(BSc Western Ontario, MSc Guelph, PhD Western Ontario)
I am a behavioural and evolutionary ecologist working at the interface of behaviour, evolution, ecological genetics, life-history and physiology. My students and I integrate intense field research on marked wildlife populations with molecular markers and other lab-oriented techniques to examine issues related to a) the fitness consequences of phenotypic and genotypic variation, and b) factors influencing patterns of gene flow across populations. Our group collaborates extensively with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Toronto Zoo. Taxonomically, my focus is mammals, but my students and I have worked on an array of taxa including fish, amphibians, squamates, turtles, birds and insects. As Canada Research Chair in Applied Evolutionary Ecology, my research also encompasses areas of conservation interest, including the effects of domesticated populations on closely-related wild species, the effects of urbanization on selection in natural populations, and the evolutionary ecology of captive zoo populations.I serve on the Board of Directors for the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin Park and recently served on the Board of the Canadian Council for Animal Care. I am Associate Editor for the journals Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology and Wildlife Research, and am on the Terrestrial Mammals Subcommittee of COSEWIC. I am also the Secretary for the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution.
I established the Centre for Evolutionary Ecology and Ethical Conservation with colleagues Drs. Brett Buchanan, Gillian Crozier, David Lesbarreres, and Jackie Litzgus. Check us out at http://ceeec.ca
I also lead the NSERC CREATE grant program ReNewZoo, a graduate training program that is training conservation professionals for the zoo/aquarium workplace. This program involves 10 other investigators including my colleagues in CEEEC, as well as others at Trent University, Simon Fraser University, University of Windsor, UQAM and UBC. You can read about the program here - http://renewzoo.ca
Current Graduate Students
Sarah Falconer (BSc - UBC-Okanagan) MSc - Stress physiology and conservation of Vancouver Island marmots.
Pauline van Leeuwen (MS -Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris)) - PhD - Microbiome of endangered mammals and captive breeding programs.
Breanna Pyott (BSc Laurentian) MSc - Captive breeding success of burrowing owls.
Jasmine Veitch (BSc Ottawa) - NOHFC Intern
Isabelle Zimmerman (BVM Parana, Brazil) - MSc - Effects of parasites on captive breeding success in the loggerhead shrike
Current Undergraduate Students
This could be you! Contact me if you are interested in graduate work
Erica Fellin - (BSc Toronto) MSc - Ixodid tick effects on deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) hematology and ectoparasite community assemblages across populations of varying tick exposure.
Christina Mozzon (BSc Laurentian) MSc -Surviving the concrete jungle: The eco-physiological consequences of consuming anthropogenic food waste on raccoons (Procyon lotor).
Raven Ouellette (BSc Windsor) - MSc - Diet: it’s all about location, location, location! How urbanization influences endocrine stress, isotopic signatures, and fecal antioxidants in eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus).
Jasmine Veitch (BSc Ottawa) - MSc - Ectoparasitism of rodent hosts in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada: Infestation patterns, host glucocorticoids, and species co-occurrence. (co-supervised by Jeff Bowman/OMNR)
Hannah Conrad - BSc - Urbanization impacts on the parasite Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons (Procyon lotor)
Cassidy Sullivan - BSc - The impact of population abundance on variation in birth sex ratios of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus)
Breanna Pyott - BSc - How are Canadian zoos and aquariums contributing to peer-reviewed literature?
Julia Schlaepfer BSc- Docility: How do squirrels handle stress?
Jillyan Birtch BSc- Effects of anthropogenic food waste on body mass of the raccoon, Procyon lotor (Carnivora: Procyonidae) in Southern Ontario.
Elliott Schmidt (BSc Guelph) - MSc - Environment-microbe-host interactions: understanding the relationship between the external environment, gut microbiome diversity, and host immunocompetence. (co-supervised by Nadia Mykytczuk)
Madison Acker (BSc Dalhousie) - MSc - Cortisol and conservation: Understanding barriers to the recovery of a critically endangered species using stress physiology.
Krista Shofstall BSc (Humboldt State) - MSc - Analysis of the American mink (Neovison vison) harvest decline and genetic introgression.
Arianne Sawyer BSc - Prevalence and effects of parasitic mites on small mammal hosts.
Stephanie Munro BSc - Stress hormones in hair substrate of domestic mink.
Ariel Porty (BSc Guelph) - MSc - Prevalence and strain identification of Coxiella burnetii in wildlife and goat farms. (co-supervised by Claire Jardine)
Colleen Bobbie (BSc McMaster) - MSc - Linking fitness and the microbiome: Exploring variation in microbial composition in the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
Dawson Ketchen BSc -DNA barcoding of fleas on rodent hosts
Claudia Bastien - BSc - Prevalence of C. burnetii in ticks.
Cara Loney - BSc - Dental health of urban raccoons.
Mason Stothart - BSc - Effects of microbiome variation on cortisol levels in red squirrels.
