News Archive

September 2017

Happy Academic New Year!

Tegan has wrapped up her field work and Travis finsihed up a large amount of plant survey work. He’ll head out this fall to help with snowshoe hare live trapping, and Rachel and I are going out to do a few lichen surveys locally this fall.

In publication news, my colleagues Shawn Leroux and Eric Vander Wal, with a pile of grad students, have a paper accepted in Ecology Letters on our Ecological Stoichiometry work! Details to follow.

As well, Miguel’s second paper is now out in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

Mejías M, DB Wingate, J Madeiros, YF Wiersma, GJ Robertson. 2017. Nest-cavity selection and nesting success of Bermuda White-Tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus catesbyi). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 129: 586-599.

Also, a blog post I wrote for the “Applied Ecologist” blog is up. It’s about restoration of connectivity and highlights a paper I handled as AE for the Journal of Applied Ecologists. You can read the post here.

Wildlife overpass in Banff National Park, Canada (source: WikiPedant at WikiMedia Commons)

 

July 2017

New paper just out this month:

McMullin RT, YF Wiersma. 2017. Lichens and allied fungi of Salmonier Nature Park, Newfoundland. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 144: 357-369.

Field work is well underway. Here are a few photos from the past month. the first mosaic is from Tegan’s project (photo credits: Tegan and John) and the second mosaic is Rachel’s project (photo credits: Rachel and Patrick). Hover your mouse over the photos to see captions.

 

June 2017

New paper out this month:

McMullin RT, D Ure, M Smith, H Clapp, YF Wiersma. 2017. Ten years of lichen monitoring for air quality and ecological integrity at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. Ecological Indicators 81: 214-221.

It is starting to look a little bit spring-like around here. Rachel and Patrick are rocking away at their field work. Tegan and John also hit the ground running and will be heading out soon for a longer road trip to explore some new field sites.

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Patrick and Rachel with a cool moose find

I spent a day late last month in Terra Nova National Park with two members of the TERG project, to present our progress to our Parks Canada partners. We also tromped around a couple of the hare grids (and found evidence of hare activity).

 

In publication news, one of Miguel’s papers on the Distribution and at-sea behaviour of Bermudan White-tailed tropicbirds is out in the Journal of Field Ornithology. You can read it here.

May 2017

New paper just out in Endangered Species Research!

Gomez C, J Lawson, A-L Kouwenberg, H Moors-Murphy, A Buren, C Fuentes-Yaco, E Marotte, YF Wiersma, T Wimmer. 2017. Predicted distribution of whales at risk: identifying priority areas to enhance cetacean monitoring in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Endangered Species Research 32: 437-458.

Congratulations to Honours student Rebecca Bowering who successfully defended her thesis at the end of last month.

Teaching term is over and we are busy gearing up for a busy field season. We welcome Patrick and John to the lab as our new summer field assistants!

Travis is off to the CSEE meeting this month – where he is presenting two posters – one on his BC work (before he got here) and one on some stats analysis he did last fall. Have fun in Victoria, Travis!

The annual Biology Graduate Student Symposium last month was a great success. Rachel and Travis both presented posters and Travis won best photo in the “Marine” cateogry.

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Rachel presenting her poster at the BGSS

April 2017

Congratulations to LESA Lab Alumnus Miguel, whose second chapter of his thesis has been accepted for publication. The citation is below; we are told it will be coming out in the June issue.

Mejías MA, YF Wiersma, DB Wingate, JL Madeiros. Accepted. Non-breeding distribution and at-sea behavior of Bermudan-origin White-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus catesbyi) in the North Atlantic. Journal of Field Ornithology

The full-text version of the latest paper from the LESA Lab is now availalbe online. Check it out via the link below:

LeClerc E, YF Wiersma. Accepted. Assessing post-industrial land cover change at the Pine Point mine, NWT, Canada using multi-temporal Landsat analysis and landscape metrics. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.

PinePointMap

We enjoyed hosting Carly Ziter for the end of March – she is finishing up her PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison under Dr. Monica Turner. She will be moving out here in about a year and was visiting to explore post-doc options. We’re looking forward to further interesting discussions!

 

March 2017

Congratulations to lab alumna Emma LeClerc. The second paper from her MA has been accepted for publication. Two papers out of a very interdisicplinary MA (one using oral history and map biography that she published with her co-supervisor Dr. Keeling) – and the citation below (technical remote sensing/landscape ecology exercise) with me!

