Gregor Fussmann

Associate Professor,
McGill University

Department of Biology
Institution page


Ph.D. in Limnology, Max-Planck-Institute of Limnology, Plön, Germany and University of Kiel, Germany 1996
Diploma in Biology (Zoology, Botany, Ecology), Free University of Berlin, Germany 1991


People in my lab are interested in the ecology and evolution of populations and communities. Our premise is that evolutionary change may be rapid and that the distinction between ecological and evolutionary time scales is often arbitrary.

To study eco-evolutionary dynamics we use aquatic model organisms and conduct controlled experiments in the laboratory and in the field. We believe that this approach, combined with mathematical modelling, will contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of real ecosystems such as lakes and streams. It is unlikely that ecologists will ever be able to make predictions of the dynamics of field systems, if they fail to predict the behaviour of a simplified laboratory system.

  • Eco-evolutionary dynamics in chemostats
  • Ecology and evolution of parasite-host relationships in streams in Trinidad
  • Ecological and evolutionary consequences of elevated CO2
  • The paradox of the plankton - competitive coexistence under equalizing and stabilizing mechanisms
  • Aquaculture, mussels and nutrients (AquaMaN)
  • Rotifers as model organisms and as study objects in their own right

  • QCBS students

    Previous students (since 2009)

    Mehdi Cherif

    Postdoctoral fellow
    (Start: 2009, End: 2012)
    Theoretical and experimental approaches in mussel aquaculture

    Alison Derry

    Postdoctoral fellow
    (Start: 2008, End: 2010)
    Evolutionary dynamics of zooplankton-cyanobacteria interactions

    Romana Limberger

    Postdoctoral fellow
    (Start: 2012, End: 2014)
    Adaptation to gradual environmental change

    Naíla Barbosa da Costa

    Other (co-)supervisor: Jesse Shapiro
    (Start: 2016, End: 2022)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Jesse Shapiro
    Eco-evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities in disturbed freshwater ecosystems
    Personal page

    Felipe Dargent

    Other (co-)supervisor: Scott, Marilyn
    (Start: 2008, End: 2014)
    Evolution of resistance and tolerance to parasites in Trinidadian guppies

    Caolan Kovach-Orr

    (Start: 2008, End: 2015)
    Genetic diversity and plasticity in model communities

    Etienne Low-Decarie

    (Start: 2007, End: 2013)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Graham Bell
    Ecological and Evolutionary Response of Phytoplankton to Rising Atmospheric CO2
    Personal page

    Michael Pedruski

    (Start: 2008, End: 2015)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Andrew Gonzalez
    Experimental test of neutral theory

    Sean Duffy

    (Start: 2009, End: 2013)
    Intraguild predation in aquaculture communities

    Allegra Pearce

    (Start: 2018, End: 2021)
    Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Andrew Hendry
    Evolution of parasite resistance in recently parasitized Trinidadian guppies
    Personal page

    Examples of species studied

    Poecilia reticulata
    Brachionus calyciflorus


    73- Ecosystem connectivity and configuration can mediate instability at a distance in metaecosystems
    Journal Article
    Tadiri C P , Negrín Dastis J O , Cristescu M E , Gonzalez A , Fussmann G F ,
    2023 Functional Ecology (Date Added: 2023-10-25)

    72- Assessing the degradation of environmental DNA and RNA based on genomic origin in a metabarcoding context
    Journal Article
    Kagzi K , Millette K L , Littlefair J E , Pochon X , Wood S A , Fussmann G F , Cristescu M E ,
    2023 Environmental DNA (Date Added: 2023-06-20)

    71- Apparent evolutionary maladaptation and inference from reciprocal transplants
    Journal Article
    Fussmann G F , Kopp M ,
    2023 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2023-05-22)

    70- The effect of increasing temperature and pCO2 on experimental pelagic freshwater communities
    Journal Article
    Katkov E , Fussmann G F ,
    2023 Limnology and Oceanography (Date Added: 2023-04-16)

    69- Dissolved organic matter mediates the effects of warming and inorganic nutrients on a lake planktonic food web
    Journal Article
    Hébert M , Soued C , Fussmann G F , Beisner B E ,
    2022 Limnology and Oceanography (Date Added: 2022-07-17)

