Research in the WildCo Lab is motivated by the fundamental question of how best to conserve, manage, and restore biodiversity in a rapidly changing, human-dominated world. Our research aims to be grounded in ecological principles and quantitative rigour, while incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives that are a critical part of conservation science. We have diverse research interests that centre broadly on the applied ecology of terrestrial mammal populations, communities, and habitats.
Our current research themes include:
Mammal community dynamics in altered ecosystems
Despite their important ecological roles and socioeconomic significance, many terrestrial mammal populations are threatened by a range of anthropogenic stressors, including hunting, habitat loss, and climate change. Other mammals successfully exploit anthropogenic environments due to changes in habitat suitability or predation pressure. Wildlife management has typically focused on single-species assessments and actions, yet a fuller accounting of wildlife “winners and losers” is needed for effective landscape-level conservation. Our research looks across species, scales, and stressors to seek general principles in wildlife population regulation and community structure within altered ecosystems. We use multispecies survey tools and coordinated distributed surveys to capitalize on large-scale management experiments, both planned and unplanned.
- Responses of larger-bodied mammals to the cumulative effects of anthropogenic land uses in northern Alberta and British Columbia.
- The effects of woodland caribou recovery strategies on mammal community dynamics.
- The impacts of human footprint on mammal functional diversity across local, regional and global scales.
Coexisting with large carnivores
- Understanding conflict and mitigation effectiveness for farmers and large carnivores on southern Vancouver Island.
- Assessing coexistence between leopards and dairy farmers in Sri Lanka.
- Density and distribution of brown (grizzly) bears within human-impacted landscapes in western Canada and the Caucasus region.
- Carnivore connectivity and persistence in fragmented forests of northern Peru and southern Ecuador. **Looking for camera-trap carnivore records – submit here**
- Andean bear conservation in Peru.
- The effectiveness of protected areas for conserving lions, leopards, and other carnivores in West Africa.
Wildlife population estimation and monitoring