Madelyn Hollister
How can ecologists maintain ecosystems?
Mentor: Dr. Kim Dawe

Marine invertebrates are a large component of marine fauna in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. Ecologists study invertebrates to understand populations, diversity, and ecological interactions between the abiotic and biotic environment. However, some invertebrate taxa are studied more extensively than others. Bryozoans are a “moss-like” group of marine invertebrates that are poorly studied in the local area. They are an important component of the benthic communities and can be found growing on rocks, kelp, and anthropogenic structures in the water. It is important to know which bryozoans are naturally occurring, and which may be invasive, in order to properly protect and maintain the health of the local ecosystem. The question guiding this project is what and how many bryozoan species are currently found in the Strait of Georgia? My paper is a research proposal that provides the necessary tools for this research to occur, including a list of every bryozoan historically found in the area. With this list, I have contributed a basis for continuing research on these animals here. If used, this proposal can increase the local knowledge of bryozoans and enable ecologists to more effectively conserve these animals and their habitat.

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