Jennifer Gleason

photo of Jennifer Gleason
Graduate Student, PhD
SSC 2476
Cottenie Lab

I am PhD student in the Integrative Biology department co-supervised by Karl Cottenie and Bob Hanner. My two major research interests are community ecology and aquatic entomology, with a focus on impacted ecosystems and bioindicator taxa. I am currently exploring the influence of farming intensity on aquatic insect communities in riverine systems and developing protocols to use environmental DNA (eDNA) for both bioassessments and community analyses. Prior to starting my PhD, I completed a BSc in Biology (Zoology major) at the University of Guelph in 2012. I first became involved in research through the undergraduate thesis program, where I completed a project exploring the functional morphology of damselfly nymphs under different predation regimes. After that, I worked as a lab and field technician for three years at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario where I was responsible for collecting insects in National Parks across Canada, sorting and identifying specimens, and collaborating with researchers at other insect collections. Interested in developing my skills as a researcher, I decided to pursue graduate school and completed my MSc in wetland ecology at the University of Waterloo. My MSc thesis examined the effect of agricultural land use and other environmental factors on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in non-permanent wetlands in Alberta.

  • MSc – University of Waterloo – 2017.  Thesis: “Aquatic macroinvertebrate communities and diversity patterns in the Northern Prairie Pothole Region” (
  • BSc (Hons) – University of Guelph - 2012

Gleason, J.E., Bortolotti, J.Y., and Rooney, R.C. (2018) Wetland microhabitats support distinct communities of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 33: 73-82. doi: 10.1080/02705060.2017.1422560

Gleason, J.E., and Rooney, R.C. (2018) Pond permanence is a key determinant of aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure in wetlands. Freshwater Biology. 63: 264-277. doi: 10.1111/fwb.13057

Gleason, J.E., and Rooney, R.C. (2017) Aquatic invertebrates are poor indicators of surrounding land use in Northern Prairie Pothole wetlands. Ecological Indicators. 81: 333-339. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.06.013

Gleason, J.E., Fudge, D.S., and Robinson, B.W. (2014) Eco-mechanics of lamellar autotomy in larval damselflies. Journal of Experimental Biology. 217: 185-191. doi: 10.1242/jeb.091827