My name is Emily Choy and I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and Environment and Climate Change Canada. My research is supported by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and the Fonds de Recherche du Quebec. I have worked in many remote locations across the Canadian Arctic; from the High Arctic on Cape Vera, Devon Island, Nunavut, to Kendall Island in the Northwest Territories, and seabirds cliffs on Coats Island in northern Hudson Bay, Nunvaut. As the Arctic is warming at an unprecedented rate, I am interested in the response of long-lived marine predators to Arctic change. My research interests focus on marine predators as sentinel species to monitor ecosystem change, as well as the ecophysiological response of Arctic vertebrates to climate change. I am interested in community-based research partnerships with northern communities.
For my postdoctoral research, I am using novel approaches to study the direct (Arctic warming) and indirect (shifting prey bases) physiological effects of Arctic climate change on seabirds, primarily thick-billed murres on Coats Island in northern Hudson Bay, Nunuvut, Canada.
I completed my PhD in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba with Dr. James Roth and Dr. Lisa Loseto (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My research was supported by a NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship and focused on the condition, diet, and diving physiology of the Beaufort Sea beluga population as part of a community-based research project in partnership with Inuit communities the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Northwest Territories.
Prior to my PhD work, I completed my MSc. in the Chemical and Environmental Toxicology program at the University of Ottawa with Dr. Jules Blais, studying biovector transport of contaminants (mercury, PCBs, and DDT) via guano from a large northern fulmar colony to High Arctic food webs at Cape Vera, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada. I completed my BSc. in Biology at Queen's University with an Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Peter Hodson on mercury concentrations in spottail shiners in the St. Lawrence River, Cornwall ON. I have worked at Environment Canada and the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences on various projects in ecotoxicology, such as monitoring temporal trends of perfluorinated compounds in polar bears, immunotoxicity in bivalves, mercury in sport and forage fish, and the effects of brominated flame retardants on the reproductive success of tree swallows.
I was a Weston Scientist on the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition in search of the lost Franklin ships and am a Fellow for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. I am currently a Scientific Advisor for The W. Garfield Weston Foundation's Committee for Northern Philanthropy and a new councillor for the Association of Field Ornithologists.
I have a B.Ed in Outdoor and Experiential Education and am very involved in science outreach. I am currently partnered with Earth Rangers and have worked at the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Toronto Zoo, and Corus TV.
Coats Island, Nunavut. Video by Douglas Noblet
Cape Vera, Devon Island, Nunavut
Photo credit: Samantha Brimble
Victoria Strait Expedition, 2014.
Kendall Island, Northwest Territories
Photo Credit: Claire Hornby