Research and Teaching Interests
My research focuses on species interactions and population dynamics, with an emphasis on northern environments. I’m interested in how prey availability affects predators and their alternative prey, particularly within food webs that cross ecosystem boundaries (marine to terrestrial). I’m also interested in predators that engineer the Arctic ecosystem by concentrating nutrients, and the cascading impact on a diversity of species. As predators play an important role in regulating ecosystems and sustaining biodiversity, much of my research is significant not only academically, but also has important implications for conservation.
Members of my lab investigate direct and indirect interactions among species within food webs using a combination of field methods (e.g., mark-recapture, surveys, behavioral observation) and lab techniques (e.g., stable isotope analysis).
Biodiversity, Ecology and Environment, food web dynamics, predator-prey interactions, population cycles, spatial subsidies, indirect effects, ecosystem engineering, applications of stable isotope analysis.
Holly Gamblin, PhD (in progress) Scavenging and space use by red foxes and Arctic foxes near treeline. University of Manitoba.
Amanda Belanger, MSc (in progress) Seasonality of diet and movements in beluga whales. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with C Watt).
Rylie MacDonald, MSc (in progress) Evaluating ghost crab impacts on sea turtle reproduction. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with B Barton).
Alexandra Windsor, PhD (in progress) Limitations faced by red squirrels at the subarctic range boundary. University of Manitoba.
Sean Johnson-Bice, PhD (in progress) Influence of seasonal subsidies on Arctic foxes in northeastern Manitoba. University of Manitoba.
P Kasey Ryan, PhD (in progress) Space use of beluga whales. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with C Watt).
Chloe Warret Rodrigues, PhD (2022) Use of space and resources by red foxes and Arctic foxes in a coastal tundra transitional ecosystem. University of Manitoba.
Morgan Dobroski, MSc (2022) Interactions on the Arctic tundra between endemics, migrants, and northward expanding rodent populations. University of Manitoba.
Jillian St. George, MSc (2022) Food web interactions along a marine and freshwater gradient within a subarctic estuary. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with S Petersen).
Cody Carlyle, MSc (2022) Variation in ringed seal density, distribution, and diet across a latitudinal gradient of sea ice. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with S Ferguson).
Megan Dudenhoeffer, MSc (2020) Arctic fox winter diet variation during damped lemming cycles estimated using molecular methods and fecal DNA. University of Manitoba.
Jessica Lang, MSc (2019) Red foxes engineer the boreal forest: impacts of denning on vegetation near the Arctic treeline. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with J Markham).
Kyle Ritchie, MSc (2018) Ringed seal trends in abundance inferred from genetics. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with S Petersen).
Christa (Szumski) Burstahler, PhD (2018) Variation in facultative diet specialization of Canada lynx. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with D Murray).
Emily Choy, PhD (2017) The interconnectedness of diet, physiology, and physical condition in beluga whales as a sentinel species for environmental change in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with L Loseto). Choy website
Jackie Verstege, MSc (2016) Fox and lemming responses to climate and snow conditions at the Arctic’s edge. University of Manitoba.
Michelle Ewacha, MSc (2016) Stress response of boreal woodland caribou, moose, and wolves to disturbance in eastern Manitoba. University of Manitoba.
Tazarve Gharajehdaghipoor, MSc (2015) Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: benefits to vegetation and collared lemmings through nutrient deposition. University of Manitoba.
Laura Murray, MSc (2015) Effect of nanosilver particles on metabolism and cortisol release in rainbow trout. University of Manitoba (co-supervised with M Rennie).
Danielle Mocker, MSc (2015) Diet reconstruction of wolves following a decline in Manitoba moose populations. University of Manitoba.
Andrew Coulson, MSc (2014) Agricultural subsidies affect isotopic niche size in elk and white-tailed deer. University of Manitoba.
Marci Trana, MSc (2014) Variation in blubber cortisol as a measure of stress in beluga whales of the Canadian Arctic. University of Manitoba. Trana website
Ryan McDonald, MSc (2013) Impact of prey availability and diet on stress in arctic foxes. University of Manitoba.
Olwyn Friesen, MSc (2013) Ecology of parasites in northern canids: impacts of age, sex, behavior, life history, and diet. University of Manitoba. Friesen website
Justin Brown, MS (2009) Factors affecting marine turtle egg predation by raccoons and ghost crabs on Canaveral National Seashore. University of Central Florida (co-advised with J Waterman).
Carlos Anderson, MS (2007) Individual identification of polar bears by whisker spot patterns. University of Central Florida (co-advised with J Waterman).
Brandon Barton, MS (2005) Cascading effects of predator removal on the ecology of sea turtle nesting beaches. University of Central Florida.
Laura Plog, MS (2004) Sea turtle nutrient input to dune vegetation: a stable isotope analysis. University of Central Florida (co-advised with J Weishampel).
Undergraduate Honours Students
Caila Kucheravy, BSc Honours (2020) Red foxes increase reproductive output of white spruce through ecosystem engineering (co-supervised with J Markham)
Dominik Simard, BEnvSc Honours (2018) Assessing body condition of moose killed by gray wolves in southern Manitoba (co-supervised with V Harriman)
Taylor Naaykens, BSc Honours (2016) Grey wolf selection for moose calves and factors influencing prey species consumption in southeastern Manitoba
Shu ting Zhao, BSc Honours (2016) Arctic foxes subsidize other wildlife through ecosystem engineering on the Canadian tundra
Alyssa Eby, BSc Honours (2015) Temporal variation of isotopic niche breadth and overlap between arctic foxes and red foxes at the edge of the Arctic
Paul Faford, BSc Honours (2015) Arctic foxes engineer the beach ridge plant community through nutrient deposition in the Canadian subarctic
Arielle Nagy, BSc Honours (2015) Effects of elk management on wolf diets in Riding Mountain National Park
Tera Edkins, BSc Honours (2014) The effects of a pulsed resource on the dietary niche of a seed predator and the consumption of alternative prey
BIOL 3318 Boreal Ecology (winter)
BIOL 3350 Data Analysis in Ecology (fall)
BIOL 4314 Arctic Field Ecology (summer)