Lisa L Loseto

Image Loseto, Lisa
Research Scientist, Arctic Ecosystems and Biotracers

Lisa conducts research that focuses on characterizing beluga health as means to understand ecosystem health in the Western Canadian Arctic. She combines food web biotracers and habitat modeling to gain insight into predator-prey interactions and ecosystem energetics. Her research on beluga diet and habitat use combines Western science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Her research programs are carried out in partnership with communities and co-management boards of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. She strives to serve all Canadians by providing knowledge and advice to decision makers and by helping to empower the people of the north through scientific knowledge combined with their own knowledge of their ecosystem and home.   

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Lisa Loseto is a Research Scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Winnipeg with the Arctic Aquatic Research Division. Her research focuses on characterizing beluga health to better understand ecosystem health in the Western Canadian Arctic. Working closely with the Inuit communities of the Western Arctic, the Inuvialuit, she works to better understand beluga diet, habitat use and climate change impacts combining both western science and traditional ecological knowledge.


Watch as Lisa explains her work in understanding beluga health.

Education and awards

MSc (2003) University of Ottawa

BSc,H. (2001) York University

PhD (2007) University of Manitoba

Key publications

Primary Publications:

  1. Loseto, L.L. Brewster, J.D., Ostertag, S., Snow, K., MacPhee, S.A., McNicholl, D.G., Choy, E.S., Giraldo, C., Hornby, C. 2018. Diet and feeding observations from an unusual beluga harvest in Ulukhaktok Northwest Territories, Canada. Arctic Science: In press
  2. Loseto, L.L., Pleskach, K., Hoover, C., Tomy, G., Desforges, J-P., Ross, P.S. 2018. Cortisol levels in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas): Setting a baseline for Marine Protected Areas. Arctic Science: In Press

  3. Brewster, J.D, Giraldo, C., Choy, E.S., Lynn, B., Hoover, C., MacPhee, S., McNicholl, D.G., Majewski, A., Rosenberg, B., Power, M., Reist, J.D., 2017. A comparison of the trophic ecology of Beaufort Sea Gadidae using fatty acids and stable isotopes. Polar Biology, 41: 149-162.

  4. Choy, E.S., Rosenberg, B., Roth, J.D., 2017. Inter-annual variations in environmental factors affect prey and body condition of eastern Beaufort Sea beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Marine Ecology Progress Series 579: 201-212

  5. Binnington, M.J., Lei, Y.D., Pokiak, L., Pokiak, J., Ostertag, S.K., Chan, H.M., Yeung, L.W.Y., Huang, H., Wania, F. 2017. Effects of preparation on nutrient and environmental contaminant levels in Arctic beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) traditional foods. Environ. Sci:Processes Impacts, 19, 1000-1015.

  6. Brewster, J.D, Giraldo, C., Swanson, H., Reist, J.D., Stern, G.A., 2016. Ecological niche of coastal Beaufort Sea fishes defined by biotracers: Recommendations for a marine protected area monitoring program. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 559:159-173

  7. Hoover, C., Ostertag, S., Hornby, C., Parker, C., Hansen-Craik, K., Pearce, T. 2016. The Continued Importance of the Hunting for Inuit Food Security. Solutions, 7 (4): 40-51.

  8. Stocki, T.J., Gamberg, M., Pellerin, E., Bergman, L., Mercier, J., Genovesi, L., Cooke, M., Todd, B., Whyte, J., Wang, X. 2016. Measurements of cesium in Arctic beluga and caribou before and after the Fukushima accident of 2011. J. Environ Radioact. 2016: 162-163: 379-387.

  9. Yurkowski, D.J., Ferguson, S.H., Choy, E.,Brown, T.M., Muir, D.C.G., Semeniuk, C.A.D., Fisk, A. 2016. Latitudinal variation in ecological opportunity and intra-specific competition indicates differences in niche variability and diet specialization of Arctic marine predators. Ecology and Evolution, 6: 1666-1678.

  10. Loseto, L.L., Stern, G.A., Macdonald, R.M. 2015. Distant drivers or local signals: where do mercury trends in western Arctic belugas originate? Science of the Total Environment, 509-510 (226-236).