Paula Di Benedetto - BSc - Cortisol levels of wild, domestic and feral mink.
Trisha Hewitt - BSc - Effects of C. burnetii infection on body mass of wild rodent hosts.
James Howatt - BSc - Cortisol levels and reproductive performance in Bactrian camels.
Alana Sajatovic - BSc - DNA barcoding of ectoparasites from tree squirrels.
Jeremy Lyons - MSc - Anthropogenic impacts on life-history of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus).
Darryl Edwards - PhD - Life history trade-offs, immune function and the expression of sexual signals in two model groups of birds (Psittaciformes, Charadriiformes).
Hannah McCurdy-Adams - BSc - Effects of logging on stress hormones in eastern chipmunks.
Amanda Colles - BSc - Are retrospective histological samples suitable for testing hypotheses in wildlife immunology?
Xavier Giroux-Bougard - Visiting MSc candidate, McGill - Population and landscape genetics in muskrat.
(Supervised by Dr. Murray Humphries)
Sophie Laurence - PhD - Genetic variation and population genetic structure of muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus, at different spatial scales.
Andrée-Michelle D'Aoust-Messier - NOHFC intern/lab tech - Research Associate/Lab Guru
Kayla Galloway - BSc - Experimental effects of ACTH challenge on endoparasite loads in eastern chipmunks.
Michaela Haring - BSc - The influence of mating systems on initial maternal investment in Arctic shorebirds.
Kelsey Gunn - BSc - Validation of ELISA method for hair cortisol evaluation in the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) and laboratory rat.
Sarah Elsasser (BSc/MSc Laurentian) - PhD - Host-parasite interactions of North American Guinea Worm (Nematoda: Dracunculus) and its mammalian hosts.
Emile Alarie - Summer Assistant - Sperm analysis
Jeffrey Friend (BSc Alberta) - Summer Assistant - Evolutionary ecology of tree squirrels
Mary Thompson - BSc - Coxiella infection in small mammals
Krista Gooderham (BSc McMaster) - MSc - Impacts of macroparasites on the fitness of North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
Dr. Kaela Beauclerc (BSc Laurentian, PhD Trent) - Post-doc - Genetic consequences of hybridization between domestic and wild mink. (co-supervised with Jeff Bowman).
Kara-Anne Ward - BSc - Summer NSERC - Female mate choice in eastern chipmunks.
Courtney Andrews - BSc - Summer NSERC - Male reproductive success and baculum morphology in muskrat.
Lucy Patterson (BSc Ottawa) - MSc - Correlates of male reproductive success in the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)
Anne Kidd (BSc Trent) - MSc/Tech - Mink gone wild: hybridization between escaped farm and wild American mink (Neovison vison) in a natural context. (co-supervised by Jeff Bowman)
D'Arcy Langlois - BSc - Male reproductive investment and environmental stress in fathead minows. (co-supervised with M. Martinez)
Adam Bewick - BSc - Summer NSERC - Genetic structure of muskrat populations determined via mtDNA variation.
Vanessa Bonanno (BSc U of T) - MSc - Intraspecific variation in ejaculate investment as a response to sperm competition in the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
Krista Johnson - BA - Effect of sport involvement, status and attractiveness on female mate selection. (co-supervised with Mark Eys)
Diana Tasikas - BSc - Baculum variation and allometry in the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus): A case for sexual selection.
Samantha Kuula - BSc - Variation in mating success due to secondary sexual traits in American toads, Bufo americanus. (co-supervised with D. Lesbarrères)
Michelle Zannutig - BSc - Sperm competition and sperm morphology traits in the predaceous diving beetle Graphoderus liberus (Say) (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). (co-supervised with Yves Alarie)
Evan Fairn (BSc Acadia) - MSc - Sexual selection in the whirligig beetle Dineutus nigrior Roberts (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae). (co-supervised with Yves Alarie)
Julia Luxemburger - BSc - The effects of ectoparasites on hematocrit in red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
Tracy Dannell - BSc - Correlates of geographic variation in testis size in walleye.
Frances Bolton - BSc - Size and condition-dependence of reproductive output in spotted turtles (co-supervised with J. Litzgus).
Jamie Gorrell (BSc Wilfrid Laurier) - MSc - Individual variation in parasitism, testosterone, and indices of health in North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
Lisa Keable (BSc Laurentian) - Research/Field Assistant
Eryn Carruthers - BSc - Differences in condition of green frogs between a golf course and control sites.
Carolina Perez - BSc - Sex differences in ectoparasite loads and effects on body condition in northern flying squirrels.
Candra Schank - BSc - Condition dependence of sexually dimorphic traits in male green frogs.
Becky Olacke - Summer NSERC - Sexual selection in water beetles. (co-supervised with Yves Alarie)
Erik Waszczylo - Summer NSERC - Sexual dimorphism in water beetles. (co-supervised with Yves Alarie)