Lauren Gallant

I am a PhD student in Biology specializing in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Jules Blais. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa in the Environmental Science program specializing in Geochemistry and Ecotoxicology. 

My research objective is to reconstruct historical changes in diet and contaminant exposure to bats using bat guano and lake sediment cores from Jamaica. Bats are excellent ecological indicators owing to their global distribution, long life spans, and predictable responses to environmental stressors such as climate change and pollution. In conjunction with the preservation of guano deposits owing to the protective cave environment, the high trophic position of bats can result in biomagnification of pollutants as a result of dietary intake such that bat guano deposits can be used to reconstruct historical trends. Dating profiles of the guano deposit will be constructed from six radioisotopes to determine whether major changes in carbon source (indicated by δ13C), trophic position (indicated by δ15N), feeding habitat (indicated by δ34S), diet (indicated by steroids), climate (indicated by δ18O and δ2H), and anthropogenic activity (indicated by metals) occurred within the history of guano deposition. The lake sediment cores will be used to reconstruct historical changes in atmospheric metal deposition for the purpose of inferring historical metal exposure to bats.