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Oliver Love

Oliver Love                                                                                                      Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology - Linking Environmental Stressors to Individual and Population Health

Innovative new tools are helping Dr. Oliver Love understand the broad role of environmental stressors in shaping populationhealth by examining the capacity of individuals to respond to a rapidly-changing world.

Although his lab’s integrative work uses avian species living in Polar and temperate environments as a model, Dr. Love studies common physiological stress pathways that humans share with many other species. The result is broad, predictive applicability to determine how and why environmental stressors as a whole affect the everyday well-being of a diversity of species.

Ultimately, the answers will aid a diverse set of ecological, environmental and medical researchers to better appreciate how and why environmental stressors as seemingly diverse as climate change, human-induced habitat destruction, and even maternal stress are commonly linked via their singular ability to alter the productivity of individuals and hence the health of populations they make up.

By understanding how and why organisms have evolved to match their physiological responses to environmental change, Dr. Love’s lab is helping researchers to better predict which individuals, populations, or species are most at-risk to further human-induced changes to the world’s ecosystems. From a human health perspective, a strong understanding of why the match between a physiological response and an environmental stressor has evolved will significantly improve our understanding of the origins of many stress-induced diseases.

As a whole, this highly novel and integrative research approach further enables Canada to play a significant leadership role in helping to solve many diverse and rapidly emerging human-derived environmental issues of global concern.