about

Field surveys in Ontario. Photo: James Marcaccio

I am a wildlife biologist specializing in landscape and species at risk ecology with a particular focus on reptile conservation biology. I take an interdisciplinary approach to my work, actively integrating principles and techniques from other specialties such as GIS, remote sensing, and wildlife ecohydrology to help decision-makers make informed choices regarding environmental policy and governance.

The Canadian Shield ecozone, located in near-northern Ontario, is ideally suited for the study of at-risk reptiles at their current extreme northern range limit. I am particularly intrigued by the interaction between dynamic landscapes and reptiles, and how changes in climate and anthropogenic pressures impact the availability and resilience of vital habitats.  My research aims to advance our ability to recommend evidence-based climate change adaptation and land use planning strategies.

My desire to protect our natural environment began at a young age. I grew up at my family’s cottage and spent a great deal of time on the water. My involvement with turtles began in 2011, when I had the opportunity to assist on a research project in Costa Rica monitoring sea turtle nesting beaches and protecting nests. Currently, I am fortunate enough to base my research program in the windswept landscape along the coast of Georgian Bay, Lake Huron. In my spare time, you can find me reading books, scuba diving, or out for walks with my dog.

I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow in McMaster University’s Ecohydrology Lab (www.ecohydrology.com/mcmaster).

Fellowships

2014 — 2017 NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship – PhD

2013 — 2014 NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship – MSc

2012 — 2013 Ontario Graduate Scholarship