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Heather Proctor, MSc, BSc, PhD



Biological Sciences


My main research area comprises the ecology, evolution, systematics and behaviour of mites (Arachnida: Acari). Within this fascinating and diverse subclass there are three groups in which I am most interested: aquatic mites, soil mites, and feather mites. My theoretical research areas include the community ecology of freshwater and soil invertebrates, determinants of biodiversity, co-evolution of hosts and symbionts, and both macro- and microevolutionary aspects of sexual selection. 

Current Personal Projects 

  • Determinants of feather mite diversity.
  • Host-associations of Albertan feather mites.
  • Sexual selection and diversification in mites.

Current Student Projects

  • Influence of temperature, rainfall, and grazing pressure on soil invertebrate assemblages.
  • Population genetics of invasive crayfish and their symbiotic worms.
  • Effects of iron-based remediation of eutrophic waters on freshwater invertebrates.
  • Sexual selection and genitalia in feather mites. 
Dr Proctor is a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) program sponsored by NSERC CREATE.