The Cristescu Lab



Lab Members



Alessandra Loria
PhD Candidate
 


The interplay between environmental change and biodiversity

Co-supervised by Dr. Andrew Gonzalez - McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Collaborators: Dr. Marina Manca – Research Council, Institute of Ecosystem Study, Verbania Pallanza, Italy; Dr. Hugh MacIsaac - Great lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Ecosystems are undergoing changes in community structure due to the cumulative effects of human activities. I am interested in investigating the impact of metal pollution on freshwater ecosystems from an evolutionary point of view. Using the microcrustacean Daphnia, I will study how populations subjected to metal stress recover through genetic adaptation (evolutionary rescue). Specifically, I will focus on the dynamics of adaptation to heavy metal stress across populations with different amounts of genetic variation. I will investigate shifts in zooplankton composition and genotypes (including loss of biodiversity) under metal stress by carrying out laboratory experiments and by surveying environmental DNA sampled over time. This research will improve our understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation to environmental contaminants and how the latter can, in turn, affect biodiversity and the genetic variation in natural populations. .

Scholarships and Awards

  • Differential Fee Waiver (DFW) award, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2013-2017)
  • International Entrance Scolarship, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada (2012-2013)
  • ERASMUS International Student Award, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada (2012-2013)
  • "Premio per la tesi" (thesis award), Municipality of Villaurbana, Sardinia, Italy (2012)
  • "Premio per la tesi" (thesis award), Municipality of Villaurbana, Sardinia, Italy (2010)
  • Excellence Award, Regione Autonoma Della Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy (2009)

Presentations

Loria A, Cristescu ME, MacIsaac H, Manca M. (2013). Coping with metal stress: mechanisms of evolution of copper tolerance in Daphnia. GLIER Grad Colloquium. Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada


   


Contact Information
Alessandra Loria
MSc University of Cagliari
BSc University of Sassari

Department of Biology
McGill University
1205 ave Docteur Penfield
Room N3/15
Montréal, Québec
CANADA H3A 1B1

Office: (514) 398-1622
Fax: (514) 398-5069
alessandra.loria[AT]mail.mcgill.ca


 

 

 
Last update: Sept. 29, 2014