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Research

General Research Interests

I am interested in research in the fields of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology. Currently, my main areas of research interest are in applications within two areas; Parks and Protected Areas, and Wildlife Conservation and Management. If you are interested in doing graduate work in one of these areas, please contact me.

Click here to download a short powerpoint file describing some of the current research activities in the LESA Lab.

Parks and Protected Areas Research

Wood BuffaloI have been conducting research on how spatial patterns of diversity and scale affect minimum requirements for the design of representative protected areas networks. This has been done using digital range maps for disturbance-sensitive mammals, and through modelling hypothetical protected areas networks in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I am interested in expanding this research to incorporate data on other species, as well as in conducting more fine-scale research in specific parts of Canada. I am also interested in exploring how protected areas networks might be designed in areas of the country that are still relatively unaltered (e.g., parts of the Canadian north) in such a way so as to allow for resource development while still ensuring that ecological integrity is maintained.

Another broad area of research interest within the Parks and Protected Areas branch of my research program are the issues of ecological integrity and ecological monitoring in parks. I am involved in a project headed up by Parks Canada, where we are developing indices to quanitify the effects of roads and culverts on fish passability, and ultimately, on overall stream network connectivity. This work is being carried out collaboratively with Terra Nova National Park, Fundy National Park, Prince Edward Island National Park, Kejimkujik National Park, the Atlantic Regional Service Centre, and Dr. Steve Peake at the University of New Brunswick.

I am also leading a Canada-wide investigation of the role of protected areas in sustainable forest management. This project is being funded by the Sustainable Forest Management Network, and involves researchers at the University of Alberta, Dalhousie, and Simon Fraser Universities, together with a host of partners from industry, government, non-government agencies, and First Nations. We will be conducting an extensive literature summary as well as a series of workshops. Click on the link in the menu above to visit the SFMN project website.


Wildlife Conservation and Management

I am involved with a caribou research project that is being conducted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Division of Wildlife. This two-ycaribouear project is investigating the current status (population size, home ranges, recruitment) of woodland caribou on the south shore of the island of Newfoundland. Hunters and outfitters have noticed a population decline, and this study will identify how much the population has declined, project future population sizes, and try to determine what may have contributed to the observed decline. Current hypotheses include habitat change, increased calf predation by coyotes, and nutritional stress. I hope to involve graduate students with this project to test some of these hypotheses.
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