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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Let’s Talk Biodiversity Symposium​


On February 20, 2019, the Grade 11 pre-Advanced Placement Biology students attended the Let’s Talk Biodiversity Symposium at York University. The day began with a lecture from Dr. Roberto Quinlan, a paleolimnologist whose research takes him to the furthest corners of Canada, where he extracts sediment samples from lake bottoms to study the historical biodiversity in these areas. We also heard from Dr. Sheila Colla, an ecologist well known for leading the push in Ontario to restore the health of native bee populations.

Students then took part in hands-on workshops of their choice, learning about the structure of DNA, the diets of owls or the reproductive structures of plants. The day continued with a panel of York Environmental Science PhD students who discussed ethics and biodiversity related to their research. Malcolm Glennie’s research into the effects of climate change on polar bear populations particularly peaked the interest of our students. Finally, the day ended with the students engaging in a lively debate over the question: “Is it better to try to preserve the populations of organisms that are currently healthy, or should we focus on trying to revitalize the populations of endangered species?”.

This day provided students the opportunity to learn about biodiversity research and its implications for our world. They were exposed to career options and academic programs in this field that most high school students do not know exist. We may have some budding paleolimnologists here at St. Joe’s!


Who Who....wants to talk about Science!!!