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Jennifer F Provencher

Jennifer F Provencher
Environment and Climate Change Canada · Ecoxtoxicology and Wildlife Health Division

PhD (Carleton), MSc (UVIC), BEd (UBC), BSc (UBC)

About

146
Publications
45,666
Reads
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3,312
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - August 2010
University of Victoria
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (146)
Article
Mercury (Hg) is globally-distributed, with severe toxic effects on wildlife. Methylmercury biomagnifies within food webs, so long-lived, top predators such as seabirds are prone to high mercury concentrations. We synthesized historical and contemporary data on mercury concentrations in seabirds from the North Atlantic. We collected 614 values deter...
Article
Marine debris is now a ubiquitous component of the Anthropocene global ocean. Plastic ingestion by marine wildlife was first reported in the 1960s and since that time, roughly one thousand marine species have been reported to consume this debris. This study focuses on plastic ingestion by marine invertebrates and vertebrates in the North Pacific Oc...
Article
The pollution of the environment with plastics is of growing concern worldwide, including the Arctic region. While larger plastic pieces are a visible pollution issue, smaller microplastics are not visible with the naked eye. These particles are available for interaction by Arctic biota and have become a concern for animal and human health. The det...
Article
Bycatch in fisheries remains one of the biggest conservation threats to seabirds globally, but there has been limited attention given to bycatch in the Arctic. Here, we worked with Inuit commercial fishers in the Cambridge Bay region of Nunavut to record bycatch of birds, as part of a fish bycatch reporting initiative, in weir and gillnet fisheries...
Article
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Since the last Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) effort to review biological effects of mercury (Hg) on Arctic biota in 2011 and 2018, there has been a considerable number of new Arctic bird studies. This review article provides contemporary Hg exposure and potential health risk for 36 Arctic seabird and shorebird species, represent...
Article
Through ingestion and subsequent egestion, Arctic seabirds can bioaccumulate microplastics at and around their colony breeding sites. While microplastics in Arctic seabirds have been well documented, it is not yet understood to what extent these particles can act as transport vehicles for plastic-associated contaminants, including legacy persistent...
Chapter
Arctic Canada hosts many remote seabird colonies supporting nationally and internationally important numbers of several species and located in geographically spectacular settings. In the spirit of co-management enshrined in the Nunavut Agreement, government scientists worked with the Nattivak Hunters' and Trappers' Organization in the community of...
Article
Concerns about the impact of plastics pollution on the environment have been growing since the 1970s. Marine debris has reportedly entangled and/or been ingested by 914 marine species ranging from microinvertebrates to large marine mammals. Shorebirds could have a high potential to be exposed to and ingest plastics pollution, as many species migrat...
Article
Marine debris is an environmental issue of increasing importance worldwide, with 80% of marine plastics estimated to originate from land-based sources. While much work has been conducted to quantify plastics in coastal environments, many of these approaches are site-specific and not amenable to rapid surveys. We surveyed beaches around Nova Scotia,...
Article
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Early definitions of conservation focused largely on the end goals of protection or restoration of nature, and the various disciplinary domains that contribute to these ends. Conservation science and practice has evolved beyond being focused on just issues of scarcity and biodiversity decline. To better recognize the inherent links between human be...
Article
Plastic pollution is now pervasive in the Arctic, even in areas with no apparent human activity, such as the deep seafloor. In this Review, we describe the sources and impacts of Arctic plastic pollution, including plastic debris and microplastics, which have infiltrated terrestrial and aquatic systems, the cryosphere and the atmosphere. Although s...
Article
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The rapid increase in marine shipping activity in Inuit Nunangat (i.e. in settled land claim regions of Arctic Canada), propelled by climate change and international interest in Arctic maritime trade, has heightened concerns among Inuit communities about the risks that more ships could pose for sustainable and subsistence hunting, fishing, and gath...
Article
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Seabirds are exposed to a variety of environmental contaminants in the Arctic. While the persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of some groups of contaminants have been well-studied in seabirds since the 1970s, there is less known about polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). With increased vessel traffic, and potential oil and gas development in...
