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Chris K. Elvidge

Chris K. Elvidge
Queen's University & Carleton University · Biology

PhD
1. Animal cognition; 2. Responses to environmental & anthropogenic stressors; and 3. Mitigation strategies.

About

50
Publications
9,205
Reads
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890
Citations
Introduction
I am broadly interested in freshwater ecology using fish as model organisms. Currently I am trying to work at the interface of behaviour and conservation; an ongoing project involves determining how heat-stressed Atlantic salmon locate thermal refugia during extreme temperature events. In addition, I am actively involved in university teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate student researchers.
Additional affiliations
May 2016 - present
Carleton University
Position
  • Instructor
September 2015 - present
Carleton University
Position
  • Sessional Instructor
September 2014 - January 2015
Concordia University Montreal
Position
  • Part-Time Faculty
Description
  • Revision, administration and lecturing of the course BIOL 350: The Ecology of Individuals (74 students). Topics covered included physiological, behavioural and population-level adaptations to environmental conditions.

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee’s (IACUCs) serve an important role in ensuring that ethical practices are used by researchers working with vertebrate taxa including fish. With a growing number of researchers working on fish in the field and expanding mandates of IACUCs to regulate field work, there is potential for interactions between...
Article
Full-text available
Prey species possess a variety of morphological, life history and behavioural adaptations to evade predators. While specific evolutionary conditions have led to the expression of permanent, non-plastic anti-predator traits, the vast majority of prey species rely on experience to express adaptive anti-predator defences. While ecologists have identif...
Article
Full-text available
Within aquatic ecosystems, chemosensory cues provide valuable public information regarding the form and degree of risk, allowing prey to make informed behavioural decisions. Such cues, however, may vary in both relative concentration detected (i.e. 'quantity') and reliability of the information available (i.e. 'quality'), leading to varying respons...
Article
Full-text available
Weak levels of acidification (pH < 6.6) inhibit the ability of fishes to assess predation risk via interference with damage-released chemical alarm cues. While survival benefits associated with behavioural responses to alarm cues have been demonstrated under laboratory conditions, it remains largely unknown whether fishes under natural conditions e...
Article
Hypoxia in surface waters driven by warming climate and other anthropogenic stressors is a major conservation concern and technological solutions for water quality remediation are sorely needed. One potential solution involves the use of low‐intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) to increase dissolved oxygen levels but potential collateral effects...
Article
Full-text available
There are many syntheses on the role of animal behavior in understanding and mitigating conservation threats for wildlife. That body of work has inspired the development of a new discipline called conservation behavior. Yet, the majority of those synthetic papers focus on non-fish taxa such as birds and mammals. Many fish populations are subject to...
Article
Our study evaluated whether exposure to naphthenic acid fraction components (NAFCs) extracted from oil sands process affected waters (OSPW) has adverse effects on fish embryos that persist into later life. We exposed fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) embryos to concentrations of NAFCs found in OSPW (ranging from 2.5 to 54 mg/L) for 7 days (1‐day...
Article
Recreational catch-and-release angling (C&R) is prevalent and growing in popularity, along with concerns over the welfare of released fish. Although there have been many studies quantifying post-release mortality in fish exposed to C&R, there is growing interest in understanding and minimizing any sublethal consequences of recreational fisheries in...
Article
Wild, adfluvial brown trout (Salmo trutta) are iconic targets in recreational fisheries but also endangered in many native locations. We compared how fishing and natural selection affect the fitness-proxies of brown trout from two pure angling-selected strains and experimental crosses between an adfluvial, hatchery-bred strain and three wild, resid...
Article
Full-text available
Multidisciplinary approaches to conservation and wildlife management are often effective in addressing complex, multi-factor problems. Emerging fields such as conservation physiology and conservation behaviour can provide innovative solutions and management strategies for target species and systems. Sensory ecology combines the study of ‘how animal...
Article
Behavioural responses of animals are often placed conceptually along some axis characterized by the extremes, e.g. bold versus shy or timid. Ecological and evolutionary pressures can be associated with increased frequencies of different behavioural patterns that are also subject to intrinsic factors such as differing metabolic requirements or cogni...
Article
Knowledge of how temperature influences animal behavior is critical to understanding and predicting impacts of changing climate on individual species and biotic interactions. However, the effects of climate change, especially winter warming in freshwater systems, on fish behaviors and the use of chemical information have been largely unexplored. Qi...
Article
Full-text available
Teaching can be a rewarding, yet challenging, experience for early career researchers (ECRs) in fields like ecology and evolution. Much of this challenge arises from the reality that ECRs in ecology and evolution typically receive little, if any, pedagogical training or advice on how to balance teaching, research (which can include extended field w...
Chapter
The current volume, entitled Climate Change and Non-infectious Fish Disorders (CCNFD) is the first of the two-volume set, and it focuses on the development, physiology and health of fish. CCNFD has 11 chapters organized into two parts. Chapters 1 and 2 (Part I) are mainly for aquatic biologists including colleagues who study non-infectious fish dis...
