Lab members

Peter Arcese
Peter Arcese

Peter is FRBC Chair of Applied Conservation Biology and co-Director of the Centre for Applied Conservation Research in the UBC Faculty of Forestry.  Peter works on the ecology and genetics of animals and plants, the persistence of small populations, and the design and management of nature reserves. Read more…..
Robyn Appleton
Robyn Appleton is founder and research director for the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society – Peru (SBC). She and her team have conducted the first observation study on wild spectacled bears, discovered the first active maternal den site, and continue research in various field sites the dry forests of Northern Peru. Read more…
Merle Crombie
My research interests lie in understanding the factors that influence reproductive success in songbirds. My MSc work focuses on a specific pathway of reproductive success – nesting failure. Using 39 years of monitoring records from a well studies song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) population on Mandarte Island, BC, I will test a suite of hypotheses related to nesting failure in order to understand their relative influences on fitness. Read more…
Elizabeth Gow
My research programme focuses on understanding how animals use resources, both temporary and spatially, at the landscape and continent scales, and how behavioural metrics (e.g. parental care), physiological metrics (e.g. hormones such as corticosterone) and survival can be affected or caused by environmental influences.  Read more…
Jessica Krippel
My research interests lie in understanding how individual variation in life history strategy evolves and is maintained in populations of wild animals. I will investigate the genetic and physiological mechanisms that underlie heterogeneity in life history strategy and test the hypothesis that life history trade-offs favour the evolution of animal personality. Read more…
Nina Morrell
I am interested in understanding how wildlife resource use and spatial data can be combined to meet biodiversity conservation targets, especially across landscapes with diverse land use goals. The aim of my thesis is to use existing field and remote-sensed data with spatial planning tools to optimize conservation plans for Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus) in the Northern Andes. Read more…
Cora Skaien
My research interests lie in the potential of natural selection to promote local adaptation and drive differences between individuals, populations and species in morphological traits that influence individual fitness and population persistence. It has long been accepted that different environmental conditions, such as moisture and temperature, can alter the performance and morphology… Read more…
Hannah Visty
My current research interests include testing the effects that species interactions have on natural selection, such as finding the most important extrinsic factors determining species’ survival and success. My master’s thesis explores these topics in Song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) on Mandarte island.  Read more…

Recent Alumni

Richard Schuster
I am working on old growth forest restoration and strategic reserve design in the Coastal Douglas Fir Biogeoclimatic zone (CDF) of South-eastern Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. Currently I am developing predictive models that incorporate imperfect detection probability.  Read more…
Ryan Germain
My research interests lie in understanding the factors influencing reproductive success, particularly in songbirds. Work for my PhD will focus on female fitness and micro-evolution of the onset of lay date in the song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) population of Mandarte Island, BC. Read more…
Kate Johnson
For my Master’s research I will investigate the patterns and drivers of evolution in the morphology of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) on Mandarte Island. Since monitoring began in 1960, song sparrows have shown dramatic directional change in size and shape coincident with a decline in density from circa 50 to 25 pairs. Read more…
Corey E. Tarwater
My research interests are broadly focused on the interplay between ecology, evolution, and behavior of year-round resident birds and using individual-based studies to understand variation in population demography. I do this by primarily conducting long-term studies of individuals and studying the entire life cycle of a species… Read more…
Angela Boag
My research interests lie in measuring and maintaining the ecological integrity of ecosystems as they become increasingly altered by human development. For my Master’s research I am developing and validating a predictive habitat distribution model for endangered Garry Oak meadows in British Columbia’s Georgia Basin. Read More…
Martha Essak
My general research interests are in temporal patterns of natural selection. For my Master’s research, I have proposed an investigation of the drivers of natural selection on laying date in the song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) population on Mandarte Island, British Columbia. Read more…
Joe Bennett
The human introduction of species to new habitats has become one of the most important areas of ecological research.  While there are many well-known examples of species introductions that have had catastrophic ecological consequences, most introduced species either fail to establish or become incorporated as relatively minor ecosystem components. Read more…
Louise Blight
My general research interests are in the breeding biology and conservation of marine birds, with a focus on island ecosystems and the Antarctic. My research approach includes applied as well as basic elements, and I participate in several national and international collaborative conservation efforts. Read more…
Michaela Holbova
I am a PhD student of population genetics and applied zoology at the Technical University in Zvolen, Slovakia. The topic of my research is genetic inventarizacion of Slovak population of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and as well as forensis genetic and specific identification of individuals. Read more…
Cheyney Jackson
I have spent the past three summers working as a field technician on the Vancouver Island marmot recovery project, releasing captive-bred marmots, protecting them from predators, and conducting inventory on wild and released marmots to monitor colony sizes and marmot survival. Read more…