Warren Currie, Ph.D.

Image Warren Currie
Research Scientist

I am a bio-physical limnologist and ecosystem scientist specializing in lower-trophic food web dynamics in the Great Lakes.

Current research and/or projects

My research is focused on the role of phytoplankton and zooplankton to support of healthy ecosystems and sustainable fisheries within the Great Lakes. I employ a combination of empirical collection and modeling approaches, and I use modern sensor technology to collect information on plankton composition, distribution and size. Projects include impairments in phytoplankton and zooplankton within Areas of Concern, food web impacts of invasive species such as Dreissenid mussels and predatory cladocera such as Bythotrephes and Cercopagis, impact of Harmful Algal Blooms and hypoxia on planktonic food webs, and the binational Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative. I am particularly interested in feeding interactions and growth of zooplankton. Much of our work is in collaboration with other Canadian and US federal and provincial/state agencies. 

Research and/or project statements

Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs)

Great Lakes Lake-wide Monitoring

Binational Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initative (CSMI)

Professional activities / interests

  • Sensor technology and Observing Systems
  • Molecular applications to food web ecology
  • Ecological traits
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Ocean Acidification

Education and awards

Ph.D. University of Guelph, 2001

International experience and/or work

Estuarine ecology and ecology of HABs

Great Lakes Food Webs 

Key publications

Marshall, C.C., Watkins, J.M., Connolly, J.K., Boynton, P.V., Schaefer, S.L., Currie, W.J.S., Rudstam, L.G. in-press. Patterns and drivers of seasonal succession and vertical distribution in the rotifer community of Lake Ontario in 2018. J. Great Lakes Res. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2024.102283

Holda, T.J., Watkins, J.M., Scofield, A.E., Pothoven, S.A., Warner, D.M., O'Brien, T.P., Bowen, K.L., Currie, W.J.S., Jude, D.J., Boynton, P.V. and Rudstam, L.G., 2023. Intra-lake trends and inter-lake comparisons of Mysis diluviana life history variables and their relationships to food limitation. J. Great Lakes Res. 49(5):1179-1189.

Bowen, K.L., Fitzpatrick, M.A., Munawar, M., Niblock, H.A., Rozon, R., Currie, W.J.S. 2023. A comparison of the vegetated nearshore to offshore regions of the Bay of Quinte using water characteristics and the composition of plankton and Dreissena. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3264: vii + 66p.

Fitzpatrick, M.A.J., Bowen, K.L., Niblock, H.A., Piczak, M., Munawar, M., Currie, W.J.S., 2023. Assessment of Beneficial Use Impairment #13, Degradation of Phytoplankton and Zooplankton Populations, in the Canadian Waters of the Detroit River Area of Concern. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3532: viii + 60 p.

Currie, W.J.S., Bowen, K.L., Niblock, H.A., Fitzpatrick, M.A., Rozon, R., Munawar, M., Cuddington, K.M.D., Ward, C. 2023. Final status assessment of BUI 13 phytoplankton and zooplankton populations for the Bay of Quinte Area of Concern. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3261: vi + 114 p.

Currie, W.J.S., Bowen, K.L., Niblock, H.A., Fitzpatrick, M.A., Rozon, R., Munawar, M., Koops, M.A. 2023. Proposed Targets for Evaluation of the Bay of Quinte BUI 13 Degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations using a functional food web approach prepared September 2017. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3262: vi + 37 p.

Currie, W.J.S., Bowen, K.L., Niblock, H.A., Fitzpatrick, M.A., Rozon, R., Munawar, M., Koops, M.A. 2023. An Evaluation of the Bay of Quinte BUI 13 Degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations using a functional food web approach prepared September 2017. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3263: vi + 139 p.

Figary, S.E., Meyer, M.F., and W.J.S. Currie. 2022. Building a worldwide freshwater zooplankton dataset to synthesize patterns of zooplankton community structure and change. ASLO Bulletin 31(4):132-133.