    68- Environmental RNA degrades more rapidly than environmental DNA across a broad range of pH conditions
    Journal Article
    Kagzi K , Hechler R M , Fussmann G F , Cristescu M E ,
    2022 Molecular Ecology Resources (Date Added: 2022-07-10)

    67- A Glyphosate-Based Herbicide Cross-Selects for Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Bacterioplankton Communities
    Journal Article
    Barbosa da Costa N , Hébert M , Fugère V , Terrat Y , Fussmann G F , Gonzalez A , Shapiro B J ,
    2022 mSystems (Date Added: 2022-05-12)

    66- Inferring Size-Based Functional Responses From the Physical Properties of the Medium
    Journal Article
    Portalier S M J , Fussmann G F , Loreau M , Cherif M ,
    2022 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2022-02-07)

    65- Warming winters in lakes: Later ice onset promotes consumer overwintering and shapes springtime planktonic food webs
    Journal Article
    Hébert M , Beisner B E , Rautio M , Fussmann G F ,
    2021 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Date Added: 2021-12-28)

    64- Widespread agrochemicals differentially affect zooplankton biomass and community structure
    Journal Article
    Hébert M , Fugère V , Beisner B E , Barbosa da Costa N , Barrett R D H , Bell G , Shapiro B J , Yargeau V , Gonzalez A , Fussmann G F ,
    2021 Ecological Applications (Date Added: 2021-08-23)

    63- Resistance, resilience, and functional redundancy of freshwater bacterioplankton communities facing a gradient of agricultural stressors in a mesocosm experiment
    Journal Article
    Barbosa da Costa N , Fugère V , Hébert M , Xu C C , Barrett R D , Beisner B E , Bell G , Yargeau V , Fussmann G F , Gonzalez A , Shapiro B J ,
    2021 Molecular Ecology (Date Added: 2021-08-21)

    62- Parasite spread in experimental metapopulations: resistance, tolerance and host competence
    Journal Article
    Tadiri C P , Fussmann G F , Scott M E ,
    2021 Oikos (Date Added: 2021-07-29)

    61- Adaptation and competition in deteriorating environments
    Journal Article
    Limberger R , Fussmann G F ,
    2021 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2021-04-02)

    60- Landscape modification and nutrient-driven instability at a distance
    Journal Article
    McCann K S , Cazelles K , MacDougall A S , Fussmann G F , Bieg C , Cristescu M , Fryxell J M , Gellner G , Lapointe B , Gonzalez A ,
    2020 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2020-12-04)

    59- Horizon scan of conservation issues for inland waters in Canada
    Journal Article
    Pérez-Jvostov F , Sutherland W J , Barrett R D , Brown C A , Cardille J A , Cooke S J , Cristescu M E , St-Gelais N F , Fussmann G F , Griffiths K , Hendry A P , Lapointe N W , Nyboer E A , Pentland R L , Reid A J , Ricciardi A , Sunday J M , Gregory-Eaves I ,
    2020 Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Date Added: 2020-05-09)

    58- Intra-annual variation of phytoplankton community responses to factorial N, P, and CO2 enrichment in a temperate mesotrophic lake
    Journal Article
    Katkov E , Low‐Décarie ,
    2020 Freshwater Biology (Date Added: 2020-04-17)

    57- Community rescue in experimental phytoplankton communities facing severe herbicide pollution
    Journal Article
    Fugère, V, Hébert, M-P, da Costa, NB, Xu, CCY, Barrett, RDH, Beisner, BE, Bell, G, Fussmann, GF, Shapiro, BJ, Yargeau, V, Gonzalez, A
    2020 Nature Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2020-03-24)

    56- Long-term cyclic persistence in an experimental predator–prey system
    Journal Article
    Blasius B , Rudolf L , Weithoff G , Gaedke U , Fussmann G F ,
    2019 Nature (Date Added: 2020-01-07)

    55- A data-validated host-parasite model for infectious disease outbreaks
    Journal Article
    Tadiri C P , Kong J D , Fussmann G F , Scott M E , Wang H ,
    2019 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2019-09-18)

