Associate Professor, Department of Biology
PhD , University of Toronto
Lay Research Summary
Broadly, I am interested in predicting the effects of environmental stressors, such as climate change, invasive species, land use change, and habitat alteration, on ecosystems and improving the use of quantitative approaches used to generate these predictions.
Scientific Research Summary
Human-induced environmental stressors are among the leading drivers of ecosystem change. Our research has increased our understanding of how different taxa and ecosystems respond to environmental stressors along a gradient of spatial and temporal scales, in addition to developing quantitative f ...read morerameworks to predict the effects of environmental stressors on wide-ranging ecosystems. Community Ecology Human-induced ecological stressors, such as global climate change, pollution, introduction of non-indigenous species, and alterations in land use, water quality and habitat, are impacting our native ecosystems. We are interested in predicting the effects of a multitude of ecological stressors with a high degree of certainty to develop conservation and management strategies to protect native ecosystems. Examples of current projects include: The effects of multiple environmental stressors, such as climate change and invasive species, on native fish populations The effects of climate change and habitat alteration on woodland caribou populations Impacts of climate change and land use change on carbon storage in tropical rainforests Quantitative Ecology Our ability to forecast future biological responses to ecological stressors is limited by the predictive accuracy of current ecological models. We have been evaluating a suite of traditional and non-traditional statistical approaches to determine which are most appropriate for continuous and binary data. This has led to improvements in our ability to effectively predict the effects of environmental variability on habitat availability, species distributions, and community composition. Examples of current projects include: Quantifying uncertainty in climate change projections Quantifying uncertainty in environmental stressors Incorporating spatial processes into ecological models Incorporating temporal dynamics into ecological models Spatial and Temporal Dynamics Understanding changes in ecosystem responses over time to environmental stressors in a diverse set of ecosystems improves our ability to predict the effects of environmental stressors into the future across broad spatial scales. Examples of current projects include: Understanding the role of climate change, large-scale climate drivers, and local weather on lake ice dynamics Understanding changes in water quality in the Qu’Appelle valley Changes in lake water temperatures over the past 25 years around the world: Comparing in situ vs. satellite acquired data read less
Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRI
Examining the influence of smallmouth bass invasion on walleye populations in Ontario lakes: Can walleye beat the heat?
Journal: Diversity and Distributions
Ecology under lake ice.
Journal: Ecology Letters
Direct observations of ice seasonality reveal changes in climate over the past 5-7 centuries.
Journal: Scientific Reports
Rapid and highly variable warming of lake surface waters around the globe.
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Sharma, S.*, Blagrave, K.*, Magnuson, J.J.*, O’Reilly, C.*, Oliver, S., Batt, R.D., Magee, M., Straile, D., Weyhenmeyer, G., Winslow, L. and Woolway, R.I. 2019. Widespread loss of lake ice around the Northern Hemisphere in a warming world. Nature Climate Change 9: 227-231. PDF version here https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0393-5
Vucic, J., Cohen, R., Gray, D., Murdoch, A., Shuvo, A. and Sharma, S. Young gravel pit lakes along Canada’s Dempster Highway: How do they compare natural lakes? Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 51: 25-39. Vucic et al. 2019
Lopez, L.S., Hewitt, B.A. and Sharma, S. Reaching a break point: How is climate change influencing the timing of ice break-up in lakes across the Northern Hemisphere. Limnology and Oceanography. In press.
Bachmann, R.W., Sharma, S., Canfield, D.E. and Lecours, V. The distribution and prediction of summer epilmnetic water temperatures in lakes of the coterminous United States and southern Canada. Geosciences 9, 296. Download here.
Wuest, A., Pache, N., Ibelings, B.W., Sharma, S. and Filatov, N. Life under ice in Lake Onego (Russia). Inland Waters. In press.
