Robert McLaughlin

Rob McLaughlin
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x53620
SSC 2456
SSC 2403/2404

B.Sc. - Windsor 1981

M.Sc. - Queen's 1983

Ph.D. - McGill 1991

My research program is diverse, but the overarching theme involves using the movements of animals to assess the significance that individual behaviour has for the biology of populations and communities and, ultimately, biodiversity.
In one main component, my students are using studies at the assemblage, population, and individual levels to examine changes in the biodiversity of stream fishes caused by in-stream barriers used to control sea lamprey in the Laurentian Great Lakes, the role of restrictions on movement in bringing about these changes, and methods of minimizing any change (e.g. improved trapping of sea lamprey and passage of other fishes). My position and this research are supported by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to increase its science capacity.
In a second main component, my students are using smaller scale approaches focused on diversification in the foraging and migratory movements of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) to understand the role that individual differences in behaviour have in facilitating population divergence in physiology, morphology, and life history (resource polymorphism), and the creation of new biodiversity.
My research program has two, additional minor components. Several students have been and continue to conduct studies assessing the effects of agricultural practices on stream fishes. I, and now my students, also continue to examine basic research questions related to animal movement. 
Differences in the nature, approach, and subject matter of these components creates a unique and interesting combination of research opportunities that is rich biologically and intellectually, and creates a productive synergy in terms of addressing the overarching theme of my program.

Addressing Fish Behaviour and Sea Lamprey Control

  • Vélez-Espino, L. A., R. L. McLaughlin, and T. C. Pratt.  2008. Management inferences from a demographic analysis of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65:227-244.
  • McLaughlin, R. L, A. Hallett, T. C. Pratt, L. M. O’Connor, and D. G. McDonald. 2007. Research to guide use of barriers, traps, and fishways to control sea lamprey. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33(Special Issue 2):7-19.

Addressing Individual Behaviour and Resource Polymorphism

  • Wilson, A and R. L. McLaughlin. 2007. Behavioural syndromes in brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis: prey search in the field corresponds with space use in novel laboratory situations. Animal Behavior 74:689-698.
  • DeKerckhove, D., R. L. McLaughlin, and D. L. G. Noakes. 2006. Ecological mechanisms favouring behavioural diversification in the absence of morphological diversification: a theoretical examination using brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis). Journal of Animal Ecology 75:506-517.
  • Imre, I., R. L. McLaughlin, and D. L. G. Noakes. 2002. Phenotypic plasticity in brook charr: changes in caudal fin induced by water flow. Journal of Fish Biology 61:1171-1181.

Addressing Conservation of Fishes In Agricultural Systems

  • Stammler, K., R. L. McLaughlin, N. E. Mandrak. 2008. Streams modified for drainage provide fish habitat in agricultural areas. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65:509-522.
  • Poos, M., N. B. Mandrak, and R. L. McLaughlin. 2007. The effectiveness of two common sampling methods for assessing imperilled freshwater fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 70:691-708.

Addressing Unsteady Locomotion

  • Kramer, D. L. and R. L. McLaughlin. 2001. The behavioural ecology of intermittent locomotion. American Zoologist 41:137-153.
  • McLaughlin, R. L. and J. W. A. Grant. 2001. A field test of perceptual and energetic bases for intermittent locomotion in young brook charr. Behaviour 138:559-574.
  • McLaughlin, R. L. and D. L. G. Noakes. 1998. Going against the flow: an examination of the propulsive movements made by young brook trout in streams. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55:853-860.
  • Animal Behaviour (ZOO*4070)
  • Research in Integrative Biology I (IBIO*4500)
  • Research in Integrative Biology II (IBIO*4510)
  • Dolinsek, Ivan (PhD Concordia)*
  • Gislason, David (PhD)**
  • Myles-Gonzalez, Emelia (MSc)
  • Strnad, Cameron (MSc)
  • Wajmer, Nicole (MSc)

* co-supervised with Jim Grant, Concordia
** co-supervised with Beren Robinson, Guelph