LeClerc E, YF Wiersma. Accepted. Assessing post-industrial land cover change at the Pine Point mine, NWT, Canada using multi-temporal Landsat analysis and landscape metrics. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.

In other news, a paper I was involved in (with colleagues at DFO) has been recently accepted. Here’s the citaiton:

Gomez C, J Lawson, A-L Kouwenberg, H Moors-Murphy, A Buren, C Fuentes-Yaco, E Marotte, YF Wiersma, T Wimmer. Accepted. Predicted distribution of whales at risk: identifying priority areas to enhance cetacean monitoring in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Endangered Species Research.

February 2017

Rachel, Tegan and I are busy slowly working through some lichen specimens in the herbarium which were collected in 1967 and are unidentified. We got curious about the collectors, so we wrote an article, which came out this week in Omphalina (the publication of the NL Foray). Thanks to everyone who helped out with gathering/taking images for the article.

We are hiring some summer field assistants! (at least two of them). One will be open only to students holding an NSERC USRA or a Memorial University USSIP or SURA. Students should apply to USRA/SURA/USSIP first, then my lab. The other will be open to undergrads in general. The first job advertisement is here.

January 2017

Happy new year! The past year was a productive one. In 2016 we welcomed two new students (Travis and Rachel) and said good bye to Emilie who took a job with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Add to that a LOT of field work, a workshop (for me) in Germany and a few publications and it was a good year.

Congratulations to Miguel Mejias, who passed his MSc examination and officially completed his degree this month.

The new year is a time for lists about the past year. In that vein, an editorial I wrote with colleagues Dr. Parsons and Dr. Lukyanenko in Conservation Biology was listed as one of the top accessed articles in that journal of 2016. Pretty cool!

Welcome to our newest student, MSc candidate Tegan Padgett. Check out her profile under “Current Personnel” tab.

December 2016

Just got word that an editorial I wrote with colleagues Dr. Parsons and Dr. Lukyanenko in Conservation Biology was listed as one of the top accessed articles in that journal of 2016. Pretty cool!

My colleague Dr. Troy McMullin (who worked as a post-doctoral RA in the lab last year, and is now lichenologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature) and I recently had a paper accepted. This was a “side project” during his time here in Fall 2015, but it got us a nice pub!

McMullin Rimg_3675T, YF Wiersma. Accepted. Lichens and allied fungi of Salmonier Nature Park, Newfoundland. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society.

 

 

 

A recent story in the Memorial University Gazette features work that myself and 3 colleagues are doing on the provincial Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council. Read it here.

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November 2016

Congratulations to Miguel, whose first chapter of his thesis “Nest-cavity selection and nesting success of Bermudian White-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus catesbyi)” has been accepted for publication in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology!

A paper with my former PhD student (now tenure-track prof at U Sask), Roman Lukyanenko, my colleague Jeff Parsons, and colleagues in Germany has been accepted by the Journal of the Association of Information Systems.

Welcome to the newest member of the LESA Lab  – Tegan Padgett. She’ll be working as an RA with me for 2 months before starting her MSc in January. Her profile will be up soon.

Congrats to Miguel whose thesis has been approved to go to examination. He’ll be delivering his exit seminar later this month.

October 2016

A paper I wrote a few years ago with John Sandlos on the topic of ecological baselines got nicely profiled in a JSTOR blog post by Matthew Wills. Check it out!

The latest issue of The Lichenologist features is a tribute to Irwin Brodo, who was curator of lichenology at the Canadian Museum of Nature for many years. I played a small part in one of the articles in the issue, citation below.

McMullin RT, LL Bennett, OJ Bjorgan, DA Bourque, CJ Burke, MA Clarke, MK Gutgesell, PL Krawiec, R Malyon, A Mantione, AT Piotrowski, NY Tam, AC Van Natto, YF Wiersma, SG Newmaster. 2016. Impact of air pollution and population density on lichen diversity in the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The Lichenologist 48(5): 593-605.

September 2016

Happy Academic New year! I’m on a mini-sabbatical, so will be hunkered down writing up some papers and grants, with forays to the field interspersed.

This fall we are welcoming a new MSc student, Rachel Wigle – watch for her profile on the lab personnel page.

A new paper is out that I co-authored with my colleague Dr. Darren Sleep of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvment.