Knoll, L.B.., Sharma, S., Denfeld, B.A., Flaim, G., Hori, Y., Magnuson, J.J., Straile, D. and Weyhenmeyer, G.A. 2019. Data for Warmer Winters and Ice-Based Cultural Ecosystem Services: Empirical Evidence from USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden. Data Repository for University of Minnesota. https://doi.org/10.13020/3j5g-kc72
Vogt, R., Sharma, S., and Leavitt, P.R. 2018. Direct and interactive effects of climate, meteorology, river hydrology, and lake characteristics on water quality in productive lakes of the Canadian Prairies. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 75: 47-59. Vogt et al. 2018
Stefanoff, S., Vogt, R., Howell, E.T. and Sharma, S. 2018. Phytoplankton and benthic algal response to ecosystem engineers and multiple stressors in the nearshore of Lake Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research 44: 447-457. Stefanoff et al._In press
Hewitt, B.*, Lopez, L.*, Gaibisels, K., Murdoch, A., Higgins, S., Magnuson, J., Paterson, A., Rusak, J., Yao, H. and Sharma, S. 2018. Historical trends, drivers, and future projections, of ice phenology in small north temperate lakes in the Laurentian Great Lakes region. Water 10(1), 70; doi: 10.3390/w10010070. Hewitt et al. 2018
Chen, M.M.*, Lopez, L.*, Bhasavar, S. and Sharma, S. 2018. Examining the influence of climate on mercury levels in Ontario top predator fishes. Environmental Research 162: 62-73. Chen et al. 2018
Bazely, D.R. and Sharma, S. 2018. Why environmental scientists should get to know the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? Environica 2: 49-54.
Gray, D., Hampton, S., O’Reilly, C., Sharma, S. and Cohen, R. How do data collection and processing methods impact the accuracy of long-term trend estimation in lake surface water temperatures? Limnology and Oceanography Methods 16: 504-515. Gray_et_al-2018-Limnology_and_Oceanography Methods
Frassl, M.A., Hamilton, D.P., Denfeld, B.A., de Eyto, E., Hampton, S.E., Keller, P.S., Sharma, S., Lewis ASL, Weyhenmeyer, G.A., O’Reilly, C.M., Lofton, M.E. and Catalan, N. 2018. Ten simple rules for collaboratively writing a multi-authored paper. PLoS Computational Biology. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006508 Frassl et al. 2018
Sharma S., K. Blagrave, J. J. Magnuson, C. M. O’Reilly, S. Oliver, R. Batt, M. Magee, D. Straile, G. Weyhenmeyer, L. Winslow, R. I. Woolway. 2018. Widespread loss of lake ice around the Northern Hemisphere in a warming world. Environmental Data Initiative. https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/b6b939c419ab2175af38aaec527a4e2e. Dataset accessed 12/04/2018.
Masood, S.*, Van Zuiden, T.*, Rodgers, A. and Sharma, S. 2017. An uncertain future for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou): The impact of climate change on winter distribution in Ontario. Rangifer 37: 11-30. Masood et al. 2017
Biswas, S., Vogt, R. and Sharma, S. 2017. Climate change, compositional shift, and loss of ecosystem services in lake fish communities. Hydrobiologia 799: 135-149. Biswas et al. 2017
Sharma, S. 2017. Value of communicating global change biology in the media. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution 10: 17-19. Sharma 2017
Richardson, D.C., Melles, S.J., Pilla, R.M., Hetherington, A.L, Knoll, L., Williamson, C.E., Kraemer, B.M., Jackson, J.R., Long, E.C., Moore, K., Rudstam, L.G., Rusak, J.A., Saros, J.E., Sharma, S., Strock, K.E., Weathers, K.C., Wigdahl-Perry, C.R. 2017. Transparency, geomorphology, and mixing regime explain variability in trends in lake temperature and stratification across northeastern North America (1975-2012). Water 9: 442. doi: 10.3390/w9060442 Richardson et al. 2017
Bazely, D., Boran, I. and Sharma, S. 2017. How citizens are fighting climate change on the global stage. https://theconversation.com/how-citizens-are-fighting-climate-change-on-the-global-stage-85884
Van Zuiden, T.M. and Sharma, S. 2016. Examining the influence of smallmouth bass invasion on walleye populations in Ontario lakes: Can walleye beat the heat? Diversity and Distributions 22: 1069-1079. Van Zuiden and Sharma 2016
Sharma, S.*, Magnuson, J.J.*, Batt, R.D.*, Winslow, L.* , Korhonen, J. and Aono, Y. 2016. Direct observations of ice seasonality reveal changes in climate over the past 5-7 centuries. Nature Scientific Reports. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep25061
Hampton, S. et al., including Sharma, S. 2016. Ecology under lake ice. Ecology Letters. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.12699/full
Van Zuiden, T.*, Chen, M.*, Stefanoff, S. Lopez, L. and Sharma, S. 2016. Projected impacts of climate change on three freshwater fishes and potential novel competitive interactions. Diversity and Distributions 22: 603-614. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12422 Van Zuiden et al. 2016
* Joint first authors
O’Reilly, Hampton, S., Sharma, S., Gray, D., Read, J.R., Lenters, J.D. and Schneider, P. 2016. Challenges in assembling and managing environmental data sets. Earth and Space Science News. https://eos.org/editors-vox/challenges-in-assembling-and-managing-environmental-data-sets
Hampton, S., Gray, D., Sharma, S., and O’Reilly, C. 2016. Rapid and highly variable warming of lake surface waters around the globe. Mountain Views 10: 5-9.