Article
The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) has published a plan and guidelines for the monitoring of litter and microplastics (MP) in the Arctic. Here we look beyond suggestions for immediate monitoring and discuss challenges, opportunities and future strategies in the long-term monitoring of litter and MP in the Arctic. Challenges are r...
Article
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The Arctic is warming three times faster than the rest of the globe, causing rapid transformational changes in Arctic ecosystems. As these changes increase, understanding seabird movements will be important for predicting how they respond to climate change, and thus how we plan for conservation. Moreover, as most Arctic-breeding seabirds only spend...
Article
Contaminant levels and trends have been monitored in eggs of seabirds from the Canadian Arctic since 1975. Nearly 50 years of monitoring have provided key information regarding the temporal and spatial variation of various contaminant classes in different seabird species. However, previous work has primarily assessed individual or related contamina...
Article
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Discussions of Arctic sovereignty and security have traditionally centered on the interests of the state and how it impacts the nation. More recently, scholars have noted the importance of addressing the interests of other actors, in particular, Indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples in the Arctic have long advocated for conceptualizing Arctic sove...
Article
Wildlife are exposed to multiple stressors across life history stages, the effects of which can be amplified as human activity surges globally. In Arctic regions, increasing air and ocean temperatures, more severe weather systems, and exposure to environmental contaminants all represent stressors occurring simultaneously. While Arctic vertebrates,...
Article
Chemical characterization of plastics ingested by wildlife helps identify sources of plastic pollution in nature and informs assessments of exposure risk to contaminants. In 2016, Red Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius) were found dead on the north coast of British Columbia, Canada, during their southward migration. Previously, ingested particles su...
Article
Ingestion of plastic pollution by pelagic seabirds is well-documented globally, but increasingly, researchers are investigating plastic ingestion in generalist predators and scavengers like gulls. We studied the gut contents of two sympatric gull species, American herring gulls (Larus smithsoniansus) and great black-backed gulls (L. marinus), colle...
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Mutually respectful and reciprocal relationships between people and their environment is a central tenet of many Indigenous worldviews. Across the Americas, this relational connection is particularly evident when it comes to freshwater ecosystems. However, there are numerous threats to these central relationships between Indigenous peoples and thei...
Article
While exposure of birds to oil-related contaminants has been documented, the related adverse effects this exposure has on Arctic marine birds remain unexplored. Metabolomics can play an important role to explore biologically relevant metabolite biomarkers in relation to different stressors, even at benchmark levels of contamination. The aim of this...
Article
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Human activities and development have contributed to declines in biodiversity across the globe. Understanding and addressing biodiversity loss will require the mobilization of diverse knowledge systems. While calls for interdisciplinary practices in environmental research date back decades, there has been a more recent push for weaving multiple kno...
Article
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Increasing pollution in the Arctic poses challenges in terms of geographical and ecological monitoring. The Baffin Bay-Davis Strait (BBDS) region in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is of particular concern due to the potential for increased shipping traffic and oil exploration. However, data on background contaminants associated with oil exploratio...
Article
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In the eastern North Atlantic, declines in the volume of Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica Linnaeus, 1758) eggs have been associated with shifts in the marine ecosystem, such as changes in the abundance of forage fishes and increasing sea-surface temperatures. In the western North Atlantic, where similar shifts in oceanographic conditions and cha...
Article
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Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental challenges and has received commensurate widespread attention. Although it is a top priority for policymakers and scientists alike, the knowledge required to guide decisions, implement mitigation actions, and assess their outcomes remains inadequate. We argue that an integrated, gl...
Article
Despite much interest and research into marine litter (including plastic debris) on beaches globally, relatively little is known about the density and distribution of this pollutant in Arctic environments, particularly Arctic Canada and West Greenland. We used two sources of data, observations of floating litter from vessels at sea, and quadrat sur...
Article
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Monitoring plastic in stomachs of beached northern fulmars for OSPAR’s Ecological Quality Objectives (EcoQOs) has been incorporated into the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). This paper aims to provide the appropriate tools to interpret the monitoring results. MSFD requires a data-derived threshold value (Fulmar-TV) representing...
