About the Authors

Roland I. Hall, Johan A. Wiklund, Andrea J. Farwell, D. George Dixon
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Brent B. Wolfe
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Thomas W. D. Edwards
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Corresponding Author

rihall@uwaterloo.ca

Competing Interests

The research was supported by Suncor Energy Ltd. (http://www.suncor.com), an oil sands mining and production company. Dr. Jon Fennell (WorleyParsons Canada), a respected consultant to industry and government, and a scientific authority on water-related environmental issues in the oil sands industry, helped the authors in our quest to obtain the funding for the project. During periodic meetings with the authors, Dr. Fennell became familiar with the authors’ prior hydroecological research in the Peace-Athabasca Delta. And, the authors discussed with him the concepts and proposals for the project presented in this paper. He was also aware of challenges the authors faced when trying to get the project funded by more traditional research funding routes. Dr. Fennell presented the concept of the research project the authors had developed to a manager at Suncor Energy Ltd., which provided an introduction that led to development of the funding for this project. During the project, Dr. Fennell acted as a liaison for communications between the authors and staff at Suncor Energy Ltd. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: RIH BBW TWDE AJF DGD. Performed the experiments: RIH BBW JAW. Analyzed the data: RIH BBW JAW. Wrote the paper: RIH BBW JAW. Edited the manuscript: TWDE AJF DGD.