Return to Public Lectures


A free public lecture is held at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of every month, starting from October through to May. Unless otherwise specified, the lectures are held in the auditorium of the Museum of Natural History, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The NSIS Council meets shortly before each public lecture, at 6:00 p.m.

The NSIS 2020-2021 Public Lecture series will take place via zoom until further notice. The link to the live presentation will be posted here and will open just prior to the public lecture start time.

Click here to join the NSIS Public Talk using zoom
Meeting ID:  854 5949 2503
DIal in by phone to listen (no video): +1 647 558 0588 Canada (to call-in by phone, no video

Date: September 14, 2020
Location: Zoom Meeting

Dr. Anne Dalziel,
Associate Professor,
Department of
Saint Mary’s University

Diversity in a Minnow Trap

The species of sticklebacks and killifishes living along the Nova Scotian shore show great diversity in physiology and behaviour among populations and species. Dalziel studies these small fish to better understand how aquatic species can adapt to changes in their environment. Dr. Dalziel will discuss her lab’s current research on the breeding biology of an endemic Nova Scotian species of stickleback, the ‘white stickleback’, a fish that has evolved unique male breeding colors and behaviour. She will also present our research on the evolution of salinity tolerance and breeding behaviour among species of killifishes, including asexual hybrids.

Date: October 5, 2020
Location: Zoom Meeting

Dr. Erin Bertrand
Associate Professor,
Department of Biology,
Dalhousie University
Research Chair

Phytoplankton Need Their Vitamins Too:
How the foundation of ocean food webs depends on micronutrients

Phytoplankton form the base of marine food webs and play important roles in ocean carbon cycling. Dr. Bertrand shares new tools to listen in on microbial conversations. She describes how we are applying these tools in the Arctic, Atlantic and Southern Oceans, and will show how we’ve used these tools to determine how phytoplankton growth depends on the availability of often scarce vitamins and minerals. Dr. Bertrand’s work aims to understand what controls the growth of phytoplankton in the ocean, using tools that span from the molecular to the global.

Date: November 2, 2020
Location: Zoom Meeting

Dr. Glenys Gibson
Dept of Biology,
Acadia University

Life & Times of Minas Basin Marine Invertebrates:
A tale of polychaetes, plasticity, and microplastics

Marine life in the Minas Basin is subject to some of the highest tides in the world, exposing organisms to extreme currents, high levels of suspended sediment and anthropogenic contaminants associated with living in a coastal ecosystem. Learn how benthic invertebrates in this highly dynamic ecosystem develop, recruit, and cope with rapid change in their environment. Dr. Gibson and her students study how maternal environment alters the epigenome, leading to developmental plasticity on development, tissue structure, and the microbiome of high-risk tissues (gut and gills) in blue mussels, green crabs and polychaete worms.

Date: December 7, 2020
Location: Zoom Meeting

Amy Tizzard
Nova Scotia Geological Survey,
Department of Energy

Evolution of the Oxford Sinkhole:

The Oxford Sinkhole began as a slight depression only a few 10s of centimeters wide. In a matter of days, the hole grew to over 40 meters in diameter, swallowing trees, picnic tables and anything else in its path. Aerial imagery of the region shows a distinct band of ponds and lakes that reflect an underlying sinkhole laden terrain. Mapping the characteristics of the sinkhole belt is critical to understanding the associated risks to the public and infrastructure.