Article
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Plastic pollution is a contaminant of global concern, as it is present even in remote ecosystems – like the Arctic. Arctic seabirds are vulnerable to ingesting plastic pollution, and these ingested particles are shed in the form of microplastics via guano. This suggests that Arctic seabird guano may act as a vector for the movement of microplastics...
Technical Report
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This literature review assesses information to 2020 on plastic ingestion by Arctic seabirds
Article
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Marine plastic is a ubiquitous environmental problem that can have an impact on a variety of marine biota, such as seabirds, making it an important concern for scientists and policy makers. Although research on plastic ingestion by seabirds is increasing, few studies have examined policies and long-term monitoring programs to reduce marine plastic...
Article
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https://arctox.cnrs.fr/en/home/ Mercury (Hg) is a natural trace element found in high concentrations in top predators, including Arctic seabirds. Most current knowledge about Hg concentrations in Arctic seabirds relates to exposure during the summer breeding period when researchers can easily access seabirds at colonies. However, the few studies f...
Article
Full-text available
Marine plastic is a ubiquitous environmental problem that can have an impact on a variety of marine biota, such as seabirds, making it an important concern for scientists and policy makers. Although research on plastic ingestion by seabirds is increasing, few studies have examined policies and long-term monitoring programs to reduce marine plastic...
Article
Full-text available
Highly migratory species pose unique conservation and management challenges, especially when significant mortality occurs away from breeding concentrations. Population genetics and genomics may help with the appropriate management of these species by (1) determining the population genetic structure of a species across its range, and (2) allowing th...
Article
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The arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a ubiquitous migratory seabird of the High Arctic, currently thought to be in decline in most of the circumpolar world, but surprisingly little is known of its biology at high latitudes. We studied organ size and nutrient reserves of arctic terns breeding beside a High Arctic polynya in Nunavut, Canada, from t...
Article
The presence and persistence of microplastics in the environment is increasingly recognized, however, how they are distributed throughout environmental systems requires further understanding. Seabirds have been identified as vectors of chemical contaminants from marine to terrestrial environments, and studies have recently identified seabirds as po...
Article
Mercury (Hg) emissions have increased since 1950 and biomagnification in Arctic ecosystems can affect animals, particularly at higher trophic levels. Exposure to Hg can negatively affect young developing animals, resulting in altered morphology and ultimately, lower fitness. We examined the relationship of mandible fluctuating asymmetry (FA) with g...
Article
Plastic pollution is a ubiquitous global environmental problem. Plastic ingestion by seabirds is an increasing issue even in remote areas, such as the Arctic, yet research and monitoring of plastic ingestion in Arctic seabird populations is limited and there are large knowledge gaps for many geographic regions. There is currently no standard techni...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic is a ubiquitous contaminant of the Anthropocene. The highly diverse nature of microplastic pollution means it is not a single contaminant, but a suite of chemicals that include a range of polymers, particle sizes, colors, morphologies, and associated contaminants. Microplastics research has rapidly expanded in recent years and has led to an...
Article
We censused three colonies of Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) along eastern Baffin Island, Canada, that were estimated to support 155 000 breeding pairs in 1973, but had not been adequately counted since then. The colonies were surveyed in July and August 2018 using photographs taken from a helicopter or a drone. The combined estimated colony...
Article
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There is a growing understanding of how oil pollution can affect aquatic ecosystems, including physical and chemical effects. One of the biggest challenges with detecting the effects of oil-related contaminants on biota from resource development is first understanding the background levels and potential effects of the exposure of biota to contamina...
Article
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The black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla, hereafter kittiwake) is a small pelagic seabird and is the most numerous gull species in the world. It has a circumpolar distribution, and breeds in the arctic and boreal zones of the Northern Hemisphere. It’s breeding distribution is widespread and ranges across the North Atlantic from the west coast t...
Article
Plastic pollution ingestion by seabirds is an increasing environmental problem even in remote areas such as the Arctic, yet knowledge on plastic pollution ingestion by several Arctic seabirds is limited, making it difficult to assess trends. We examined plastic pollution ingestion by northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis), black-legged kittiwakes (R...
