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Gail Fraser

Gail Fraser



PhD Biopsychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland
MSc Zoology, North Dakota State University
BSc Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota

Research Keywords

Waterbird Ecology; Wildlife Management; Protected Area Management; Environmental Management Of Offshore Oil & Gas.

Graduate Supervision

I supervise students in the graduate program in Environmental Studies.

Gail Fraser

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

416 736 2100

Research Interests

I have two distinct areas of research that are connected through my interests in waterbirds.  I undertake field-based research to explore questions about animal behaviour and wildlife management. My research on the management of offshore oil and gas is driven by a desire to improve the conservation and protection of marine habitats.  I teach science-based courses where my goal is to develop interesting case studies, some of which are linked to my research, to explain concepts related to conservation and ecology.

Research Projects

  • SSHRC, Insight Grant (2019). Offshore oil exploratory drilling and marine protected areas: Assessing decision-making processes and outcomes in comparative developed state cases. Principal Investigator.
  • SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant (2019). Rubble to Refuge: Toronto's Leslie Street Spit. Co-applicant.

Research Output

Calvert, A.M., S. E. Gutowsky, D. A. Fifield, N. M. Burgess, R. Bryant, G.S. Fraser, C. Gjerdrum, A. Hedd, P. L. Jones, R. A. Mauck, L. McFarlane Tranquilla, W. A. Montevecchi, I. L. Pollet, R. A. Ronconi, J. C. Rock, J. Russell, S. I. Wilhelm, S. N.P. Wong, and G. J. Robertson. 2024. Inter-colony variation in predation, mercury burden and adult survival in a declining seabird. Science of the Total Environment 911: 168549. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.168549

Fraser, G.S. 2024. Post-fledging parental care in tree-nesting double-crested cormorants. Waterbirds 46(3): 1-7.

Kapoor, A., Fraser, G.S., Carter, A.V., and D. Brooks. 2022. Overcoming Divisive Strategic Environmental Assessments for Offshore Oil and Gas in Nova Scotia, Canada. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. DOI:10.1142/S1464333222500120

Damian, M., Harris, A., Aussage, J. and G.S. Fraser. 2022. Seasonal deposition of marine debris on an important marine turtle Nesting Beach in Costa Rica. Marine Pollution Bulletin 177(C6):113525. DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.113525

Fraser, G.S., G.J. Robertson, I.J. Stenhouse and J.I. Ellis. In press. Estimating the numbers of aquatic birds affected by oil spills: Pre-planning, response, and post-incident considerations. Environmental Reviews

Kapoor, A., G.S. Fraser and A. Carter. 2021.Marine conservation versus offshore oil and gas: Reconciling an intensifying dilemma in Atlantic Canada. Extractive Industries and Society. Role: assisted in data collection, analysis and writing of paper.

Duthie, C., L. Timms and G.S. Fraser. 2021. The European fire ant, Myrmica rubra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in the Credit River watershed. The Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario,152: Role: assisted in data collection, analysis and writing of paper.

Damian, M. and G.S. Fraser. 2020. Incorporation of anthropogenic debris into double-crested cormorant nests Toronto, Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research 46 (6): 1761-1766.

McDonald, K., R. Toninger, A. Chreston, I. Feldmann and G.S. Fraser. 2018.  Living with double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus): A spatial approach for non-lethal management in Toronto, Canada. Waterbirds 41(2): 208-220.

Fraser, G.S. and A. Carter. 2018. Seabird attraction to artificial light in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil fields: Documenting failed regulatory governance. Ocean Yearbook 32: 267-282.

McRae, M., M. Azadbakhsh and G.S. Fraser. 2017. The advertising display of double-crested cormorants varies with microhabitat and time of the season in a tree-nesting colony. Acta Ethologica 20(3): 319-327.  

Gupta, A., K. Rudmik and G.S. Fraser. 2017. Evidence for a negative effect of Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) on invasive European fire ants (Myrmica rubra). Canadian Field Naturalist 131: 347-349.

Carter, A., G.S. Fraser and A. Zalik. 2017.  Environmental Policy Convergence in Canada’s Fossil Fuel Provinces? Regulatory Streamlining, Impediments, and Drift.  Canadian Public Policy 43(1):

Fraser, G.S. and V. Racine. 2016. An evaluation of the reporting and response to small hydrocarbon spills from offshore oil production projects, Newfoundland, Canada: Implications for seabird conservation. Marine Pollution Bulletin 107: 36-45.

Fraser, G.S. and J. Russell. 2016.  Following up on uncertain environmental assessment predictions: The case of offshore oil projects and seabirds off Newfoundland and Labrador. Journal of Environmental Assessment, Policy and Management 18(1): 33 pages.

Chin, A., D.C. Tozer, N.G. Walton and G.S. Fraser. 2015.  Comparing bird-based disturbance gradients and indices of biotic integrity for ranking the health of great lakes coastal wetlands. Ecological Indicators 57: 475-485.

Chin, A., D.C. Tozer and G.S. Fraser. 2014. Hydrology influences generalist-specialist bird-based indices of biotic integrity in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Journal of Great Lakes Research 40(2): 281-287.

Recognition & Awards

  • Dean's Teaching Award, Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • EUC Dean’s Service Award


Course CodeTitle
 ENVS 1500Introduction to Environmental Science 2023-24.
ENVS 4446Protected Areas Management 2023-24