Humans and Wildlife Team

The human and wildlife team’s strategic priorities are maintaining wildlife habitat and enhancing caribou habitat.

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. 

Apoorv Saini, PhD Student

Apoorv obtained his B.Sc. in Botany from the University of Delhi and his M.Sc. in Ecology and Conservation from the University of Aberdeen. His main research interests revolve around climate change and how humans are affecting wildlife on our planet. For his PhD research, Apoorv is focusing on measuring and modelling motorized activity in the boreal forest using acoustic recording units.


Alessandro Franceschini, PhD Student

Alessandro’s research addresses the impact of industrial disturbance on the ecology and behavior of mammalian species, investigating the consequences of altered mammalian communities on biodiversity and restoration outcomes. He combines the use of camera traps, ARUs, and GIS software to make inferences on small mammal population patterns both at the species and community level across linear features and well pads in Alberta’s oil sand region. He is aiming to understand the role of abundance and habitat use by small mammals in the regeneration processes of disturbed areas and provide scientific-based recommendations to improve conservation practices.

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.

Tharindu Krishan Kalukapuge, MSc Student

Tharindu is a graduate student in the Bayne Lab at the University of Alberta. He obtained his BSc in Zoology at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka which focused on phylogenetic and ecological affinities of an endangered Bush Warbler. His current research focuses on understanding the impacts of energy sector linear features on boreal songbirds. Specifically, he uses automated acoustic recording techniques to monitor songbirds and their communities with the aim of determining their numerical, functional, and behavioral responses to liner features of varying width and edge effect.