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Associate Professor
Associate Chair, Research Biology

Phone: (905) 828-3996

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, my research focuses on the molecular ecology of aquatic microorganisms. As the major primary producers in freshwater and marine ecosystems, phytoplankton are key components of aquatic food webs and global biogeochemical cycles. Viruses are now known to be abundant in all aquatic environments and many parasitize phytoplankton suggesting that they are important agents of phytoplankton mortality and are themselves key players in aquatic food webs. Hence, my research focuses on understanding the role of viruses in phytoplankton ecology. To that end, I use quantitative molecular techniques to examine virus and phytoplankton community and population dynamics in both natural environments and laboratory cultures.


C. N. Palermo, D. W. Shea, S. M. Short. 2021. Analysis of different size fractions provides a more complete perspective of viral diversity in a freshwater embayment. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, in press. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00197-21

D. Shea, A. Bateman, S. Li, A. Tabata, A. Schulze, G. Mordecai, L. Ogston, J. P. Volpe6, L. N. Frazer, B. Connors, K. M. Miller, S. Short* and *M. KrkoŇ°ek. 2020. Environmental DNA from multiple pathogens is elevated near active Atlantic salmon farms. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287, 20202010.

A. J. Paquette, C. E. Sharp, P. J. Schnurr, D. G. Allen, S. M. Short* and G. S. Espie*. 2020. Dynamic changes in community composition of Scenedesmus-seeded artificial, engineered microalgal biofilms. Algal Research, 46, 101805.

S. L. Cheung, D. G. Allen, S. M. Short. 2020. Specific quantification of Scenedesmus obliquus and Chlorella vulgaris in mixed-species algal biofilms. Bioresource Technology 295, 122251.