Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society Newsletter
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August 2016
Vol. 9 Issue No. 4


To foster excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education among wildlife professionals in Canada

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C S T W S on F A C E B O O K
T W S on T W I T T E R
T W S on L I N K E D I N
C S T W S online
Executive Reports
President's Message
Dee Patriquin
Canadian Section President
Senior Environmental Scientist, Solstice Canada
and Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta

Hard to believe fall is already in the air –too soon! Our joint conference in St. John’s, NL on July 8-11 with the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution kicked off the summer with true East Coast hospitality. Highlights included presentations of seven students sponsored by the Section. Watch for articles highlighting the work of our student award winners in upcoming newsletters. Our own Kathy Martin was featured in an Award Winners Session after receiving the Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award. Volunteers from Memorial have stepped forward to help organize a Newfoundland Chapter, a hoped for outcome of the joint conference in Atlantic Canada. Planning is already underway for a similar joint conference with CSEE in Victoria in May 2017, and a revitalization of the BC Chapter. More news to follow on all of these exciting initiatives.

Our AGM in St. John’s reviewed the outstanding work of the Executive over this past year, including the efforts of Laura Trout and Matt Dyson to revamp the CSTWS website ( and newsletter. The persistence of the Awards Committee resulted in solid excellent nominations in several TWS award categories, as well as our own awards. Elston Dzus has been selected for the Canadian Section’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award and will be heading to North Carolina in October to receive his award at the annual TWS conference. We are still awaiting word on two other nominations, including the TWS Aldo Leopold Award and three nominations for TWS Fellows. Two Fellows are selected per Section each year and we’ll be excited to hear the decision at the upcoming TWS conference. Reports from the Education and Conservation chairs highlighted the activities in these two important outreach areas. The monthly webinars have been particularly popular and have led to suggestions for other professional development seminars and workshops. A members survey will be out soon to solicit ideas for future events.

In the months ahead, we’ll continue to build on these initiatives, helped by new additions: President-Elect Erin McCance, Vice-President Al Arsenault and Treasurer Mary Toews. The newly adopted change to our bylaws allows Matt Dyson, who has long carried the dual roles of Secretary-Treasurer, to focus on his role of Secretary. Thanks to all of our executive members – continuing and outgoing - for the efforts that made 2015-2016 so successful! Looking forward our new challenges, and continuing to build on our current initiatives!

New Executive Officers for 2016/2017
Canadian Section President-Elect

Erin McCance
Ecologic Environmental Inc.

Erin currently co-owns and operates an Environmental consulting company, EcoLogic Environmental Inc., where she works as a Project Manager and Wildlife Biologist/Ecologist with a specific interest and focus on terrestrial mammals, namely boreal woodland caribou, moose, and wolves. Her work includes baseline and effects assessment on various landscape change/development projects. In addition to working as a wildlife biologist, Erin is a Sessional Instructor at the University of Manitoba, teaching 4th year and graduate level courses such as Ecosystem Management and Biogeography. 
Erin served for 6 consecutive years on the Manitoba Chapter Executive in the roles of student representative, member at large, president elect, president, and two years as past president (2007-2012). Erin also served for 2 years on the CSTWS executive in the role of Secretary/Treasurer (2009-2011). Over the past decade, Erin has served and chaired several committees at both the local and national levels.  She is delighted to be a part of the CSTWS executive once again and looks forward to the opportunity to continue to support and grow this great organization. 


