Completed Projects

Ecology and Evolution in Red Squirrels

I explored reproductive trade-offs and mating behaviour in red squirrels:

I am using long-term data to investigate whether age at first reproduction affects senescence. I am working on a publication about this topic.

I explored whether cached resources affect reproductive success and mating behaviour. You can read more about the results in this scientific paper. My colleague also explored the importance of cached resources in a paper that we co-authored.

I tested whether there is a link between personality, life history traits, fitness, and resource pulses. You can read about our findings in this scientific paper.

I saw males committing infanticide and showed that they exhibit this behaviour in masts years, which are years of high food abundance when females are likely to breed again. This gives them a second chance at fatherhood. You can read more about this in the scientific paper I published about it.

These projects were collaborations with the Kluane Red Squirrel Project which I started during my PhD at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Stan Boutin.

Red squirrel who was a part of this research. Photo by Dr. Jessica A. Haines.

A female red grouse on her nest in heather. Photo by Dr. Jessica A. Haines.

Female Red Grouse Ornamentation

I investigated ornamentation in female red grouse and potential trade-offs with reproductive success. We found that comb size was positively correlated with body condition but negatively correlated with internal parasites. I completed this research as part of my MPhil thesis at the University of Aberdeen where I worked under the supervision of Dr. Jesus Martinez-Padilla and Dr. Steve Redpath.

Searching for the Elusive Long-tailed Shrew

Long-tailed shrews (Sorex dispar) are elusive small mammals found in eastern North America, and they have been poorly studied in many parts of their range. During my undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management at the University of New Brunswick, I worked with Dr. Dan Keppie to search for this elusive species in New Brunswick as it is poorly studied in that province. Despite lots of effort, we only found a few individuals and we wrote about our findings to share what we learned about this species.

Artwork of long-tailed shrew by Wapiti Studios.

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