Humans and Wildlife Team

Erin Bayne, Humans and WIldlife Team Lead

Dr. Bayne’s research is focused on understanding how human activities impact biodiversity with an emphasis on identifying mitigation options that benefit people and species. Erin applies novel technologies to solve challenging conservation problems. Most recently he has been working to standardize the use of automated recording units as a technology for wildlife monitoring across Canada which has involved development of new standards, automated computer recognition of species calls, and public websites to make the “big data” coming from soundscape monitoring available to all. 

Brendan Casey, PhD Student

Brendan’s research investigates the potential for LiDAR to improve SDM’s for birds occupying different forest strata. LiDAR-derived structural metrics will be used to evaluate forest occupancy of canopy, understory, and shrub layer songbirds including Canada Warbler. The specific structural conditions associated with their occupancy will be identified, and the relative performance of SDM’s for species occupying different forest strata will be compared.

Please note that Brendan is a student on an NSERC Strategic Project Grant at UofA and will undertake this research as one of his chapters in collaboration with BERA.

Jocelyn Gregoire, MSc Student

Jocelyn uses acoustic localization to understand how Canada Warblers, and similar upland songbirds, behave around seismic lines at different stages of recovery. She will then use these behavioural data to predict the population level consequences of recovery.   Large-scale grids of ARUs are being used to estimate the cumulative effect of different energy sector disturbances at the landscape scale.  By modelling behavioural data at the local scale, Jocelyn will assess if she can predict the landscape level response of bird populations to linear feature and well pad restoration. This will help to define what is recovered from an ecological perspective and can help to inform future industry standards.

Natalie Sanchez Ulate, PhD. Student

Natalie is studying how songbirds are dealing with chronic industrial noise, evaluating vocal plasticity to determine if this can explain why some species can persist in noisy areas while others avoid such areas. For this, she’s measuring song features such as frequency, amplitude, bandwidth, and syllables types from recordings of songbirds with territories in noisy and quiet areas. The main objective of her research is to understand what makes a songbird species tolerant, sensitive, or negatively affected by industrial noise and to provide insights into what the most appropriated mitigation options might be.