  11. Harwood, L., Iacozza, J., Auld, J., Norton, P., . 2014. Belugas in the Mackenzie River Estuary: Habitat Use and hotspots in the Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area. Coastal and Marine Management, 100: 128-138.

  12. Noel, M., Ross, P.S. 2014. PCBs Area Associated with Altered Gene transcription profiles in Arctic Beluga Whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Environmental Science and Technology, 48:2942-2951.

  13. Desforges, J.P.W., Ross, P.S. Dangerfield, N., Palace, V., 2013. Vitamin A and E profiles as biomarkers of PCB exposure in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the western Canadian Arctic. Aquatic Toxicology, 142-143:317-28.

  14. Douglas, T., Macdonald., R., Outridge, P., Dommergue, A., Poulain, A., Amyot, M., Barkay, T., Berg, T., Chetelat, J., Constant, P., Evans, M., Ferrari, C., Gantner K., Johnson, M., Kirk, J., Kroer, N., Larose, C., Lean, D., Muir, Dl., Gissel, N., Poissant, L., Rognerud, S., Skov, H., Sorensen, S., Wang, F.,  Zdanowicz, C. 2012. The fate of mercury in Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, a review. Journal of Environmental Chemistry, 9: 321-355

  15. Desforges, J.P.W., Ross, P.S.R. 2012. Transplacental transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in arctic beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 31: 296-300.

  16. Loseto, L., Wazny, T., Cleator, H., Ayles, B., Cobb, D., Harwood, L., Michel, C., Nielsen, O., Paulic, J., Postma, L., Ramlal, P., Richard, P., Ross, P.S., Solomon, S., Walkusz, W., Weilgart, L., Williams, B. 2010. Information in Support of Indicator Selection for Monitoring the Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area (TN MPA). DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res, Doc. 2010/nnn. iv + 42 p.

  17. Ferreira, B., Loseto, L., Ferguson, S.H. Assessment of ringed seal (Pusa hispida) claw growth-layer-groups as biomonitors of inter-and intra-annual Hg, d15N and d13C variation. Canadian Journal of Zoology. In review

  18. Ferguson, S.H., Dueck. L., Loseto, L.L, Luque S.E. 2010. Bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus seasonal selection of sea ice. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 411: 285-297.

  19. Macdonald, R.W., Loseto, L.L. 2010. Are Arctic Ocean Ecosystems Exceptionally Vulnerable to Global Emissions of Mercury? A call for emphasized research on methylation and the consequences of climate change. Environmental Chemistry, 7: 133-138.

  20. Tomy, G., Pleskach, K., Ferguson, S.H., Stern, G. A., McInnis, G., Marvin, C., Loseto L. L. 2009. Trophodynamics in some PFCs and BFRs in a Western Canadian Arctic Marine Food Web. Environmental Science and Technology, 43:4076-4081

  21. Loseto, L.L., Stern, G.A., Connelly, T., Deibel, D., Prokopowicz, A., Gemmill, B., Fortier, L., Ferguson, S.H. 2009. Summer diet of Beluga Whales Inferred by Fatty Acid Analysis of the eastern Beaufort Sea Food web. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology, 374:12-18

  22. Loseto, L.L., Stern, G.A., Ferguson, S.H. 2008. Size and Biomagnification: How habitat Selection explains Beluga Mercury levels. Environmental Science and Technology, 42: 3982-3988.

  23. Loseto, L.L., Stern, G.A., Deibel, D, Connelly, T., Lean, D.R.S. Prokopowicz, A., Fortier, L., Ferguson, S.H. 2008. Linking mercury exposure to habitat and feeding behaviour of beluga whales. Journal of Marine Systems, 74: 1012-1024.

  24. Loseto, L.L., Orr, J., Richard, P., Stern, G.A., Ferguson, S.H. 2006. Sexual Segregation of Beaufort Beluga Whales During the Open-Water Season. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 84:1743-1751.

  25. Loseto, L.L., Hansen-Craik, K., Hoyt, A., Bill, K., MacHutchon, A., Stern, G.A., Ferguson, S.H. 2006. Experiences from a Student Mentoring Program. In Climate Change: Linking Traditional and Scientific Knowledge. Eds. Riewe, R., Oakes. J. Aboriginal Issues Press. Winnipeg MB. Pp39-46.

  26. Loseto, L.L., Lean, D.R.S., Siciliano, S.D. 2004. Snowmelt sources of methylmercury to High Arctic Ecosystems. Environmental Science and Technology, 38: 3004-3010.

  27. Loseto, L.L., Lean, D.R.S., Siciliano, S.D. 2004. Snowmelt Water – A source of methyl mercury in the Arctic. RMZ-Materials and Geoenvironment, 51: 1185-1188.

  28. Loseto, L.L, Siciliano, S.D., Lean, D.R.S. 2004. Methylmercury Production in High Arctic wetlands. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 31:17-23.

  29. Siciliano S.D., Sangster, A., Daughney, C.J., Loseto, L.L, Germida J.J., Rencz, A.N., O’Driscoll, N.J., Lean, D.R.S. 2003. Are MeHg concentrations in the wetlands of Kejimkujik national park, Nova Scotia, Canada dependent on geology? Journal of Environmental Quality, 32:2085-2094.

    Secondary Publications

  30. Rosenberg, B., Neumann, D., Loseto, L. 2015. Freshwater Institute (DFO Winnipeg) stable Isotope Laboratory QA/QC and Inter-lab Comparison Report. Can. Data Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 1260: vi+7p.
  31. Hornby, C. Hoover, C., Joynt, A., Torontow, V., Hynes, K., Loseto, L. 2014. Arrival of Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) tot he Mackenzie Estuary in Relation to Sea Ice: Report on spring 2011-2013 aerial surveys. Canadian Data Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 1251: vii+25 p.

  32. Stern, G., Loseto, L., Macdonald., R., Wang, F., Zdanowicz, C., Outridge, P., Cole, A., Chetelat, J., Hintelmann, H., Steffen, A. How Does Climate Change Influence Arctic Mercury? In: AMAP 2011, Arctic Pollution 2011 (Mercury in the Arctic). Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program (AMAP).

  33. Loseto L. L., Ross, P.S. 2011. A legacy of risk: Organic contaminants in marine mammals. Concepts in Exposure, Toxicology and Management. 343 – 369. In: Environmental Contaminants in Biota: Interpreting tissue concentrations. Beyer, N., Meador, J. (ed). Taylor and Francis Group, Oxford.

  34. Ferguson, S.H., Loseto, L.L., Mallory, M. 2010. A little less Arctic: Top predators in the world’s largest northern inland sea, Hudson Bay. Springer, 325pg.

  35. Kelley, T. C., Loseto, L.L., Stewart, R.E.A., Yurkowski, M., Ferguson, S.H. 2010. Importance of eating capelin: Unique dietary habits of Hudson Bay Beluga. 53 – 70. In: A little less Arctic: Top predators in the world’s largest northern inland sea, Hudson Bay. Ferguson, S.H., Loseto, L.L., Mallory, M (ed). Springer, Dordrecht.

  36. Mallory, M, Loseto, L.L., Ferguson, S.H.. 2010. The Future of Hudson Bay: New Directions and Research Needs. 291 – 303. In: A little less Arctic: Top predators in the world’s largest northern inland sea, Hudson Bay. Ferguson, S.H., Loseto, L.L., Mallory, M (ed). Springer, Dordrecht.

  37. Deibel, D., L. Fortier, G. Stern, L. Loseto, G. Darnis, D. Benoit, T. Connelly, P. Lafrance, L. Seuthe, Y. Simard & P. Trela. 2009. The pelagic food web: structure, function and contaminants. In, Physical and Biological Processes of the Ocean-Sea Ice-Atmosphere System in the Southern Beaufort Sea: A synthesis of research results from the NSERC funded Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (2001-2006). Barber, D.G. (ed.). Aboriginal Issue Press, Winnipeg. 23 pp.


Centre(s) of Expertise:

  • University of Manitoba, CEOS (Centre for Earth Observations Science)
  • University of Manitoba, Biological Sciences