Sharma, Sapna; Magnuson, John; Batt, Ryan; Winslow, Luke; Korhonen, Johanna; Aono, Yasuyuki (2016): Lake ice seasonality over the past 320-570 years. LTER Network information system. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/fc51c26b740fa4c10cf27163f8d3ce93 Dataset accessed: 7/27/2016
Hampton, S. et al., including Sharma, S. 2016. Ecology under lake ice dataset. https://knb.ecoinformatics.org/#view/SGL.7.3
Sharma, S.*, Gray, D.*, Read, J.*, O’Reilly, C.*, Schneider, P., Qudrat, A., Gries, C., Stefanoff, S., Hampton, S., Hook, S., Lenters, J., Livingstone, D., McIntyre, P., Adrian, R., Allan, M., Anneville, O., Arvola, L., Austin, J., Bailey, J., Baron, J., Brookes, J., Chen, Y., Daly, R., Dokulil, M., Ewing, K., de Eyto, E., Hamilton, D., Havens, K., Haydon, S., Heneberry, J., Hetherington, A., Hetzenauer, H., Higgins, S., Hixson, E., Izmest’eva, L., Jones, B., Kangur, K., Kasprzak, P., Kraemer, B., Kuusisto, E., Leshkevich, G., May, L., MacIntyre, S., Mueller-Navarra, D., Naumenko, M., Noges, P., Noges, T., North, R., Paterson, A., Plisnier, P-D, Rigosi, A., Rimmer, A., Rogora, M., Rudstram, L., Rusak, J., Salmaso, N., Samal, N., Schindler, D., Schladow, G., Schmidt, S., Schultz, T., Silow, E., Straile, D., Teubner, K., Verburg, P., Voutilainen, A., Watkinson, A., Weyhenmeyer, G., Williamson, C., Wilson, R., & Woo, K. 2015. Globally distributed lake surface water temperatures collected in situ and by satellites; 1985-2009. Nature Scientific Data 2: 150008 doi:10.1038/sdata.2015.8 http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata20158/metrics
O’Reilly, C*, Sharma, S.*, Gray, D.*, Hampton, S.* et al. 2015. Rapid and highly variable warming of lake surface waters around the globe. Geophysical Research Letters 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL066235. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL066235/epdf
Vogt, R., Sharma, S., and Leavitt, P.R. 2015. Multi-decadal regulation of algal abundance and water clarity in a large continental reservoir by climatic, hydrologic and trophic processes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41 (Supplement 2): 81-90.Vogt et al Diefenbaker LTER
Sharma, S. and Magnuson, J.J. Climate change and climate drivers impact lake ice breakup across the Northern Hemisphere. Climatic Change 124: 835-847. Sharma and Magnuson 2014
Hansen, G.J.A. and 10 authors including Sharma, S. Commonly rare and rarely common: abundance distributions of aquatic invasive and native species. PLoS One 8: e77415. Hansen et al._2013_PLoS One
Sharma, S., Magnuson, J.J., Mendoza, G. and Carpenter, S.R. 2013. Influences of local weather, large-scale climatic drivers, and the solar cycle on ice breakup dates; 1905-2004. Climatic Change 118: 857-870. Sharma et al. 2013
Kornis, M.S., Sharma, S. and Vander Zanden, M.J. 2013. Relating environmental and biological characteristics to the invasion success and impact of an invasive species, round goby, in Great Lakes tributaries. Diversity and Distributions 19: 184-198. Kornis et al.2013
Marin-Spiotta, E. and Sharma, S. 2013. Carbon storage in tropical reforested and plantation soils: A global analysis. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Marin-Spiotta and Sharma_EarlyView
Turturice, B.A., and 8 co-authors including Sharma, S. 2013. Expression of cytosolic peroxiredoxins in Plasmodium berghei ookinetes is regulated by environmental factors in the mosquito bloodmeal. PLoS Pathogens 9: e1003136. Turturice et al. 2013
Sharma, S., Legendre, P., Boisclair, D., and Gauthier, S. 2012. How do spatial scale and choice of statistical model influence our perception of species-habitat relationships? Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69: 2095-2111. Sharma et al. 2012
Lefevre, K., Sharma, S. and Rodd, H. 2012. Alteration of a neotropical rainforest’s plant and bird communities by moderate human disturbance. Biotropica 44: 427-236. Lefevre et al. 2012
Cote, S.D., and 9 co-authors including Sharma, S. 2012. Caribou herd dynamics: impacts of climate change on traditional and sport harvesting. Pages dans Allard, M., Lemay, M. (Editors). Integrated Regional Impact Study for the Eastern sub-Arctic. ArcticNet.
