Discoveries in little-known fungi: Adventures in looking at lichens

Opegrapha parmeliiperda, cross section of one fruiting body showing four-celled spores developing inside spore sacs; blue colour result of treatment with potassium hydroxide followed by Lugol’s iodine solution. (Photo courtesy of Kendra Driscoll)

Opegrapha parmeliiperda, cross section of one fruiting body showing four-celled spores developing inside spore sacs; blue colour result of treatment with potassium hydroxide followed by Lugol’s iodine solution. (Photo courtesy of Kendra Driscoll)

I used to think that scientists understood the basics about most living things on Earth, that new species were all discovered long ago by people like Linnaeus and Darwin. Maybe you could find new species in the most remote corners of the planet,...

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What will we save? The conservation decisions we make today will impact Canada’s wildlife forever

Next Creek alpine lake (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Next Creek alpine lake (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Nature conservation often means making tough decisions. The conservation that does, or doesn’t, happen today will have a big impact on the future of wildlife here in Canada and beyond. Canada is a large and vast country, and we are one of...

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Bluebirds of frustration and happiness

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

A male western bluebird perches on a fence in southern British Columbia. Note the coloured leg bands, which allow observers to identify the bird. (Photo by Catherine Dale)

I have a complicated relationship with western bluebirds. I know that sounds strange, because who doesn’t like bluebirds? Their vivid plumage and soft calls are acclaimed as harbingers of spring and symbols of happiness. As Henry David...

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Whitebark pine research in the Darkwoods Conservation Area

The view from the top of Mt. McGregor capturing some of the remote and wild terrain within the Darkwoods Conservation Area. (Photo by Stephanie Jouvet)

The view from the top of Mt. McGregor capturing some of the remote and wild terrain within the Darkwoods Conservation Area. (Photo by Stephanie Jouvet)

The rugged beauty of the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges extend far into the distance, as I follow the calmness of Kootenay Lake from its northern reaches, south to where it fades into the marshlands of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management...

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How do you solve a problem like migration?

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

I can feel the rapid thrumming of the bluebird’s heart against my palm as I carefully manoeuvre its foot into position over a tiny Ziploc bag. I pick up my nail scissors and take a deep breath to steady my hand. I will only get one chance to...

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Using migration patterns to understand bird population declines

A tree swallow sits on a barbed wire fence (Photo by Lisha Berzins)

A tree swallow sits on a barbed wire fence (Photo by Lisha Berzins)

I don’t know about you, but by this time of the year I am ready for winter to be over. I think birds feel the same way. As soon as the sun comes out of hiding and the temperature inches above freezing after a dreary Ontario winter, the...

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Don’t forget to brake for snakes

The western rattlesnake. (Photo by Stephanie Winton)

The western rattlesnake. (Photo by Stephanie Winton)

The Okanagan Valley, a hot spot for many at-risk species, is located in the south-central Southern Interior region of British Columbia. It is home to 185 wineries, many golf courses and fruit orchards, and an incredibly diverse landscape that...

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Small but mighty — Migrating green darner dragonflies

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

In February when I wrote this blog, I was thinking about my “snowbird” colleagues taking vacations to escape the cold, Canadian winter. Little did I know that right around that time, a species of dragonfly was beginning to migrate...

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Weston Family Conservation Science Fellowship Program

Sundial lupine in the oak savannah (Photo by NCC)

Sundial lupine in the oak savannah (Photo by NCC)

It’s a sunny June day with only a slight whisper of wind in the trees. I am walking slowly through an oak savannah with Angela Demarse, a master's of science candidate at the University of Guelph in Ryan Norris’s lab. We are in search...

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The birds of southwest Manitoba

In July 2019, I visited southwest Manitoba for a research scouting trip from the University of Oklahoma. (Photo by Paula Cimprich)

In July 2019, I visited southwest Manitoba for a research scouting trip from the University of Oklahoma. (Photo by Paula Cimprich)

In July 2019, I visited southwest Manitoba for a research scouting trip from the University of Oklahoma, where I am a PhD student in the biology department. I was scouting for bird species and potential study areas to help with a University of...

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