Heather Major

Broadly Heather Majormy research interests include habitat selection, life-history strategies, population biology, behaviour, island restoration, and applied conservation of marine birds.

My current research program focuses on elucidating the biology and behaviour of young pre-breeding seabirds, with a particular focus on dispersal and the role sensory structures play in settlement decisions.



  • Christy Wails, Colony attendance and behaviour of Crested Auklets
  • James Button, Migration timing and population estimation of waterfowl in the Bay of Fundy


  • Lucy Smith, SST as a factor in the reproductive failure of Crested Auklets on Gareloi Island in 2015


  • Jenna Donaldson, Colony attendance of Crested Auklet adults (Honours)
  • James Button, Aquatic bird migration through the Bay of Fundy (Honours)



Buxton, R.T., Major, H.L., Jones, I.L., and Williams, J.C. 2013. Examining patterns in nocturnal seabird activity and recovery across the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska, using automated acoustic recording. Auk 130: 331-341.

Major, H.L., Bond, A.L., Jones, I.L., and Eggleston, C.J. 2013. Stability of a seabird population in the presence of an introduced predator. Avian Conservation and Ecology 8:2.


Major, H.L., Hipfner, J.M., and Lemon, M. 2012. Habitat as a potential factor limiting the recovery of a population of nocturnal seabirds. Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 793-799.

Major, H.L., Chubaty, A. 2012. Estimating colony and breeding population size for nocturnal burrow-nesting seabirds. Marine Ecology Progress Series 454: 83-90.


Bond, A.L., Jones, I.L., Sydeman, W.J., Major, H.L., Minobe, S., Williams, J.C., and Byrd, G.V. 2011. Reproductive success of planktivorous seabirds in the North Pacific is related to ocean climate on decadal scales. Marine Ecology Progress Series 424: 205-218.

Major, H.L., Jones, I.L. 2011. An experimental study of the use of social information by nocturnal burrow-nesting seabird prospectors. Condor 113(3): 572-580.


Major, H.L., Jones, I.L., Charette, M.R., Diamond, A.W. 2007. Variations in the diet of introduced Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) inferred using stable isotope analysis. Journal of Zoology (London) 271:463-468.


Major, H.L., Jones, I.L., Byrd, G.V., Williams, J.C. 2006. Assessing the effects of introduced Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) on reproductive performance and survival of Least Auklets (Aethia pusilla). The Auk 123(3): 681-694.

Prior to 2006

Major, H.L., Jones, I.L. 2005. Distribution, biology and prey selection of introduced Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) at Kiska Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Pacific Conservation Biology 11(2): 105-113.

Jones, I.L., Hagelin, J.C., Major, H.L., Rasmussen, L.E.L. 2004. An experimental study of the function of Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella feather odor. Condor 106: 71-78.

Stuart, V., Ulloa, O., Alarcón, G., Sathyendranath, S., Major, H., Head, E.J.H., Platt, T. 2004. Bio-optical characteristics of phytoplankton populations in the upwelling system off the coast of Chile. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 77: 87-105.

Contact Heather

Biology Department
100 Tucker Park Road

University of New Brunswick
Saint John NB
Canada, E2L 4L5

Phone: 506-648-5679