    54- Understanding maladaptation by uniting ecological and evolutionary perspectives
    Journal Article
    Brady S P , Bolnick D I , Barrett R D H , Chapman L , Crispo E , Derry A M , Eckert C G , Fraser D J , Fussmann G F , Gonzalez A , Guichard F , Lamy T , Lane J , McAdam A G , Newman A E M , Paccard A , Robertson B , Rolshausen G , Schulte P M , Simons A M , Vellend M , Hendry A ,
    2019 American Naturalist (Date Added: 2019-09-15)

    53- Causes of maladaptation
    Journal Article
    Brady S P , Bolnick D I , Angert A L , Gonzalez A , Barrett R D , Crispo E , Derry A M , Eckert C G , Fraser D J , Fussmann G F , Guichard F , Lamy T , McAdam A G , Newman A E , Paccard A , Rolshausen G , Simons A M , Hendry A P ,
    2019 Evolutionary Applications (Date Added: 2019-08-31)

    52- Female preference for novel males constrains the contemporary evolution of assortative mating in guppies
    Journal Article
    Dargent F , Chen L , Fussmann G F , Ghalambor C K , Hendry A P ,
    2019 Behavioral Ecology (Date Added: 2019-07-18)

    51- Trophic structure modulates community rescue following acidification
    Journal Article
    Bell, G, Fugère, V, Barrett, R, Beisner, B, Cristescu, M, Fussmann, G, Shapiro, J, Gonzalez, A
    2019 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2019-06-25)

    50- Estimating parameters from multiple time series of population dynamics using bayesian inference
    Journal Article
    Rosenbaum B , Raatz M , Weithoff G , Fussmann G F , Gaedke U ,
    2019 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2019-02-04)

    49- Microparasite dispersal in metapopulations: a boon or bane to the host population?
    Journal Article
    Tadiri C P , Scott M E , Fussmann G F ,
    2018 Proceedings. Biological sciences (Date Added: 2019-06-15)

    48- The mechanics of predator–prey interactions: First principles of physics predict predator–prey size ratios
    Journal Article
    Portalier S M J , Fussmann G F , Loreau M , Cherif M ,
    2018 Functional Ecology (Date Added: 2019-01-02)

    47- Experimental Assessment in Nature of the Ecological Effects of a Specialist Parasite
    Journal Article
    Pérez-Jvostov F , Hendry A P , Fussmann G F , Scott M E ,
    2017 Copeia (Date Added: 2017-09-26)

    46- Size and variation in individual growth rates among food web modules
    Journal Article
    Granados M , Altshuler I , Plourde S , Fussmann G F ,
    2017 Ecosphere (Date Added: 2017-07-31)

    45- Stabilizing mechanisms in a food web with an introduced omnivore
    Journal Article
    Granados M , Duffy S , McKindsey C W , Fussmann G F ,
    2017 Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2017-06-24)

    44- Nanopatterning Gold by Templated Solid State Dewetting on the Silica Warp and Weft of Diatoms
    Journal Article
    Hiltz, J, Hajiaboli, A, Singh, G, Lennox, RB, Fussmann, GF, Low-Decarie, E, Andrews, MP
    2016 Journal of Nanomaterials (Date Added: 2016-11-25)

    43- Communities that thrive in extreme conditions captured from a freshwater lake
    Journal Article
    Low-Decarie, E, Fussmann, GF, Dumbrell, AJ, Bell, G
    2016 Biology Letters (Date Added: 2016-11-18)

    41- A network approach reveals surprises about the history of the niche
    Journal Article
    Pedruski, MT, Fussmann, GF, Gonzalez, A, Peters, DPC
    2016 Ecosphere (Date Added: 2016-05-03)

    40- Impact of host sex and group composition on parasite dynamics in experimental populations
    Journal Article
    Tadiri, CP, Scott, ME, Fussmann, GF
    2016 Parasitology (Date Added: 2016-03-03)

    39- Size-related effects of physical factors on phytoplankton communities
    Journal Article
    Portalier, SMJ, Cherif, M, Zhang, L, Fussmann, GF, Loreau, M
    2016 Ecological Modelling (Date Added: 2016-01-15)