Article
A large body of literature suggests that physically exhausted fish, including those that are released following fisheries interactions, experience behavioural and cognitive constraints and are at elevated risk of predation during homeostatic recovery. However, previous studies have focused on exhausted fish subsequently encountering predators, and...
Article
Full-text available
It is reasonable to expect that hydro-morphodynamic processes in fluvial systems can affect fish habitat availability, but the impacts of morphological changes in fluvial systems on fish habitat are not well studied. Herein we investigate the impact of morphological development of a cohesive meandering stream on the quality of fish habitat availabl...
Article
Based on existing laboratory research on the visual physiology of walleye Sander vitreus, we tested colours of known spectral sensitivity (i.e., green and orange) using constant and strobing (5 Hz) illumination with an LED‐based light guidance device (LGD). Hatchery‐reared age 0 and 2 years S. vitreus were exposed to these four light combinations a...
Article
Full-text available
A better understanding of the environmental and genetic contribution to migratory behavior and the evolution of traits linked to migration is crucial for fish conservation and fisheries management. Up to date, a few genes with unequivocal influence on the adoption of alternative migration strategies have been identified in salmonids. Here, we used...
Article
Full-text available
Shoaling is an evolved behavior in fishes that has several adaptive advantages, including allowing individuals to avoid predation through risk dilution. However, factors such as size disparity and the presence of heterospecifics may influence the behavior of individual fish within shoals following exposure to elevated predation risk. Using bluegill...
Article
Hatchery‐reared age 1+ and 4+ lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) were assayed to determine the effectiveness of coloured, strobing LED light guidance device (LGD) at achieving behavioural guidance for attraction or avoidance responses. Based on an initial y‐maze dichotomous choice study in age 1+ fish during daytime, we selected green, blue, oran...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral responses to alarm cues in aquatic species are typically examined with emphasis on the potential survival benefits accrued by conspecific receivers. By contrast, heterospecific responses to alarm cues and changes in responses with ontogeny in fishes are relatively unexplored. Taking an ecological niche perspective, we hypothesized that t...
Article
Full-text available
Many populations of migratory fish species, including white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus Richardson), are threatened due to modification of riverine systems and may experience downstream displacement or mortality at water intake structures. Efforts to reduce the impacts of these structures are beginning to incorporate behavioural guidance, whe...
Article
Full-text available
Providing safe downstream passage for outmigrating freshwater eels around hydroelectric facilities, especially on large river systems, is a daunting challenge. With engineering limitations on the installation of physical barriers, behavioural guidance research is needed to steer outmigrating eels towards safe passage or collection facilities. We ex...
Article
Full-text available
Risk recognition and fast-start performance are critical to fish survival when faced with predators. Many fish species have been shown to recognize risks associated with chemical cues released by injured conspecifics. However, little is known about the ontogeny of “risk” recognition via damage-released chemical alarm cues and fast-start performance...
Article
Full-text available
Water diversions for hydropower and other applications are some of the most disruptive alterations affecting fish populations in lotic systems. Although many different strategies have been developed to reduce lethal encounters with such infrastructure, few studies have evaluated different forms of behavioural guidance concurrently. Here, we combine...
Article
Fish are commonly sedated to render them immobile and thus easier to handle for research, veterinary, and aquaculture practices. Since sedation itself imposes a significant challenge on the targeted fish, the selection of sedation methods that minimize physiological and behavioral disturbance and recovery time is essential. Two popular sedation met...
Article
Full-text available
Light pollution is a prevalent, but often overlooked, ecological concern in a variety of ecosystems. Marine environments are subjected to artifcial lighting from coastal development, in addition to ofshore sources, such as fshing vessels, oil platforms and cruise ships. Fish species that rely on nearshore habitats are most signifcantly impacted by...
Article
Selectively removing fish based on particular traits, such as body size, may shift trait abundance in the remaining population, resulting in a phenomenon called fisheries-induced evolution. Recently, there is growing interest in evaluating the effects of fisheries-induced evolution on fish behaviour. Aquatic protected areas (APAs) have been designa...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals travelling through landscapes may use the presence of conspecifics to evaluate habitat quality. Juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L., 1758) are usually territorial and exhibit some degree of density-dependent regulation in wild populations. They are also vulnerable to heat stress and may need to locate a thermal refuge to offset met...
Article
The objective of catch-and-release angling is for the fish to survive with minimal fitness consequences. However, fish survival can be compromised by a number of factors, especially anatomical hooking location. To evaluate whether hook type or bait influence hooking outcomes, we tested different combinations of hook (treble or single siwash hooks)...
Article
Full-text available