Watkins, J.M., Rudstam, L.G., Karatayev, A.Y., Currie, W.J., Scofield, A.E. and Hollenhorst, T.P., 2022. Foreword: Stressors and successes, Lake Ontario CSMI intensive year 2018. J. Great Lakes Res. 48(2): 261-263. doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2022.02.003

Bowen, KL, Currie, WJS, Niblock, H, Ward, CL, Metcalfe, B, Cuddington, KMD, Johnson TB, and MA, Koops. 2022. Importance of long-term intensive monitoring programs for understanding multiple drivers influencing Lake Ontario zooplankton communities. J. Great Lakes Res. 48(3):717-733.

Aristone, C, Mehdi, H, Hamilton, J, Bowen, KL, Currie, WJS, Kidd, KA, S, Balshine. 2022. Impacts of wastewater treatment plants on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in summer and winter. Sci. Total Envi.:153224

Currie, WJS and MA, Koops. 2022. Four decades of biogeochemical monitoring in the Bay of Quinte. In [eds.] Minns, CK, M Munawar and MA Koops. Ecology of the Bay of Quinte: Health, management and global implications. Ecovision World Monograph. 

Chaffin, JD, Bratton, JF, Verhamme, EM, Bair, HB, Beecher, AA, Binding, CE, Birbeck, JA, Bridgeman, TB, Chang, X, Crossman, J, Currie, WJS, Davis, TW, Dick, GJ, Drouillard, KG, Frenken, T, MacIsaac, H, McClure, A, McKay, RM, Reitz, LA, Stanislawczyk, K, Stumpf, RP, Swan, ZD, Synder, B, Westrick, JA, Xue, P, Yancey, CE, Zastepa, A, Zhou, X. 2021. The Lake Erie HABs Grab: A binational collaboration to characterize the western basin harmful algal blooms at an unprecedented high-resolution spatial scale. Harmful Algae: 102080

Bowen, KL, and WJS Currie. 2021. Effect of the urbanized embayment Toronto Harbour on the composition and production of zooplankton. J. Gr. Lakes Res. doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2021.01.015

Berges, JA, Gronquist, D, Engevold, P, Thorngate-Rein, N, Sandgren, C, Bowen, KL, WJS Currie. 2020. Immunochemical methods for identification of prey in freshwater zooplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. Meth. 18(6): 221-234.

Rozon, RM,  Bowen, KL, Niblock, HA, Fitzpatrick, MAJ and WJS Currie. 2018. It goes with the flow: Size mediated plankton attenuation through the Niagara River connecting channel. J. Gr. Lakes Res. 44(6): 1327-1338

Bowen, KL, Conway, A, and WJS Currie. 2018. Could dreissenid veligers be the lost biomass of invaded lakes? Freshwater Science 37(2): 315-329.

Bowen, KL and WJS Currie. 2017. Elevated zooplankton production in a eutrophic Lake Ontario embayment: Hamilton Harbour 2002–2014. Aquat. Ecosyst. Health Mgmt. 20(3):230-241.

Cuddington, KM, ZT Hull, WJS Currie and MA Koops. 2015. Landmarking and strong Allee thresholds. Theoretical Ecology. 8(3):333-347.

Currie, W.J.S., Kim, J., Koops, M.A., Mandrak, N.E., O’Connor, L.M., Pratt, T.C., Timusk, E., Choy, M. 2015. Modelling spread and assessing movement of Grass Carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella, in the Great Lakes Basin. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2015/114. vi + 32 p.

Cuddington, KM, WJS Currie and MA Koops. 2013. Could an Asian carp population establish in the Great Lakes from a small introduction? Biological Invasions, 61(4) 903-917. doi: 10.1007/s10530-013-0547-3.

Currie WJS, KMD Cuddington, TJ Stewart, H Zhang and MA Koops. 2011. Modelling Spread, Establishment and Impact of Bighead and Silver Carps in the Great Lakes. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. RES2011/113.