Undergraduate Program Director
PhD, Dalhousie University
MSc, Dalhousie University
BSc (Honours), McMaster University
Arctic Ecosystems; Food Web Ecology; Wildlife Conservation; Resource Management; Animal Physiology.
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J1P3
416 736 2100
My research focuses on the foraging ecology and conservation of Arctic carnivores. By examining the trophic relationships between top predators and their prey, we can define the structure of food webs and monitor changes in ecosystems over time. By understanding where, when, and how predators hunt for food, we can better act to protect wildlife populations and entire ecosystems.
Much of my research has involved the use of fatty acid signature analysis to examine the diets of marine and terrestrial carnivores. This technique is based on the knowledge that ingested dietary fatty acids (such as “omega-3’s”) are predictably incorporated into a predator’s fat stores. Therefore, the fatty acid profile of an animal can be used to make inferences about its foraging habits.
Long-term climate warming is having rapid and widespread effects on northern ecosystems. This in turn is altering the relationships between northern aboriginal communities and the wildlife populations they utilize. Accurate information on the current structure and functioning of food webs will help us predict how wildlife populations will change in the future and how these changes will impact the lives of people in the North. FES is uniquely positioned to examine the complex ecological, social, and economic changes that will result from a warming Arctic environment.