Article
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Sharks are a taxon of significant conservation concern and associated public interest. The scientific community largely supports management policies focusing on sustainable fisheries exploitation of sharks, but many concerned members of the public and some environmental advocates believe that sustainable shark fisheries cannot and do not exist and...
Article
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Plastic pollution in the oceans is a priority environmental issue. The recent increase in research on the topic, coupled with growing public awareness, has catalyzed policymakers around the world to identify and implement solutions that minimize the harm caused by plastic pollution. To aid and coordinate these efforts, we surveyed experts with scie...
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Aim Free‐ranging wildlife are valuable sentinels for zoonotic, multi‐host pathogens, and new insight into parasite transmission patterns is possible through a macroecological approach. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan capable of infecting all warm‐blooded animals, including humans, primarily through a free‐living oocyst and/or tissue cyst life stag...
Article
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Since the 1970s, many populations of shorebirds, including those breeding in the Arctic region, have been declining. One factor that may contribute to some of these declines is exposure to contaminants throughout the annual cycle. Here, we compared contaminant exposure (organochlorines, toxic trace elements) of four Arctic-breeding shorebirds (semi...
Article
Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are a culturally significant food resource for communities in northern Canada and Greenland. Many barren-ground caribou subpopulations are currently in decline, some dramatically; understanding the influence of stressors, such as toxic trace metals, is important. These contaminants enter Arctic terrestrial environments v...
Article
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Ship traffic has nearly tripled in the Canadian Arctic over the past decade and additional growth is expected as climate change continues to increase navigability in the region. In response, the Canadian Government is developing Low Impact Shipping Corridors as an adaptation strategy that supports safety and sustainability under rapidly changing en...
Article
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Maternal transfer is the predominant route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure to offspring. We reviewed and synthesized published and unpublished data on maternal transfer of MeHg in birds. Using paired samples of females’ blood (n=564) and their eggs (n=1814) from 26 bird species in 6 taxonomic orders, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate whethe...
Article
We present the first records of fungi associated with feathers from seabirds and sea ducks in the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic. Birds sampled in Nunavut and Newfoundland (Canada) included the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), King Eider (S. spectabilis), Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Glaucous...
Article
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Background Drawing upon multiple types of knowledge (e.g., Indigenous knowledge, local knowledge, science-based knowledge) strengthens the evidence-base for policy advice, decision making, and environmental management. While the benefits of incorporating multiple types of knowledge in environmental research and management are many, doing so has rem...
Article
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Worldwide, incidental bycatch in fisheries is a conservation threat to many seabird species. Although knowledge on bycatch of seabirds has increased in the last decade, most stems from longline fisheries and the impacts of coastal gillnet fisheries are poorly understood. Gillnet fishing for North Atlantic lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) is one such...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide, incidental bycatch in fisheries is a conservation threat to many seabird species. Although knowledge on bycatch of seabirds has increased in the last decade, most stems from longline fisheries and the impacts of coastal gillnet fisheries are poorly understood. Gillnet fishing for North Atlantic lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) is one such...
Article
Through collaboration with Inuit hunters, we examined the stomach contents of 142 seals (ringed seals [Phoca hispida; n = 135], bearded seals [Erignathus barbatus; n = 6], and one harbour seal [Phoca vitualina; n = 1]) hunted between 2007 and 2019 from communities around Nunavut to assess whether seals in the eastern Canadian Arctic ingest and reta...
Article
Understanding the impacts of plastic pollution is a global research priority. Previous research has shown that plasticizers such as phthalate esters detected in seabird tissues can be useful non-lethal biochemical markers of plastic ingestion as compared with more standard necropsy techniques. We examined the concentrations of six phthalate esters...
Article
Field experiments where parasites are removed through treatment and contaminant levels in host tissues are recorded can provide insight into the combined effects of parasitism and contaminants in wild populations. In 2013 and 2014, we treated northern common eider ducks (Somateria mollissima) arriving at a breeding colony with either a broad-spectr...