Canadian Section
Vice President

Al Arsenault
Amec Foster Wheeler

I’m currently an Associate Wildlife Biologist, Senior Wildlife Discipline Lead for western and central Canada, Science Advisor, and Project Manager with Amec Foster Wheeler, a global environmental and engineering consultancy.  Prior to joining Amec Foster Wheeler, I served 25 years (1984-2010) in the Saskatchewan public service, including 16 years as Saskatchewan Provincial Population Biologist, and lesser terms as Provincial Fur Manager, and Waterfowl Crop Damage Biologist.  My initial years were in the environmental consulting industry and contractor with the Canadian Wildlife Service.  All of my graduate and post-graduate education was acquired through University of Saskatchewan, which includes:  PhD Student (2013 and 2014), M.Sc. 1994, Post Graduate Diploma 1991, and B.Sc. (Adv) 1983.  My professional interests focus on: (1) wildlife population ecology and demography specializing in ungulates, furbearer species and waterfowl, (2) wildlife population assessment using invasive and non-invasive techniques, (3) landscape ecology (i.e. the interaction of habitat connectivity/configuration on wildlife populations, and predator-prey dynamics), and (4) disturbance ecology of wildlife species of conservation concern.   I’ve been a member of TWS parent organization since 1997, acquired a CWB® designation in 2002, am a member on several TWS working groups, and serve as a peer reviewer.  I’ve maintained annual membership with the Canadian Section of TWS since inception and am currently a member of the Canadian Section Awards Committee.  At the chapter level, I’m a charter member of the Saskatchewan Chapter of TWS, currently serving as Vice President and previously served 2 terms as Treasurer (2011, 2012).

Wildlife Trivia
For nearly 150 years, lichens have been the model organisms of symbiosis. A fungus joins with an alga or cyanobacteria in a relationship that benefits both individuals. Now researchers have uncovered an unexpected third partner embedded in the lichen cortex or 'skin'. What is the third partner?

Photo credit: copyright of varbenov/Fotolia
swer & Article at the bottom of the newsletter.
Student Research in Focus
Congratulations to all of our Student Travel Award Winners (2016 Canadian Section AGM, St. John's NFLD)
It was a great trip to Newfoundland and we are so proud of our Student Travel Award Winners. Here are some highlights from two of our award winners.
Alannah Beiga 
Simon Fraser University
My experiences at the CSEE and CS TWS 2016 meeting in the city of St. John’s are ones I won’t forget. Despite the jet lag (I arrived from Vancouver), there was a very lively buzz and excitement surrounding the conference from the very start. The first morning I attended the Symposium for Women Entering Ecology and Evolution Today (SWEEET). The goal of this symposium was to address the issues that influence the advancement of women from postgraduate degrees into academic, government, NGO and industry positions. Carissa Brown spoke candidly about what it means to be a prof, a mother, and a mentor while Imogen Coe increased awareness of the gap of women in science. Despite obvious challenges ahead, it was great to see such strong female academics at the conference, including three incredible women plenary speakers: Elena Bennett, Judy Myers, and Kathy Martin.

Mark Vellend gave a great keynote titled “The Problem with Biodiversity”. I really liked the discussion of being honest about communicating science versus your own personal preferences and values. This meeting was also the first opportunity I’ve had to present my research on amphibian conservation in zoos to such a large and diverse audience. I was delighted to see members of the audience “tweeting” about my talk (the #CSEE2016 twitter tag had a lot of traffic the whole week, which just added to the buzz surrounding the meeting).

Aside from the many great talks, there were also great networking opportunities for graduate students. I attended the student workshop on Friday night which allowed us the chance to speak to professors and professionals about an array of topics including work-life balance, choosing a phD supervisor, and careers outside of academia. It allowed me to make some great connections and even hand out a couple of business cards.

On the last night of the meeting, I attended the banquet after party where the Navigators played some traditional music and we got “screeched in” to become honorary Newfoundlanders – a ceremony that involves eating a piece of bologna, kissing a cod, swearing an oath, and drinking a shot of Screech – Newfoundland rum. The following day I attended the field trip to Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, a breathtaking experience in which I spent hours watching the hundreds of nesting seabirds and the occasional humpback whale.  Even though my week in St. John’s had a forecast of rain, drizzle, and fog (and a low of 5°C), I was completely charmed by Newfoundland and was grateful for the opportunities that were presented to me at this meeting. On top of gaining practice communicating my research, I was able to connect with past supervisors and colleagues and make new connections. I will definitely be returning to this meeting next year, and would encourage other students to do the same!

