PhD & MSc: I have a range of research interests. At the moment, however, most of my research is focused on the Mackenzie Delta of the western Canadian arctic and our International Polar Year collaborative project IPY-SCARF. We have only begun to understand the basic the ecology and hydrology of this system. Several graduate thesis projects have been recently completed. These results have raised questions that should be further investigated. There are also a variety of other research questions that need to be answered to develop an ecosystem model, and which could form the basis for thesis projects for incoming graduate students. Examples include (among many other possibilities) studies of lake hydrology, aquatic food web configurations and nutrient dynamics, underwater UV-effects on organisms and DOC, flood-driven dynamics of aquatic habitat for fish and aquatic waterfowl.
Post-Doc: We are at the point in our research where an ecosystem simulation model will be an essential tool for assessing the strength and direction of responses in delta lakes to the individual stresses of global change, and to focus our efforts on experiments and measurements to clarify them. We welcome inquires from post-doctoral candidates who may have interest in beginning development of a delta-ecosystem model. At the moment we do not have funding in place to fully support such an initiative, but this would make a highly suitable project on which to base an application for an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
Undergraduate Summer Employment: Every summer, we typically need one more research assistants for a combination of field and lab work in the Mackenzie Delta. This type of experience is valuable for students considering going on to graduate school or pursuing a career in environmental research and/or consulting. In addition to providing a basic salary, we also cover transportation expenses to Inuvik plus food and accommodation for the duration of the field season. We welcome inquiries at any time from students who are interested in gaining the type of arctic field experience we are able to offer.
Direct Inquiries To: LLesack@sfu.ca - download pdf file on graduate studies opportunities ! - HERE
I'm able to take on students through either the Departments of Geography or Biological Sciences. There are relative merits associated with each of these departments, depending on the background and research interests of a particular student.
Accepted students are normally provided with a funding package adequate to meet living expenses in Vancouver, and generally made up of some combination of teaching assistantships, graduate fellowships, and/or research stipends. Expenses associated with transportation to Inuvik plus food and accommodation while conducting thesis field work are covered by research grants. Highly qualified students can also apply for various scholarships via SFU and NSERC.
Field work in the Mackenzie Delta and some lab work are done at the Inuvik Research Centre, and the balance of other technical work is done in my lab at SFU. I ensure that students working under my supervision receive training on analytical instrumentation such as Ion Chromatography, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography, Colorimetric Spectroscopy, and a variety of other field and lab techniques in limnology and biogeochemistry.
Don't forget that Vancouver is indeed a great place to live !!!
(Borrowing a phrase from colleague Tracy Brennand)
Jolie Gareis- Ph.D. in progress, Department of Geography - Arctic deltas as biogeochemical hotspots that affect delivery of riverine carbon to the Arctic Ocean.
Mason Hecky- M.Sc. in progress, Department of Geography - Assessment and modeling of aquatic habitat partitioning in the Mackenzie River Delta.
Suzanne Tank- 2009, Department of Biological Sciences - Sources and cycling of dissolved organic carbon across a landscape of arctic delta lakes. Ph.D. Dissertation, SFU. 217pp.
Adam Chateauvert- 2008, Department of Geography - Patterns of transparent exopolymer particles among lakes of the Mackenzie Delta and colonization by aquatic bacteria. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 162pp.
Jolie Gareis- 2007, Department of Biological Sciences - Underwater irradiance attenuation and photobleaching of chromophoric dissolved organic matter in shallow arctic lakes of the Mackenzie Delta. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 174pp.
Craig Emmerton- 2006, Department of Geography - Downstream nutrient changes through the Mackenzie River Delta and estuary, western Canadian arctic. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 181pp.
Catherine Febria- 2005, Department of Geography - Patterns of hydrogen peroxide among lakes of the Mackenzie Delta and potential effects on bacterial production. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 124pp.
Margaret Squires- 2002, Department of Geography - The distribution and abundance of autotrophs among lakes of the Mackenzie Delta, western Canadian arctic. Ph.D. Dissertation, SFU. 195pp.
Bryan Spears- 2002, Department of Biological Sciences - Effects of nutrient limitation on heterotrophic bacterial productivity and edible phytoplankton biomass among lakes of the Mackenzie Delta. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 159pp.
Andrea Riedel- 2002, Department of Biological Sciences - Zooplankton composition and control of heterotrophic flagellates among lakes of the Mackenzie Delta. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 99pp.
Chris Teichreb- 1999, Department of Biological Sciences - Effects of dissolved organic carbon as a bacterial growth substrate and as an ultraviolet-B radiation sunscreen for aquatic microbial foodwebs in Mackenzie Delta Lakes, Northwest Territories. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 196pp.
Carolyn Teare- 1998, Department of Geography - Spatial and temporal patterns of chemical solute signals in sixteen small tundra streams of the Trail Valley Creek watershed in the western Canadian arctic. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 196pp.
Maggie Squires- 1996, Department of Geography - Controls on benthic algal growth on artificial substrates in limnocorrals receiving pulses of sediment and nutrients in a Mackenzie Delta lake. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 163pp.
Katherine Pipke- 1996, Department of Geography - Under-ice methane accumulation in Mackenzie Delta lakes and potential flux to the atmosphere at ice-out. M.Sc. Thesis, SFU. 198pp.