Emily Choy

McGill University
Postdoctoral fellow candidate

Supervisor: Kyle Elliott
Grant Gilchrist
Start: 2018-09-04
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Foraging energetics of thick-billed murres and the effects of environmental change
Thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) are one of the most abundant seabirds in the Canadian Arctic and an important subsistence harvest to Inuit communities in Canada and Greenland. The ability of seabirds to respond to factors impacting their foraging habitats is largely unknown, although the high energetic demands of flying and diving pose physiological constraints for them. The recent development of miniature bio-loggers offers new potential to track fine-scale movements of murres remotely. Using these innovative tools, I will examine relationships between physiological strategies and foraging movements in murres, and propose to provide an energetics framework for understanding the movement patterns of seabirds and other marine predators in relation to shipping routes in the Arctic. To address my objective, I will examine the following hypotheses: (1) heart rate and temperature suppression are key adaptations for diving; (2) activity levels and energetic costs increase with dive depth; and (3) colony size and bathymetry will predict foraging range. I will apply this information to create energy maps to assess habitat quality of foraging areas for seabirds and other marine predators in northern Hudson Bay; a region identified as a key shipping route by industry, regulatory agencies, and northerners.


energetics, seabirds, Arctic, thermal tolerance, foraging, environmental physiology, food web dynamics, ecotoxicology


1- Diet and feeding observations from an unusual beluga harvest in 2014 near Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada
Loseto, Lisa L., Jasmine D. Brewster, Sonja K. Ostertag, Kathleen Snow, Shannon A. MacPhee, Darcy G. McNicholl, Emily S. Choy, Carolina Giraldo, Claire A. Hornby
2018 Arctic Science

2- A comparison of the trophic ecology of Beaufort Sea Gadidae using fatty acids and stable isotopes
Brewster, J. D., C. Giraldo, E. S. Choy, S. A. MacPhee, C. Hoover, B. Lynn, D. G. McNicholl, A. Majewski, B. Rosenberg, M. Power, J. D. Reist, L. L. Loseto
2017 Polar Biology

3- Inter-annual variation in environmental factors affect the prey and body condition of beluga whales in the eastern Beaufort Sea
Choy, ES, B Rosenberg, JD Roth, LL Loseto
2017 Marine Ecology Progress Series

4- Lipid removal and acidification affect nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and their potential prey species in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem
Choy, Emily S., James D. Roth, Lisa L. Loseto
2016 Marine Biology

5- Latitudinal variation in ecological opportunity and intraspecific competition indicates differences in niche variability and diet specialization of Arctic marine predators
Yurkowski, David J., Steve Ferguson, Emily S. Choy, Lisa L. Loseto, Tanya M. Brown, Derek C. G. Muir, Christina A. D. Semeniuk, Aaron T. Fisk
2016 Ecology and Evolution

6- Trophic variability of Arctic fishes in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: a fatty acids and stable isotopes approach
Giraldo, Carolina, Ashley Stasko, Emily S. Choy, Bruno Rosenberg, Andrew Majewski, Michael Power, Heidi Swanson, Lisa Loseto, James D. Reist
2015 Polar Biology

7- Status and trends in the structure of Arctic benthic food webs
Kędra, Monika, Charlotte Moritz, Emily S. Choy, Carmen David, Renate Degen, Steven Duerksen, Ingrid Ellingsen, Barbara Górska, Jacqueline M. Grebmeier, Dubrava Kirievskaya, Dick van Oevelen, Kasia Piwosz, Annette Samuelsen, Jan Marcin Węsławski
2015 Polar Research

8- The impact of municipal wastewater effluent on field-deployed freshwater mussels in the Grand River (Ontario, Canada)
Gillis, Patricia L., François Gagné, Rodney McInnis, Tina M. Hooey, Emily S. Choy, Chantale André, Md Ehsanul Hoque, Chris D. Metcalfe
2014 Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

9- Potential causes of enhanced transfer of mercury to St. Lawrence River Biota: implications for sediment management strategies at Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
Ridal, J. J., L. E. Yanch, A. R. Fowlie, N. R. Razavi, T. M. Delongchamp, E. S. Choy, M. Fathi, P. V. Hodson, L. M. Campbell, J. M. Blais, M. B. C. Hickey, E. Yumvihoze, D. R. S. Lean
2009 Hydrobiologia

10- Contamination of an arctic terrestrial food web with marine-derived persistent organic pollutants transported by breeding seabirds
Choy, Emily S., Linda E. Kimpe, Mark L. Mallory, John P. Smol, Jules M. Blais
2010 Environmental Pollution

11- An isotopic investigation of mercury accumulation in terrestrial food webs adjacent to an Arctic seabird colony
Choy, Emily S., Martine Gauthier, Mark L. Mallory, John P. Smol, Marianne S.V. Douglas, David Lean, Jules M. Blais
2010 Science of The Total Environment

12- Spatial and Temporal Trends of Mercury Concentrations in Young-of-the-Year Spottail Shiners (Notropis hudsonius) in the St. Lawrence River at Cornwall, ON
Choy, Emily S., Peter V. Hodson, Linda M. Campbell, Adrienne R. Fowlie, Jeff Ridal
2007 Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology