Todd Morris

Research Scientist
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

My research focuses on the biotic and abiotic factors structuring the distributional patterns of aquatic species. Although I have worked with a wide range of freshwater taxa from aquatic insects to piscivorous fishes, my main area of interest and expertise lies with the freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae. I began working with this group as an undergraduate student shortly after zebra mussels began wiping them out from their Great Lakes habitats.

As a graduate student I studied the remaining riverine populations in southern Ontario in an attempt to elucidate the landscape level factors that structured individual species’ distributions. Since 2003 I have been focusing on freshwater mussel species at risk as North American freshwater mussel populations are now among the most threatened groups in the world. My lab is involved in all aspects of freshwater mussel assessment and recovery from determining distributions and monitoring trends to investigating basic biological and ecological characters to assessing and mitigating threats.

In 2004 I developed the first workshop of its kind in Canada to provide specific training on the identification of freshwater mussels of the Family Unionidae. The Ontario Freshwater Mussel Identification Workshop has a special emphasis on species at risk but will provide attendees with the basic tools necessary to undertake field and laboratory identifications of all 41 Ontario species. It also provides and introduction to the biology and ecology of the group and an overview of appropriate sampling techniques. For more information on the workshop please see the link below under Committees/Organizations.

Research and/or project statements

My lab is involved in all aspects of freshwater mussel assessment and recovery from determining distributions and monitoring trends to investigating basic biological and ecological characters to assessing and mitigating threats. In 2004 I developed the first workshop of its kind in Canada to provide specific training on the identification of freshwater mussels of the Family Unionidae. The Ontario Freshwater Mussel Identification Workshop has a special emphasis on species at risk but will provide attendees with the basic tools necessary to undertake field and laboratory identifications of all 41 Ontario species. It also provides and introduction to the biology and ecology of the group and an overview of appropriate sampling techniques. For more information on the workshop please see the link below under Committees/Organizations.

Education and awards

B.Sc. (Hons.), Zoology, University of Western Ontario, 1993

MSc. Aquatic Ecology, University of Windsor, 1996

Diploma in Honours Standing, Ecology and Evolution, University of Western Ontario, 1994

Ph.D., Zoology, University of Toronto, 2002