Katie Pagnucco

McGill University
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Anthony Ricciardi
Start: 2010-06-01
End: 2016-06-01
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Predicting the impacts of nonindigenous freshwater fishes
I am currently an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholar and PhD candidate working under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Ricciardi at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. My main research interests are in aquatic community ecology and invasion ecology. Specifically, I am interested in how multiple forces of global change (e.g., invasive species, habitat degradation, eutrophication) interact to cause changes to freshwater community structure and function. Species invasions are altering natural ecosystems by disrupting native communities and modifying ecosystem functions, including primary productivity and nutrient cycling. Non-native fishes, in particular, can have dramatic negative impacts – both direct and indirect – on recipient communities. One example is the Eurasian round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), which is a small benthic predator introduced to the Laurentian Great Lakes, where it is the most abundant non-native vertebrate. In addition to causing reductions in prey for important native fish species, gobies can change the structure of invertebrate communities and may indirectly affect benthic algal production. Given the scope and severity of environmental and socioeconomic impacts of aquatic invasions, accurate forecasts of their potential impact are crucial for prioritizing their control. However, non-native species often arrive coincidentally with environmental disturbances, confounding cause and effect interpretations of apparent impacts. While some authors argue that invasive species are a main driver of native species declines, others view their proliferation and biodiversity loss as coincident consequences of changing abiotic conditions caused by anthropogenic disturbance. Disentangling the relative importance of the effects of non-native species and other forces of biodiversity change is crucial for prioritizing management efforts and limited resources.


community ecology, invasive species, biodiversity


1- Sheep in wolf's clothing: host nestling vocalizations resemble their cowbird competitor's
Pagnucco, K., L. Zanette, M. Clinchy, M. L Leonard
2008 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

2- Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Effects of Predation by Small-Bodied Fish on Survival and Behaviour of Salamander Larvae
Pagnucco, Katie S., Cynthia A. Paszkowski, Garry J. Scrimgeour
2011 Ecoscience

3- Characterizing Movement Patterns and Spatio-temporal Use of Under-road Tunnels by Long-toed Salamanders in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Pagnucco, Katie S., Cynthia A. Paszkowski, Garry J. Scrimgeour
2012 Copeia