Charlotte de Keyzer
University of Toronto
Thanks to the generous support of the CS-TWS, I was able to attend the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) 2016 meeting, the CS-TWS 2016 meeting, and the annual Symposium for Women Entering Ecology & Evolution Today (SWEEET) all happening in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
My time in St. John’s, both during and outside of conference hours, was exhilarating. The landscapes and wildlife of Newfoundland are breath-taking, and the calibre of ecology and evolutionary biology research in Canada is outstanding. This combination made for an exhausting, but very rewarding six days abroad. Not only was this my first time in Newfoundland, but also my first time at a national-level conference.
For my talk, I presented on a conceptual study and re-analysis of an important long-term flowering phenology dataset. My work investigates the oft forgotten spatial component of temporal data, something that can become important when investigating effects of climate change. Despite presenting on a paper that is near completion, the CSEE meeting was still a great place for me to improve my presentation skills and to bounce new ideas off fresh faces. In particular, I was eager to receive feedback on the data I collected during my 2015 field season in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. In collaboration with a former post-doc in the Thomson Lab, we investigated elevational range shifts in bumble bees and bumble bee-pollinated plants. It was exciting to hear about and talk to researchers doing relevant work in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In addition, there were several other presenters asking similar questions about species’ range limits and range shifts in non-montane systems. I left St. John’s with many new and promising research directions to explore.
While in Newfoundland, I took time to enjoy a walk to Signal Hill, visit The Rooms museum, and go on a boat tour out of Bay Bulls. I was fortunate to see many new species (to me) at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, in particular, humpback whales, puffins, and gannets. However, perhaps the most rewarding wildlife sighting from my trip occurred on Memorial University campus, where during a conference lunch break, I observed that the most abundant bumble bee in the rose garden was Bombus terricola, the yellow-banded bumble bee. This was noteworthy because this species is on the Ontario Species at Risk List. I’ve only seen this bee in a lab setting so to see it in nature (and presumably doing quite well) was very cool. Speaking of bees, our limerick was a top pick at the CSEE banquet limerick contest, shout out to the Bee Team (Brock, Miriam, and Sheila)!
Canadian Section News

Congratulations to Kathy Martin!

Kathy was awarded the Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 AGM of the Canadian Section held in St. John's Newfoundland this past July. Thank you for your service to the society and the profession Kathy!

Photo left to right: Kathy Martin, Dee Patriquin, Evelyn Merril
The Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society is seeking to hire an Executive Director half-time to promote conservation advocacy. For more information check out our ad on
The Canadian Section is making plans for a reception at this year's Annual TWS Conference in Raleigh, NC. Stay tuned for details!

Check out the conference details here.
Register here.
Want your say in Section activities? Consider getting involved in a Canadian Section committee. 
  • Membership and Recruitment
  • Newsletter, Website, and Communications
  • Conservation Affairs
  • Education
  • Awards
Contact Matt Dyson for more details at
6th International Sea Duck Conference
San Francisco, California
6-9 February 2017

Register online here and submit your abstract by September 1, 2016
Submissions from undergraduates and graduate students are especially encouraged. There will be four student travel awards.
Wildlife Jobs

Graduate Opportunities
PhD Positions in High-altitude Adaptations - University of Miama, Coral Gables, FL
PhD Position in Disease Modeling - University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
Post-doctoral Associate Moose Management State University of New York - State University of New York, Syracuse, NY

Wildlife Jobs
GIS Analyst - fRI Research - fRI Research, Hinton, AB
Assistant Waterbird Ecologist - Forbes Biological Station, Havana IL
Swift Fox Research Technician: Montana - Clemson University, Malta, MT
UNBC Fish Ecology and Management Assistant-Associate Professor (tenure-track) - Prince George, BC

For more posts check out the Job Board on the new CS website:
Trivia Answer...   Yeast! Check out the article here:

Do you have a great idea for a newsletter trivia question or other newsletter content? If so, email Laura Trout ( 
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Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society · CSTWS c/o Matt Dyson · 21-465 Woolwich Street · Waterloo, ON N2K 3S4 · Canada

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