Jennifer Sunday

Associate Professor,
McGill University

Department of Biology
Personal page


2013. Doctorate, Biological Sciences, Evolution, Simon Fraser University
2002. Bachelor's Honours, Science, Ecology, University of British Columbia


How do biogeographic distributions respond to environmental change? Why don't species live everywhere? Our research group connects across scales to understand the relative roles of physiology, ecological interactions, and dispersal, in determining species distributions across environmental gradients. We aim to answer these questions by coupling theory with observations, including real-time responses to climate change.

Prizes and honours

2016. Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prize, University of British Columbia.
2014. Early Career Award, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution

QCBS students

Kate Sheridan

(Start: 2019)
Biogeography with Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Julia Briand

Other (co-)supervisor: Hector Guzman, STRI
(Start: 2019)
The reefs of Bocas del Toro: how community composition has changed over two decades

Danielle Mac Rae

(Start: 2020)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Eric Pedersen
Does variation in dispersal diversity increase metacommunity resilience?

Benjamin Millard-Martin

(Start: 2019)
marine community ecology using eDNA

Examples of species studied

Haliotis kamtschatkana
Patiria miniata


41- Key information needs to move from knowledge to action for biodiversity conservation in Canada
Buxton R T , Bennett J R , Reid A J , Shulman C , Cooke S J , Francis C M , Nyboer E A , Pritchard G , Binley A D , Avery-Gomm S , Ban N C , Beazley K F , Bennett E , Blight L K , Bortolotti L E , Camfield A F , Gadallah F , Jacob A L , Naujokaitis-Lewis I , Raudsepp-Hearne C , Roche D G , Soulard F , Stralberg D , Sadler K D , Solarik K A , Ziter C D , Brandt J , McKindsey C W , Greenwood D A , Boxall P C , Ngolah C F , Chan K M , Lapen D , Poser S , Girard J , DiBacco C , Hayne S , Orihel D , Lewis D , Littlechild D , Marshall S J , McDermott L , Whitlow R , Browne D , Sunday J , Smith P A ,
2021 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2021-04-23)

40- The evolution of critical thermal limits of life on Earth
2021 Nature Communications (Date Added: 2021-03-05)

39- Life in fluctuating environments
2020 Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences (Date Added: 2021-02-10)

38- Life in fluctuating environments: Adaptation to changing environments
2020 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2020-11-23)

36- When do fish succumb to heat?
Sunday J ,
2020 Science (New York, N.Y.) (Date Added: 2020-07-22)

35- Horizon scan of conservation issues for inland waters in Canada
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)

33- Predicting the fate of eDNA in the environment and implications for studying biodiversity
Harrison J B , Sunday J M , Rogers S M ,
2019 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2020-02-10)

32- Thermal tolerance patterns across latitude and elevation
Sunday J , Bennett J M , Calosi P , Clusella-Trullas S , Gravel S , Hargreaves A L , Leiva F P , Verberk W C E P , Olalla-Tárraga M ,
2019 Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences (Date Added: 2019-07-08)

31- Greater vulnerability to warming of marine versus terrestrial ectotherms
Pinsky M L , Eikeset A M , McCauley D J , Payne J L , Sunday J M ,
2019 Nature (Date Added: 2019-05-08)

30- Physiological acclimation and persistence of ectothermic species under extreme heat events
Morley S A , Peck L S , Sunday J M , Heiser S , Bates A E ,
2019 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2019-04-27)

29- Understanding interactions between plasticity, adaptation and range shifts in response to marine environmental change
Donelson J M , Sunday J M , Figueira W F , Gaitán-Espitia J D , Hobday A J , Johnson C R , Leis J M , Ling S D , Marshall D , Pandolfi J M , Pecl G , Rodgers G G , Booth D J , Munday P L ,
2019 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2019-02-21)

27- Metabolic Theory and the Temperature-Size Rule Explain the Temperature Dependence of Population Carrying Capacity
Bernhardt J R , Sunday J M , O’Connor M I ,
2018 The American naturalist (Date Added: 2018-11-26)

26- Expanding, shifting and shrinking: The impact of global warming on species’ elevational distributions
Freeman B G , Lee-Yaw J A , Sunday J M , Hargreaves A L ,
2018 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2018-09-23)

25- GlobTherm, a global database on thermal tolerances for aquatic and terrestrial organisms
Bennett, JM, Calosi, P, Clusella-Trullas, S, Martínez, B, Sunday, J, Algar, AC, Araújo, MB, Hawkins, BA, Keith, S, Kühn, I, Rahbek, C, Rodríguez, L, Singer, A, Villalobos, F, Ángel Olalla-Tárraga, M, Morales-Castilla, I
2018 Scientific Data (Date Added: 2018-04-02)

24- An empirical test of the temperature dependence of carrying capacity
Bernhardt, J, Sunday, JM, O'Connor, MI
2017 (Date Added: 2019-03-11)

23- Biology: Survival of the finfish
Sunday, J
2017 Nature Climate Change (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

22- Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being
Pecl, GT, Araújo, MB, Bell, JD, Blanchard, J, Bonebrake, TC, Chen, IC, Clark, TD, Colwell, RK, Danielsen, F, Evengård, B, Falconi, L, Ferrier, S, Frusher, S, Garcia, RA, Griffis, RB, Hobday, AJ, Janion-Scheepers, C, Jarzyna, MA, Jennings, S, Lenoir, J, Linnetved, HI, Martin, VY, McCormack, PC, McDonald, J, Mitchell, NJ, Mustonen, T, Pandolfi, JM, Pettorelli, N, Popova, E, Robinson, SA, Scheffers, BR, Shaw, JD, Sorte, CJB, Strugnell, JM, Sunday, JM, Tuanmu, M-N, Vergés, A, Villanueva, C, Wernberg, T, Wapstra, E, Williams, SE
2017 Science (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

