Spatial Ecology

Spatial ecology is concerned with the identifications of patterns of distribution and movement across landscapes (or "sea"scapes) at the scales appropriate to the species, population or question of interest. In forested ecosystems, we are particularly interested in effects of fragmentation of habitat on forest-dwelling birds; in the Province of New Brunswick, which still maintains over 85% of forest cover, these effects may be harder to detect than in more obviously patchy parts of North America. Many projects have been completed in both forest and marine systems, and Chris Ward's research on Bicknell's Thrush habitat continues this theme.

Seabirds spend most of their lives away from land, and until recently that part of their lives has been inaccessible to researchers. The recent advent of miniature Geographic Location System tags has revolutionised our ability to follow the birds out to sea, and Mark Baran and Mark Dodds are exploring the off-season movements of Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills (respectively). Preliminary results of our "pilot project" investigating the feasibility of using this technology with puffins were included in the range-wide review of Atlantic Puffin movements by an international team led by Dr. Annette Fayet of Oxford University published in Current Biology.