Sharma, S., Vander Zanden, M.J., Magnuson, J.J. and Lyons, J. 2011. Comparing climate change and species invasions as drivers of coldwater fish population extirpations. PLoS ONE 6(8): e22906. Sharma et al. 2011_PLoS ONE
Mikulyuk, A., Sharma, S., Van Egeren, S., Nault, M.E. and Hauxwell, J. 2011. The role of environmental, land-use, and spatial processes on structuring aquatic macrophyte communities. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68: 1778-1789. Mikulyuk et al. 2011
Bestelmeyer, B.T. and 11 authors including Sharma, S. 2011. Analysis of abrupt transitions in ecological systems. Ecosphere 2(12):129. doi:10.1890/ES11-00216.1. Bestelmeyer et al. 2011
Sharma, S., Legendre, P. , De Caceres, M., and Boisclair, D. 2011. The role of environmental and spatial processes in structuring native and non-native fish communities across thousands of lakes. Ecography 34: 762-771. Sharma et al. 2011_EcographySharma et al. 2011_Ecography_appendix
Mitro, M., Lyons, J. and Sharma, S. 2011. Coldwater Fish and Fisheries Working Group Report. Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) First Assessment Report. Download pdf. Download Wisconsin’s Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation Report here.
2010 and earlier
Desrochers, A. McIntire, E.J.B., Cumming, S.G., Nowak, J. and Sharma, S. 2010. False negatives – A false problem in studies of habitat selection? Ideas in Ecology and Evolution 3: 20-25. Desrochers et al. 2010
Sharma, S., Couturier, S. and Cote, S.D. 2009. Impacts of climate change on the seasonal distribution of migratory caribou. Global Change Biology 15: 2549-2562. Sharma et al. 2009_GCB
Sharma, S., Jackson, D.A. and Minns, C.K. 2009. Quantifying the effects of climate change and invasive species on native species. Ecography 32: 517-525. Sharma et al. 2009_Ecography
Sharma, S., Herborg, M-L, Therriault, T.T. 2009. Predicting smallmouth bass invasion and their potential impact on native salmonid and cyprinid populations. Diversity and Distributions 15: 831-840. Sharma et al. 2009_DDI
Sharma, S., Walker, S. and Jackson, D.A. 2008. Empirical modelling of lake water relationships: A comparison of predictive modelling approaches. Freshwater Biology 53: 897-911. Sharma et al. 2008
Sharma, S. and Jackson, D.A. 2008. Predicting smallmouth bass incidence across North America: Comparison of statistical approaches. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 471-481.Sharma and Jackson 2008
Sharma, S., Jackson, D.A., Minns, C.K. and Shuter, B.J. 2007. Will northern fish populations be in hot water because of climate change? Global Change Biology 13: 2052-2064. Sharma et al. 2007
Sharma, S. and Jackson, D.A. 2007. Fish assemblages and environmental conditions in the lower reaches of northeastern Lake Erie tributaries. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33:15-27. Sharma and Jackson 2007
Millar, J.S., Havelka, M.A. and Sharma, S. 2004. Nest mortality in a population of small mammals. Acta Thereologica 49: 269-273. Millar et al 2004
Global change biology
Honours & Awards
Faculty of Science Early Career Research Award2016
Early Career Researcher Award2017
Bridget StrutchburyDepartment of BiologyFaculty of Science
Please see: http://sharmalab.wordpress.com/collaborators/, ---Type: Academic
http://sharmalab.wordpress.com/collaborators/, ---Type: Government
Editorial & Review Boards
Role: Board Member
Year: 2015 - present
Science Outreach / Community
Founder and Chair of SEEDS - Science Engagement and Educational Development for Syrians and other Refugees
Royal Canadian Institute for Science. Councillor.
Earthwatch and HSBC World Water Day
Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI). Coldwater Fish and Fisheries Working Group.
Science Correspondent for “The Green Majority” (Canada’s only environmental news radio program. 2006-2009.
Media outreach volunteer for Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. 2009.
Back to Find an Expert