Conservation in prairie agroecosystems We take a landscape ecological approach to investigate the delivery of pollination and pest control ecosystem services in prairie agroecosystems. A major area of interest is the role of cropland semi-natural areas as reservoirs for insects that provide ecosystem services, and how these areas may support habitat conservation for other organisms. Our work centres on a multi-year field investigation across Southern Alberta. This work is supported by several conservation and agricultural research funding organizations.
Landscape connectivity and spatial genetics We research how the spatial structure and connectivity of landscapes influences the mobility of organisms (including insects and wildlife) using GIS-based modelling, neutral genetic, and genomic techniques. Currently we focus on bumble bees in alpine ecosystems, where we are concerned with the resilience of pollinator communities under changing climatic conditions. This work is supported by an NSERC Discovery grant.
Pollinator status Much of our research is directly or indirectly concerned with bee conservation, and investigates factors that may contribute to pollinator decline in both agricultural and alpine ecosystems. We're also involved in monarch butterfly research. Notably, our finding that bumble bees have been impacted by climate change was published in a leading journal (Kerr, Pindar, Galpern, et al., 2015; Science 349:177-180).
Urban informatics Our urban-focused research considers how people travel and use space in cities. It borrows analytical techniques from ecology that were originally developed to model animal movements and habitat use. Our multi-lab urban informatics project crowdsources high spatial and temporal resolution GPS location data from smartphones to examine walkability in Calgary, Alberta. This work is supported by a SSHRC Insight Development grant.
This supervisor is currently accepting inquires.
We are looking for highly-motivated students to join our lab who are willing to define their own research questions within the areas we study. We are also looking for new ideas we haven't thought of yet. If you can imagine yourself doing any one of the following things, please drop us a line:
(1) studying landscape ecology, landscape genetics, or pollinator conservation;
(2) collecting and identifying bees and other insects;
(3) modelling landscapes and ecological networks;
(4) analyzing remote sensing data;
(5) modelling movements in urban areas;
(6) using GIS; or
(7) programming in R.
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