Megan Franz

McGill University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Melissa McKinney
Kristin Laidre, The University of Washington
Start: 2019-09-03


Comparative analysis of Southern Beaufort Sea and East Greenland Polar Bear gut microbiome compositions
My MS research at McGill will focus on understanding differences in the fecal microbiome compositions of two polar bear subpopulations. Differences in habitat and foraging patterns of these subpopulations can result in differential exposure to environmental contaminants, and this has potential to be observed via changes or variation in their respective gut microbiota. Gut microbiota play a key role in nutrient uptake and are closely tied to a host organism's immune system. Understanding the gut microbial composition of this species will provide new insight toward what conservation efforts may be necessary to support their continued monitoring and protection.


Polar bears, Arctic research , Microbiome, Fecal microbiota, diet