    38- Parting ways: parasite release in nature leads to sex-specific evolution of defence
    Journal Article
    Dargent, F, Rolshausen, G, Hendry, AP, Scott, ME, Fussmann, GF
    2016 Journal of Evolutionary Biology (Date Added: 2016-01-15)

    37- Predicting the outcome of competition when fitness inequality is variable
    Journal Article
    Pedruski, MT, Fussmann, GF, Gonzalez, A
    2015 Royal Society Open Science (Date Added: 2016-02-26)

    36- An experimental test of antagonistic effects of competition and parasitism on host performance in semi-natural mesocosms
    Journal Article
    Pérez-Jvostov, F, Hendry, AP, Fussmann, GF, Scott, ME
    2015 Oikos (Date Added: 2015-12-14)

    35- Demasculinization of male guppies increases resistance to a common and harmful ectoparasite
    Journal Article
    Dargent, F, Reddon, AR, Swaney, WT, Fussmann, GF, Reader, SM, Scott, ME, Forbes, MR
    2015 Parasitology (Date Added: 2015-10-20)

    34- Testing for local host–parasite adaptation: an experiment with Gyrodactylus ectoparasites and guppy hosts
    Journal Article
    Pérez-Jvostov, F, Hendry, AP, Fussmann, GF, Scott, ME
    2015 International Journal for Parasitology (Date Added: 2015-05-04)

    33- Lake Ecosystems
    Book Chapter
    Hairston, NGJ&GFF
    2014 Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences (eLS) (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    32- Final thermal conditions override the effects of temperature history and dispersal in experimental communities
    Journal Article
    Limberger, R, Low-Decarie, E, Fussmann, GF
    2014 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2015-11-24)

    31- CO2 alters community composition and response to nutrient enrichment of freshwater phytoplankton
    Journal Article
    Low-Décarie, E, Bell, G, Fussmann, GF
    2014 Oecologia (Date Added: 2014-12-15)

    30- Experimental evolution of parasite resistance in wild guppies: natural and multifarious selection
    Journal Article
    Dargent, F, Scott, ME, Hendry, AP, Fussmann, GF
    2014 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2014-11-04)

    29- Aquatic primary production in a high-CO2 world
    Journal Article
    Low-Décarie, E, Fussmann, GF, Bell, G
    2014 Trends in Ecology & Evolution (Date Added: 2014-03-24)

    28- Experimental elimination of parasites in nature leads to the evolution of increased resistance in hosts
    Journal Article
    Dargent, F, Scott, ME, Hendry, AP, Fussmann, GF
    2013 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2014-07-08)

    27- Armstrong–McGehee mechanism revisited: Competitive exclusion and coexistence of nonlinear consumers
    Journal Article
    Xiao, X, Fussmann, GF
    2013 Journal of Theoretical Biology (Date Added: 2013-11-19)

    26- Evolutionary rescue can maintain an oscillating community undergoing environmental change
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Gonzalez, A
    2013 Interface Focus (Date Added: 2013-10-25)

    25- Long-term culture at elevated atmospheric CO2 fails to evoke specific adaptation in seven freshwater phytoplankton species
    Journal Article
    Low-Decarie, E, Jewell, MD, Fussmann, GF, Bell, G
    2013 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2013-09-23)

    24- Can Mixed-Species Groups Reduce Individual Parasite Load? A Field Test with Two Closely Related Poeciliid Fishes (Poecilia reticulata and Poecilia picta)
    Journal Article
    Dargent, F, Torres-Dowdall, J, Scott, ME, Ramnarine, I, Fussmann, GF
    2013 PLoS ONE (Date Added: 2013-03-04)

    23- Evolutionary and plastic rescue in multitrophic model communities
    Journal Article
    Kovach-Orr, C, Fussmann, GF
    2013 Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences (Date Added: 2012-12-03)

    22- Community evolutionary rescue in changing environments
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GaG
    2012 Interface focus (Date Added: 2016-06-22)

