Past members of the ACS Lab
Monica’s Master’s work was in collaboration with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation to assess the potential influences of ecotourism on grizzly bear behavior.
Current Position: Research Associate with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Authority
Post-doctoral Fellow & Adjunct Assistant Professor
Kyle’s research focuses on conservation in support of people and places, including dimensions of human-wildlife coexistence, ecology, wildlife management and conservation, and biodiversity-supporting food production systems. Much of his work occurs in collaboration with the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department, Qqs Projects Society, Spirit Bear Research Foundation, the Central Coast Bear Working Group, and the Applied Science Lab.
Post-doctoral Fellow & Adjunct Assistant Professor
Andrew is a quantitative population ecologist who works on a variety of systems. He was mainly focused on the demography of social carnivores. As a member of the ACS lab, he collaborated with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to explore social impacts on population dynamics in northern resident killer whales.
Andrea Janse van Rensburg
Andrea’s honour’s thesis focused on the use of LiDAR-derived layers to increase the resolution of forest inventory modeling in Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory to a scale more appropriate for management decisions. Previously, Andrea worked as a technician for the Bear Project in Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv Territory.
Lauren used her background in molecular biology to answer questions about large-scale carnivore conservation along the interior to coastal ecotone of British Columbia. Lauren’s work is in partnership with Kitasoo, Xai’Xais and Gitga’at nations, with fieldwork conducted in their territories.
Current Position: Collaborative Management and Tribal Support Specialist with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition
Erin’s PhD work focused on sea otter foraging behaviour and range expansion on BC’s Central Coast, in partnership with the Hakai Institute. Working with researchers from Hakai Changing Seascapes and 100 Islands Programs, Erin investigated the effects of sea otter predation on nearshore ecosystems, and the potential of these effects to influence terrestrial communities via marine subsidies.
Current Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Molly has a lifelong dedication to improving our understanding of anthropogenic threats to marine ecosystems and species, having grown up on Northern Vancouver Island and spending much of her life on the ocean. She conducted her MSc research on assessing compliance levels of small vessels to marine mammal regulations in the Salish Sea.
Current Position: Southern Resident killer whale program with the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations Leadership Council
Post-doctoral Fellow 2020
Heather collaborated with partners from academia and the provincial government to investigate the environmental conditions that influence grizzly bear size and growth across the province of British Columbia. As part of the Central Coast Bear Working Group’s long-term bear research program, Heather worked with Indigenous and academic partners to apply new methods of monitoring bear population health using environmental DNA.
Current Position: Assistant Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia
Bryant worked closely with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Authority based in Klemtu, British Columbia to implement ecosystem-based management in Kitasoo/Xai’xais Territory. Bryant is specifically interested in exploring the role of cultural values in current and future forest management scenarios.
Current Position: Sea Gardens Science Officer at Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
Megan’s PhD combined her interests in the intersection of human governance systems and ecological systems, to pursue research that is applied and community driven. Working with the Wuikinuxv Nation, she focused on coupled bear-salmon-human systems, specifically habitat and resource connectivity for coastal grizzly bears.
Current Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow with UBC’s Martin Conservation Decisions Lab
Christina’s research used non-invasive methodologies to monitor grizzly and black bear diet and movement in Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory. Her work addressed locally meaningful research questions, such as how bears impact each others salmon consumption within the region.
Current Position: Wildlife Biologist & Science Coordinator with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Integrated Resource Authority (KXIRA)
Post-doctoral Fellow 2019
During his postdoc in ACS lab, Martin explored the impacts of human harvest by looking at how humans can shape entire animal communities, often by only harvesting a few species. Martin’s research helps bring new knowledge to theoretical ecological and evolutionary questions and better assess human impacts on fitness and the structure of animal communities.
Current Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow with Caribou Ungava at Université Laval
Mathieu was a PhD student with the Spatial Pattern Analysis & Research (SPAR) Lab and Applied Conservation Science Lab. His research examined how spatial patterns of grizzly bear movement, quantified using high resolution GPS telemetry data, are influenced by landscape disturbance, including roads, forest harvest, and forest fires, as well as resource and food availability.
Current Position: Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan
Katie’s research focused on the marine environment, particularly in understanding its importance for terrestrial ecosystems. Working with other members of the Hakai 100 Islands Team, she investigated how marine nutrient subsidies, in the form of beach wrack accumulation, influenced mammalian diversity, feeding behaviour, and population dynamics across island networks.
Current position: Stock Assessment Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Post-doctoral Fellow 2018
Working closely with Dr. Paul Paquet, Caroline’s research related to the quantification of at-sea marine bird species distributions and abundances, species-habitat relationships, predictive marine bird modelling and the development of spatial risk assessments for marine birds and industrial activity.
Current position: Wildlife Biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service
Post-doctoral Fellow 2017
Aerin worked closely with managers and communities to conduct applied research directly relevant to conservation and landscape planning. Her postdoctoral research focused on the ecological consequences of human predation on wildlife.
Current Position: Conservation Scientist with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
As an MSc student with the ACS lab, Eva’s research combined marine mammal population ecology and sociobiology, to explore the social structure of Northern Resident Killer Whales. Specifically, she examined the phenomenon of matriline splitting (the fragmenting of natal family groups), how it relates to group fitness, demographics, resource abundance, and competition for Chinook Salmon, and the potential implications on a population and evolutionary level.
Current position: Marine Mammal Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Alena’s research was mainly qualitative and involved assessing the motivations of both meat and trophy hunters in North America by examining online hunting discussion forums and related websites. Broadly, this work related to her interests in the connections between ecosystems and their components, including humans.
Current Position: Coordinator with Coastal First Nations’ Central Coast Bear Working Group and Media Coordinator for Spirit Bear Research Foundation
Travis’ work involved analyzing several years’ worth of remote camera and video data as an extension of Rosie Child’s work on patterns of sympatric and allopatric black and grizzly bears on the BC central coast. Broadly, this work is related to his interests in wildlife, ecology, and species interactions.
Current position: Conservation and Engagement Coordinator with the Nature Conservancy Canada
Post-doctoral Fellow 2015
Jonaki’s research focused on relationships among animals, humans, and plants on the Central Coast of British Columbia, with particular attention to coastal estuarine root gardens. Jonaki’s doctoral research was an extensive study of wild (free-roaming) horses in Chilcotin, BC. Working with Xeni Gwet’in First Nation colleagues and local advisors, she developed an in-depth analysis of the ecological and cultural relationships between wild horses, people, and the land. Her research in both regions examines how different cultural perceptions and ways of knowing contribute to management decisions.
Current position: Senior Researcher with Firelight Group
After working as a field technician on the bear monitoring project in Bella Bella, Rosie joined the Spirit Bear Research team in 2014. Competent both in the field and in the office, Rosie brings with her experience in database management, science communications, field research, and past research on trophy hunting, bear economies of BC, and bear behaviour via remote cameras.
Current position: Data & Engagement Coordinator with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Authority (KXSA)