B.A., Queen's University (1992)
M.Mar.Sci., University of New South Wales (1995)
Ph.D., McMaster University (2002)
Killam PDF, University of Calgary (2002-2003)
Alberta Ingenuity PDF, University of Calgary (2002-2003)
NSERC PDF, Université du Québec à Montréal (2004-2005)
Research Associate, Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab (2004-current)
|Teaching & Research
Biodiversity loss, species invasions, food web structure and dynamics, ecosystem functioning
hat are the consequences of declining biodiversity to the functioning of ecosystems? Are diverse communities more stable than depauperate communities? What happens to other species in a community when a species goes extinct? Are there characteristics of invasive species or communities that can be used to predict how invasive a species will be or how resistant a community is to invasion?
Research in my lab focuses on the consequences of changing biodiversity in aquatic food webs. When a species goes extinct there is the potential for complex feedback loops which span population, community, and ecosystem levels.
The removal of a species can, for example, increase the variability of the remaining species thus increasing the likelihood that stochastic processes such as demographic stochasticity could lead to low population numbers and a cascade of secondary extinctions.
Another potential effect of removing species from a community is that it might change the way the community processes resources which could, for example, make a community less resilient to the effects to invasive species.
These research questions, among others, are the core issues of an emerging
In my lab we tackle BEF questions using a process-oriented perspective (which means that we are really interested in why these patterns exist -- not just that they do). We use a range of techniques to get at the mechanisms including highly replicated laboratory aquatic microcosm experiments, experiments in the field using natural microcosms such as rock pools and tidal pools, and 'in silico' experiments (which means experiments done in the computer) where we construct model food web communities and subject them to various types of disturbances such as species removals and species invasions as well as environmental disturbances such as increasing temperature and or environmental variability.
|Examples of Students'
Tuck, C. and T.N. Romanuk. Robustness to thermal variability differs along a latitudinal gradient in zooplankton communities. Global Change Biology (in press).
Campbell, V.C., G. Murphy and T.N. Romanuk. 2011. Experimental design and the outcome and interpretation of diversity-stability relations. Oikos 120: 399-408.
Romanuk, T.N., A. Hayward and J. Hutchings. 2011. Trophic level scales positively with body size in fishes. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 231-240.
Romanuk, T.N., Vogt, R., Young, A., Tuck, C., and Carscallen, M. 2010. Maintenance of positive diversity-stability relations along a gradient of environmental stress. PLoS ONE 5(4): e10378.
Romanuk, T.N., Y. Zhou, U. Brose, E.L. Berlow, R.J. Williams, and N.D. Martinez. 2009. Predicting invasion success in complex ecological networks. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364:1743-1754.
Romanuk, T.N., R.J. Vogt, and J. Kolasa. 2009. Ecological realism and mechanisms by which diversity begets stability. Oikos 118:819-828.