Holiday Social 2017 (so soon?)

Already?!?!? We  held our 2017 ‘lab’ holiday social on December 11th, and an amazing collaborative feast took place.   Stephanie organized a great rotating gift exchange with everyone walking away with ‘interesting’ little presents.  Thanks to everyone for helping with the preparation and cooking.   Back row: Karl, Cole, Jared and Anna.  Front row: Steph, Cheryl, JoAnne, Sydney, Dana, and Edyta. 

Sasindu defends her roly-poly thesis!

More good news from the lab as Sasindu Gunawardana successfully defended her thesis on November 30, 2017.   Sasindu created microcosm ‘worlds’ to test how combinations of factors affected the decisions of isopods (‘roly polys’ and sowbugs) to leave and travel away from familiar habitat.      Special thanks to Dr. Jim Hare from the University of Manitoba who traveled all the way from Winnipeg to serve as external examiner on the thesis.   Congratulations, Sasindu.

Shorf defends his thesis on elephant conservation.

We’re pleased to report that Shorf  Chowdhury successfully defended his thesis on “The human dimension of Asian elephant conservation in Bangladesh” on July 24th.  Thanks to Dr. Cormack Gates for acting as external examiner.   Shorf is now back home in Bangladesh resuming his work with the national Forest Service, and trying to keep up momentum with elephant conservation.  Congrats, Shorf.

 

Giraffe monitoring in Kenya

In June I had the very good fortune to help out a colleague witha giraffe project in Kenya.  Dusti Becker (along with her husband, Tony Povilitis) runs Life Net Nature, which is doing some amazing conservation work around the world. Dusti has been working with the Maasai people of Kenya to develop sustainable eco-tourism and a giraffe monitoring program.  Needless to say, it was an amazing experience for me walking across the savannah, counting giraffes and other large mammals.  I was able to check off four of my personal Big Five (Nile crocodile, black mamba, hyrax, and rhino) – just fell short on the honey badger (next time).   Check out Life Net Nature for this and similar opportunities: http://lifenetnature.org/

Lab holiday social

Amazingly, everyone (particularly the exam-laden undergraduates) made an effort to squeeze in a bit of holiday social time just before the Christmas semester break.   A great feast was provided through the combined efforts of the group.  A special thanks goes to Cheryl for helping with the herculean task of creating yet another Morton Thompson – Pierre Burton blackened turkey.  Sköld!

Two new papers drawn from undergraduate research….

Congrats to Jill and Jared for getting their undergraduate capstone project on snake diets published in The Northwest Naturalist  (2016, 97(3): 181-189).     Jill and Val also saw an undergraduate summer project appear in print, this one focusing on the diet of the highly-invasive eastern grey squirrel (Canadian Field-Naturalist 2016, 130(3):202-206).   Jill is currently working on her MSc in Pat Gregory’s lab at the University of Victoria, while Jared is here in our lab at TRU.  Val is completing her undergraduate degree in natural resources at TRU.  Congratulations to these three for the large amount of effort they put into getting their work into press – a great learning process.

Shorf presents in Minneapolis, Jared & Stephanie present in Louisiana

Conferences 2016This summer (2016), our lab travelled to the shores of the mighty Mississippi:  Shorf presented a poster on his elephant conservation work at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  About a week later, Stephanie and Jared both gave oral papers on their work at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I also chipped in presentations at both conferences, including a co-authored paper with Jessica.