Understanding how roads affect wildlife in the Chignecto Isthmus

Documenting roadkill helps me investigate the interactions between wildlife and roads in the Chignecto Isthmus (Photo by NCC)

Documenting roadkill helps me investigate the interactions between wildlife and roads in the Chignecto Isthmus (Photo by NCC)

Whenever I talk to people about my summer field work, I am often initially met with expressions of disgust or sadness. The knee-jerk reactions are not surprising. I work very closely with everyone’s least favourite summer road trip sight:...

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Long live loons and their research

I paddled hundreds of kilometres searching for loons and their nests. (Photo by Kent Prior)

I paddled hundreds of kilometres searching for loons and their nests. (Photo by Kent Prior)

In the 1970s, North Americans were already concerned about the effects of human activity on the common loon, a large charismatic diving bird that breeds on lakes. My bachelor’s thesis at Queen’s University examined this concern on...

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The Swishwash Island bioblitz

L-R: Shannon, Robin and Dave (Photo courtesy of BCIT students)

L-R: Shannon, Robin and Dave (Photo courtesy of BCIT students)

We are three students in our final year of the fish, wildlife and recreation program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We were excited to choose Swishwash Island for our final research project because it gave us the opportunity to...

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Himalayan blackberry and English holly and Japanese knotweed…oh my!

East bank of Centre Creek overrun by dense Himalayan blackberry (Photo by Lynn Pinnell)

East bank of Centre Creek overrun by dense Himalayan blackberry (Photo by Lynn Pinnell)

As part of my bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia, I had the honour of doing an independent research project with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). For the project, I mapped all occurrences of invasive species at...

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Manitoba's mystery stonefly

An example of a classic spring. Tufa spring, Fort Ellice, MB (Photo by NCC)

An example of a classic spring. Tufa spring, Fort Ellice, MB (Photo by NCC)

Everyone enjoys a good mystery, even entomologists. During my early years of teaching a course in aquatic entomology at the University of Manitoba, the name Capnia manitoba kept appearing in the list of stoneflies in the province. It was a...

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Getting my feet wet with field work (literally)

Excited to be in the field (Photo by Lynn Pinnell)

Excited to be in the field (Photo by Lynn Pinnell)

As university students, we learn the theory behind conservation and read journal articles about the findings of studies that took place out in the field, but rarely do we get the chance to participate in real field work. I feel incredibly lucky...

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Buzzing down the house: Determining the habitat for declining bumble bees

Bumble bee foraging on red clover (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee foraging on red clover (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bees are important pollinators of crop plants and wild plants. Unfortunately, bumble bee species are declining globally. These declines are likely due to several factors, including climate change, a pathogen spread from imported bees,...

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Identifying bats by their distinctive voices

Big brown bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Big brown bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Having studied bats for more than a decade, I have been fortunate to be able talk to students in their classrooms while doing bat presentations, or to landowners while I trapped bats on their properties. Everyone has a bat story. Everyone loves...

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Poweshiek winter wonderland

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont/NCC staff)

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont/NCC staff)

Forget about crocuses and birds — the first sure sign of spring on the prairies is when the insects start to fly around. Have you ever wondered what happens to the insects in the winter? A few, like the monarch, fly south with the birds, but...

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What a difference a year makes

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

One of the first papers on pollination I tried to publish was rejected because it contained data from only one field season. I withdrew the paper, and did another year of research. Why is having two years of data so important, you may ask?...

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