2017 Conference Tour Part 1: Wildlife 70

I’m back at my desk in what is now sunny, springy Saskatoon after just over two weeks of friends & family, but primarily: science! I attended both Wildlife 70 in Peterborough, ON and CSEE 2017 in Victoria, BC. I’ll leave CSEE to a future post but here’s a quick recap on the Peterborough meeting.

Wildlife 70 (Peterborough, ON May 1-4)

I was honoured to have been awarded a student bursary to attend Wildlife 70: Symposium on Long-Term Research, and was thrilled to be invited to give one of the two student research talks showcased at the meeting at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. I presented my current “side” project sex ratio patterns in red squirrels. Thanks to the single-session format, I had no concurrent talks to compete with and some pretty incredible scientists in the audience.  The meeting fostered some excellent discussion on long-term ecological research. The many, many contributions and triumphs of such projects were highlighted (of course) but we also talked about the challenges in starting, running, and even (gasp!) ending long-term monitoring projects. In addition to all the engaging invited and contributed presentations & posters, we were treated to two keynote addresses by Dr Charley Krebs and Dr Marco Festa-Bianchet, and getting feedback on my work from both scientists in person was more than many budding ecologists could hope for (thank you!). Also, the food and drink were excellent, and staying with my friend and fellow Kluane scientist Melanie Boudreau meant lots of catchups and chats about stressed out snowshoe hares (keep your eye out for her, she’s doing wickedly cool stress physiology work).

A field trip to Algonquin Provincial Park, led by Dr Martyn Obbard, provided tours of the famous Algonquin Wildlife Research Station and Harkness research station, a short hike on the Spruce Bog trail, and a few interactions with the local flora and fauna.

Importantly, Wildlife 70 resulted in the Statement on Long-Term Ecological Research and Monitoring in Canada (read it here). As keepers of data and methods tracking important trends across many taxa and environments, I think formation of the proposed network will keep the momentum moving and help maintain these scientifically productive and policy-relevant projects.

Next, CSEE 2017 in Victoria, BC!