Threat-sensitive behavioural trade-offs allow prey animals to balance the conflicting demands of successful predator detection and avoidance and a suite of fitness related activities such as foraging, mating and territorial defence. Here, we test the hypothesis that background predation level and reproductive status interact to determine the form a...
Article
Full-text available
The “dangerous niche” hypothesis posits that neophobia functions to reduce the cost of habitat use among animals exposed to unknown risks. For example, more dangerous foraging or higher competition may lead to increased spatial neophobia. Likewise, elevated ambient predation threats have been shown to induce phenotypically plastic neophobic predato...
Article
Full-text available
Weak levels of acidity impair chemosensory risk assessment by aquatic species which may result in increased predator mortalities in the absence of compensatory avoidance mechanisms. Using replicate populations of wild juvenile Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar ) in neutral and acidic streams, we conducted a series of observational studies and experimen...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown that prey living under conditions of elevated predation risk respond very differently to novel predators than prey living under low-risk conditions, by displaying generalized avoidance patterns to novel stimuli. This phenotypic plasticity in neophobic responses provides prey with the means to respond flexibly to uncertain...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioural responses to damage-released chemical cues in aquatic species are often examined with emphases on the potential survival benefits accrued by conspecific receivers in accordance with the hypothesis of taxonomic cue conservation. Nevertheless, chemical cues are publically available to any capable receivers in aquatic systems, and therefor...
Article
Full-text available
In response to acute predation threats, prey may sacrifice foraging opportunities in favour of increased predator avoidance. Under conditions of high or frequent predation risk, such trade-offs may lead to reduced fitness. Here, we test the prediction that prey reduce the costs associated with lost opportunities following acute predation threats by...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioural ecology is rife with examples of prey animals that are able to adjust the intensity of their anti-predator response to match background risk levels. Often, preys need experience with predators before they will invest in costly anti-predator responses. This means that prey animals often fail to respond to predators during their first enc...
Article
The ability of prey to recognize predators is a fundamental prerequisite to avoid being eaten. Indeed, many prey animals learn to distinguish species that pose a threat from those that do not. Once the prey has learned the identity of one predator, it may generalize this recognition to similar predators with which the prey has no experience. The ab...
Article
Full-text available
Prey incorporate multiple forms of publicly available information on predation risk into threat-sensitive antipredator behaviours. Changes in information availability have previously been demonstrated to elicit transient alterations in behavioural patterns, while the effects of long-term deprivation of particular forms of information remain largely...
Article
Full-text available
To date, little attention has been devoted to possible complementary effects of multiple forms of public information similar information on the foraging behaviour of predators. In order to examine how predators may incorporate multiple information sources, we conducted a series of predator attraction trials in the Lower Aripo River, Trinidad. Four...
Article
Full-text available
In order to investigate any size-dependent differences between behavioural patterns, wild-caught Hart's rivulus Rivulus hartii of varying sizes were exposed to chemical alarm cues extracted from the skin of conspecifics or heterospecific Poecilia reticulata, or a tank water control, in a series of laboratory trials. In response to conspecific alarm...
Article
Full-text available
Predation is an important selection pressure acting on prey behavior. Although numerous studies have shown that when predation risk is high, prey tend to increase vigilance and reduce foraging effort, until recently, few studies have looked at how temporal patterns of risk influence the trade-off between foraging and antipredator behavior. The risk...
Article
Full-text available
Within freshwater fishes, closely related species produce alarm cues that are chemically similar, leading to conserved antipredator responses. Similar conservation trends are predicted for species with geographically isolated populations. Here, we tested this hypothesis with the guppy (Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859) from two populations within t...
Article
Full-text available
The antipredator behaviour of prey organisms is shaped by a series of threat-sensitive trade-offs between the benefits associated with successful predator avoidance and a suite of other fitness-related behaviours such as foraging, mating and territorial defence. Recent research has shown that the overall intensity of antipredator response and the p...
Article
Full-text available
Several freshwater invertebrate and vertebrate prey species rely on chemosensory cues, including non-injury released disturbance cues, to assess and avoid local predation threats. The prevailing hypothesis is that a pulse of ammonia released by disturbed or stressed prey functions as the disturbance cue. Here, we test this hypothesis in two phyloge...
Article
Full-text available
Following disturbance, some aquatic prey species release chemicals that act as a warning cue and increase vigilance in nearby conspecifics. Such disturbance cues evoke consistent low intensity anti-predator responses. In contrast, alarm cues from injured conspecifics often evoke stronger intensity responses in prey animals. In this study, we test t...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether the processes of species invasion and extirpation have produced distinct shifts in mean species traits of North American freshwater fish assemblages. An analysis of 54 species (29 invaders, 25 extirpated taxa) in 7 drainages revealed significant differences in maximum length, native latitudinal range size, habitat specif...