Morag McPherson, former M.Sc. student

Previous Education:

B.Sc. in Natural Resources (Cornell University)

Post-Graduating Position:

Environmental consulting (fisheries).

Thesis Title:

Habitat selection by juvenile Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) across spatial scales in northern mountain streams (Co-supervised with Dr. Pete Cott) (link)

Research Description:


The main goal of my research is to improve our understanding of Arctic Grayling ecology and habitat use to address knowledge gaps in life history and northern watersheds.  Arctic Grayling are a widely distributed, but sensitive northern species that play an important role in stream ecosystems, making them a good indicator of general aquatic health. In collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada, we are studying Arctic Grayling in the Little Nahanni River watershed in the Northwest Territories.  Using a distributional monitoring approach, we are characterizing Arctic Grayling occurrence among 4 streams in the study area. Through collection of detailed fish habitat use, stream habitat data, water temperature and water quality parameters and indicators of stream productivity, I hope to determine ecological factors and stream characteristics influencing Arctic Grayling habitat selection within and across the 4 study streams, with a focus on the juvenile life-stage.  Information on Arctic Grayling distribution and habitat requirements at the stream and watershed scale will help to protect, manage and assess the species over time in northern ecosystems.