21- Warming-induced changes to body size stabilize consumer-resource dynamics
Osmond, MM, Barbour, MA, Bernhardt, JR, Pennell, MW, Sunday, JM, O’Connor, MI
2017 American Naturalist (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

20- Ocean acidification can mediate biodiversity shifts by changing biogenic habitat
Sunday, JM, Fabricius, KE, Kroeker, KJ, Anderson, KM, Brown, NE, Barry, JP, Connell, SD, Dupont, S, Gaylord, B, Hall-Spencer, JM, Klinger, T, Milazzo, M, Munday, PL, Russell, BD, Sanford, E, Thiyagarajan, V, Vaughan, MLH, Widdicombe, S, Harley, CDG
2017 Nature Climate Change (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

19- Sperm Bindin Divergence under Sexual Selection and Concerted Evolution in Sea Stars
Patiño, S, Keever, CC, Sunday, JM, Popovic, I, Byrne, M, Hart, MW
2016 Molecular Biology and Evolution (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

18- Distinguishing geographical range shifts from artefacts of detectability and sampling effort
Bates, AE, Bird, TJ, Stuart-Smith, RD, Wernberg, T, Sunday, JM, Barrett, NS, Edgar, GJ, Frusher, S, Hobday, AJ, Pecl, GT, Smale, DA, Mccarthy, M
2015 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

17- Ocean acidification through the lens of ecological theory
Gaylord, B, Kroeker, KJ, Sunday, JM, Anderson, KM, Barry, JP, Brown, NE, Connell, SD, Dupont, S, Fabricius, KE, Hall-Spencer, JM, Klinger, T, Milazzo, M, Munday, PL, Russell, BD, Sanford, E, Schreiber, SJ, Thiyagarajan, V, Vaughan, MLH, Widdicombe, S, Harley, CDG
2015 Ecology (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

16- Species traits and climate velocity explain geographic range shifts in an ocean-warming hotspot
Sunday, JM, Pecl, GT, Frusher, S, Hobday, AJ, Hill, N, Holbrook, NJ, Edgar, GJ, Stuart-Smith, R, Barrett, N, Wernberg, T, Watson, RA, Smale, DA, Fulton, EA, Slawinski, D, Feng, M, Radford, BT, Thompson, PA, Bates, AE
2015 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

15- Thermal-safety margins and the necessity of thermoregulatory behavior across latitude and elevation
Sunday, JM, Bates, AE, Kearney, MR, Colwell, RK, Dulvy, NK, Longino, JT, Huey, RB
2014 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

14- Incipient speciation of sea star populations by adaptive gamete recognition coevolution
Hart, MW, Sunday, JM, Popovic, I, Learning, KJ, Konrad, CM
2014 Evolution (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

13- Ocean circulation model predicts high genetic structure observed in a long-lived pelagic developer
Sunday, JM, Popovic, I, Palen, WJ, Foreman, MGG, Hart, MW
2014 Molecular Ecology (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

12- Defining and observing stages of climate-mediated range shifts in marine systems
Bates, AE, Pecl, GT, Frusher, S, Hobday, AJ, Wernberg, T, Smale, DA, Sunday, JM, Hill, NA, Dulvy, NK, Colwell, RK, Holbrook, NJ, Fulton, EA, Slawinski, D, Feng, M, Edgar, GJ, Radford, BT, Thompson, PA, Watson, RA
2014 Global Environmental Change (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

11- Evolution in an acidifying ocean
Sunday, JM, Calosi, P, Dupont, S, Munday, PL, Stillman, JH, Reusch, TBH
2014 Trends in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2014-10-03)

10- Sea star populations diverge by positive selection at a sperm-egg compatibility locus
Sunday, JM, Hart, MW
2013 Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

9- Things fall apart: Biological species form unconnected parsimony networks
Hart, MW, Sunday, J
2012 Biology Letters (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

8- Thermal tolerance and the global redistribution of animals
Sunday, JM, Bates, AE, Dulvy, NK
2012 Nature Climate Change (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

7- Quantifying rates of evolutionary adaptation in response to ocean acidification
Sunday, JM, Crim, RN, Harley, CDG, Hart, MW
2011 PLoS ONE (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

6- Global analysis of thermal tolerance and latitude in ectotherms
Sunday, JM, Bates, AE, Dulvy, NK
2011 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

5- Elevated seawater CO2 concentrations impair larval development and reduce larval survival in endangered northern abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana)
Crim, RN, Sunday, JM, Harley, CDG
2011 Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

4- Discordant distribution of populations and genetic variation in a sea star with high dispersal potential
Keever, CC, Sunday, J, Puritz, JB, Addison, JA, Toonen, RJ, Grosberg, RK, Hart, MW
2009 Evolution (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

3- Allelic inheritance in naturally occurring parthenogenetic offspring of the gonochoric sea star Patiria miniata
Sunday, J, Raeburn, L, Stewart, H, Hart, MW
2009 Invertebrate Biology (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

2- Emerging infectious disease in sea stars: Castrating ciliate parasites in Patiria miniata
Sunday, J, Raeburn, L, Hart, MW
2008 Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (Date Added: 2018-06-19)

1- Discovery and cross-amplification of microsatellite polymorphisms in asterinid sea stars
Keever, CC, Sunday, J, Wood, C, Byrne, M, Hart, MW
2008 Biological Bulletin (Date Added: 2018-06-19)