is increasing, permafrost – ground that used to be permanently frozen – is thawing, and the species composition of tundra ecosystems is changing. This summer, I travelled to Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island in the Canadian Yukon to participate in an ecological research expedition. My work focused on how the larger landscape context influences the number and types of species we find at long-term ecological monitoring sites.

With the help of the Principal’s Go Abroad Fund, I was able to survey the botanical composition of two different vegetation communities and collect landscape-scale data of the environments where those species are found using drones. By combining on the ground biodiversity monitoring with aerial imagery, we can improve our understanding of how the Arctic is responding to global change and better predict what species might colonise tundra landscapes in the future.

Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island is a magical place to work in, and I loved learning more about the flora, fauna and people of the island.

To find out more about how biodiversity is changing in the Arctic and beyond, check out:

Team Shrub:
My website:
Twitter: @TeamShrub & @gndaskalova
Instagram: @TeamShrub


Categories: Canada, Go Abroad Fund, North America

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