    21- Adding parasites to the guppy-predation story: insights from field surveys
    Journal Article
    Gotanda, KM, Delaire, LC, Raeymaekers, JAM, Pérez-Jvostov, F, Dargent, F, Bentzen, P, Scott, ME, Fussmann, GF, Hendry, AP
    2012 Oecologia (Date Added: 2013-04-25)

    20- Are host–parasite interactions influenced by adaptation to predators? A test with guppies and Gyrodactylus in experimental stream channels
    Journal Article
    Pérez-Jvostov, F, Hendry, A, Fussmann, G, Scott, M
    2012 Oecologia (Date Added: 2012-09-15)

    19-The contrasting differences in zooplankton community composition and abundance between aquaculture (mussel farm) and control sites in the Havre-aux-Maisons lagoon, QC
    Journal Article
    Granados, M
    2011 Aquaculture Canada Proceedings 2011, AAC Special Publication ( Date Added: 2016-06-23)

    18- Rotifers: excellent subjects for the study of macro- and microevolutionary change
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, G
    2011 Hydrobiologia (Date Added: 2012-06-18)

    17- The effect of elevated CO2 on growth and competition in experimental phytoplankton communities
    Journal Article
    Low-DéCarie, E, Fussmann, GF, Bell, G
    2011 Global Change Biology (Date Added: 2011-07-25)

    16- Cycles, phase synchronization, and entrainment in single-species phytoplankton populations
    Journal Article
    Massie, TM, Blasius, B, Weithoff, G, Gaedke, U, Fussmann, GF
    2010 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    15- Rapid contemporary evolution and clonal food web dynamics
    Journal Article
    Jones, LE, Becks, L, Ellner, SP, Hairston Jr , NG, Yoshida, T, Fussmann, GF
    2009 Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    14- The lake as a system of differential equations - A paradigm for the aquatic ecologist of the 21st century?
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF
    2008 International Review of Hydrobiology (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    13- Estimating a predator-prey dynamical model with the parameter cascades method
    Journal Article
    Cao, J, Fussmann, GF, Ramsay, JO
    2008 Biometrics (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    12-Chaotic dynamics in food web systems
    Book Chapter
    Fussmann, GF
    2007 Complex population dynamics: nonlinear modeling in ecology, epidemiology, and genetics ( Date Added: 2011-09-07)

    11- Encyclopedia of life sciences: Lake ecosystems to placozoa
    Book Whole
    John Wiley & Sons,
    2007 (Date Added: 2011-05-11)

    10- Eco-evolutionary dynamics of communities and ecosystems
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Loreau, M, Abrams, PA
    2007 Functional Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    9- A direct, experimental test of resource vs. consumer dependence: Reply
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Weithoff, G, Yoshida, T
    2007 Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    8- Incomplete induction of mixis in Brachionus calyciflorus: Patterns of reproduction at the individual level
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Kramer, G, Labib, M
    2007 Hydrobiologia (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    7- Community response to enrichment is highly sensitive to model structure
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Blasius, B
    2005 Biology Letters (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    6- Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics of Experimental Plankton Communities
    Book Whole
    Fussmann, GF, Ellner, SP, Hairston Jr , NG, Jones, LE, Shertzer, KW, Yoshida, T
    2005 (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    5- Rapid evolution drives ecological dynamics in a predator-prey system
    Journal Article
    Yoshida, T, Jones, LE, Ellner, SP, Fussmann, GF, Hairston Jr , NG
    2003 Nature (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    4- Effects of successional dynamics on metapopulation persistence
    Journal Article
    Ellner, SP, Fussmann, G
    2003 Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    3- Predator-prey cycles in an aquatic microcosm: Testing hypotheses of mechanism
    Journal Article
    Shertzer, KW, Ellner, SP, Fussmann, GF, Hairston Jr , NG
    2002 Journal of Animal Ecology (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    2- Food web complexity and chaotic population dynamics
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Heber, G
    2002 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2011-04-12)

    1- Crossing the hopf bifurcation in a live predator-prey system
    Journal Article
    Fussmann, GF, Ellner, SP, Shertzer, KW, Hairston N G , J
    2000 Science (Date Added: 2011-04-12)