Jun 8, 2023

Vancouver, BC – Biology instructor Kyra Janot and a team of five students are looking to local seaweed species to help predict future changes in the organisms and their surrounding ecosystems. Changes in seaweed life cycles could have significant impacts on local ecosystems.  

Janot’s research is funded in part by a $56,573 grant from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), received in June 2022, and by the Langara College Applied Research Centre’s ARC Release program. 

“The last few years have seen some extreme weather events such as heat domes that have likely impacted the health of intertidal organisms such as seaweeds,” says Janot. “With climate change, we could begin to see species shift seasonally, not just annually. Seaweeds could start appearing earlier than normal, for example, or die off earlier than they otherwise might if temperatures become too hot in the summer.” 

The project – part of the DFO's Coastal Environmental Baseline Program – is mandated to support the collection of baseline data in certain areas, including the Port of Vancouver. The research will make use of plant collection, bioinformatics, and innovative technology that examines DNA in water samples. Seaweeds provide food and shelter for numerous other organisms in the marine environment. 

Janot and her team recently completed surveying the intertidal zones at four separate sites:

  • Cates Park, North Vancouver
  • Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver
  • Brockton Point, Vancouver
  • Crescent Beach, Surrey 

Collectively, these sites overlap with traditional territories of the Tsawwassen, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Squamish, Semiahmoo, and Kwantlen First Nations. The Katzie, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations have all expressed interest in seeing the data when the project is completed. 

About snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides university-level education to more than 19,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm, 'house of teachings', a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.

Learn more.       
Mark Dawson       
Manager, Public Affairs       
Langara College