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Meet Great Lake Researcher Karen Smokorowski

As a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dr. Karen Smokorowski studies the effects of habitat alteration on the productivity of lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes region. Through fieldwork, she documents how fish populations and other aquatic biota respond to physical changes in their environment. One of her newest endeavors focuses on how hydroelectric power operations affect the ecosystem of the Magpie River, a waterbody that empties into Lake Superior.

Dr. Smokorowski gained a background in limnology, aquatic population ecology, and bioenergetics through her undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Toronto and her doctoral work on freshwater shrimp with Trent University's Watershed Ecosystems Graduate Program. Dr. Smokorowski is section head of the Fisheries Production Section and a Community Production Scientist at the Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. She is also an adjunct professor at three Ontario universities.

Current Projects

Turkey Lake Watershed

Magpie River Ramping Rate Study testing the effects of rapid flow changes on downstream ecology.

Effects of ramping and flow on invertebrate drift in a regulated river.

Food web length and carbon source variations under ramping rate regulations: Insight from a stable isotope experimental approach.

Biological evaluation of a new ‘fish friendly’ turbine design for medium to low head hydro installations.

Assessment of the St. Mary’s River Fish Community to meet Remedial Action Plan targets.

Review and evaluation of methods of measuring productive capacity in aquatic ecosystems.