WCS Canada

2012 Fellows

Ontario Northern Boreal

Anjali Karve, University of Toronto (PhD Candidate), is examining how the commercial removal of downed woody debris from Ontario’s northern boreal forests for biofuel production may impact small mammal biodiversity.
Josef MacLeod, Laurentian University (MSc Candidate), is surveying lakes in the “Ring of Fire” region of northern Ontario to collect baseline information on these understudied water bodies. He will collect information on a suite of physical and biological variables to provide a means for comparison in the face of future development in this region. 
Marco Raponi, Trent University (MSc Candidate), is examining the role of biting flies in shaping the habitat use and behaviour of woodland caribou. His work will help to uncover how insect harassment may exacerbate habitat loss for woodland caribou with impending changes to the boreal forest due to climate change and resource extraction. 
  Ayden Sherritt, Trent University (MSc Candidate), is developing a new tool for the rapid assessment of woodland caribou habitat based on site fidelity, the tendency of adult females to return to the same location in consecutive years. He is using this tool to examine how forest disturbance in northern Ontario and Manitoba affects site fidelity of woodland caribou, which is directly related to calf survival. 


Northern Boreal Mountains

Jeremy R. Brammer, McGill University (PhD Candidate), is developing a series of tools and techniques for northern communities to monitor, communicate and adapt to environmental changes. A goal of this project is to find ways to better integrate traditional and scientific knowledge.
Sara Kuleza, University of Saskatchewan (MSc Candidate), is studying how increases in soil temperature and nutrients due to climate change affect native tundra plants in the Yukon. This study will also examine how much these climate change factors allow for the invasion of boreal plant species to the tundra environment.
Lori Schroeder, University of Alberta (MSc Candidate), is studying the impact of reintroduced Wood Bison on native grasslands in southwest Yukon. Her study will address concerns that the rapid population increase of reintroduced Wood Bison may compete with other native ungulates and alter grasslands that contain rare and endemic plant species. 
Scott Williamson, University of Alberta (PhD Candidate), is measuring how the reduction in snow cover and increase in shrub cover, as a result of climate change, affects tundra albedo (i.e. reflectance of sunlight on the earth’s surface) in the southwest Yukon. His project will identify which landscapes are rapidly changing and which are showing resilience which will, in turn, dictate the numbers and diversity of wildlife that the ecosystem can support.