August 2016

It was “dog days” of August at the LESA lab – finishing up field work, and taking some vacation time.

July 2016

I spent a fun 5 days helping the TERG crew with some vegetation sampling. Here’s the crew after completion of the entire plot!

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Justin, Matteo and Travis – no worse for wear after 50 veg plots.

A paper I am a co-author on with colleagues Roman Lukayanenko (recently moved from Florida International University to University of Saskatchewan), Renee Sieber (McGill), M. Maddah (FIU) and Jeff Parsons (Memorial) is out at the following location:

Lukyanenko R, J Parsons, YF Wiersma, R Sieber, M Maddah. 2016. Participatory design for user-generated content systems: understanding the challenges and moving forward. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 28(1): Article 2.

Travis has updated the TERG (Terrestrial Ecology Research Group) site. Check it out here. His bio is not up on my site yet, but he’s hit the ground running with field work, so we can forgive that.

This month Memorial is hosting the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution meeting. It should be a great event! Check out the full program here.

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In funding news, a project I was a co-applicant on (with colleagues from across Atlantic Canada, led by Dr. Karen Harper at Dalhousie) has been awarded funding under the Atlantic Ecosystem Initiative. Watch this space for an advertisement for a grad student position!

June 2016

Just released from embargo today (June 13) – a paper in Nature Communications which I helped out with. Lead authors are colleagues from my sabbatical at the Technical University of Munich. You can access the paper here.

Congratulations to Honours student Rachel Winsor on her convocation!

Congratulations to Christina Wiseman, one of the students in BIOL 4405 (my Landsacpe Ecology course). Christina was awarded the Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Prize, which recognized her essay “Landscape Fragmentation: the changing study and use of the term as technoclogies evolve” as the winning essay in a university-wide competition.

graduation

The last week of May featured a bit of a flurry of paper acceptances, which I didn’t have time to share here, so I’ll start June off by announcing the following papers which have been accepted and which should be appearing in the respective journals in the weeks/months ahead.

  1. Lukyanenko R, J Parsons, YF Wiersma, R Sieber, M Maddah. Accepted. Participatory design for user-generated content systems: understanding the challenges and moving forward. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems.
  2. McMullin RT, LL Bennett, OJ Bjorgan, DA Bourque, CJ Burke, MA Clarke, MK Gutgesell, PL Krawiec, R Malyon, A Mantione, AT Piotrowski, NY Tam, AC Van Natto, YF Wiersma, SG Newmaster. Accepted. Impact of air pollution and population density on lichen diversity in the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The Lichenologist.
  3. Wiersma YF, DJH Sleep. Accepted. No “one size fits all”: A review of how definitions and concepts in systematic conservation planning are applied in the real world. The Forestry Chronicle.

In other news, Honours student Rebecca has started some field work – I’ll try to get some pictures up, and the TERG crew is busy setting up their field sites.

I’m also off to Germany this month, to Stuttgart and the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) for a workshop on Citizen Science with my colleague Dr. Wachinger, who was a visiting researcher in my lab last fall.

 

May 2016

Welcome to our newest graduate student, Travis Heckford (MSc student) who will be part of the TERG Team. His profile should be up pretty soon. In the meantime you can peruse his personal website here.

I also have two undergraduates joining the lab this summer. Olga Trela is doing a USRA in my lab for half the summer and Rebecca Bowering just started her Honours research with me. Look for their profiles on my “people” page soon.

An editorial in Conservation Biology that I co-authored with my colleagues Roman Lukyanenko and Jeff Parsons is now out in an issue of Conservation Biology that also contains a special section on Citizen Science, which is worth checking out. The citation is:

As AE for Journal of Applied Ecology, I was asked to do a blog post related to a recent paper I handled on seagrass habitat modelling. You can read it here.

Woot! I got out of the office this month! It wasn’t a lot (mostly a lot of driving and a day meeting with Terra Nova parks folks) but me and da b’ys (TERG grad students) did get to do some preliminary scoping of field sites, see what a hare grid looks like, and introduce Matteo and Travis to boreal vegetation.

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Da b’ys. AKA TERG grad students. L to R: Matteo (Leroux lab), Travis (Wiersma lab), Justin (Vander Wal lab)

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TERG stands for Terrestrial Ecology Research Group, but sometimes we go out on the ocean…

April 2016

This month was the Biology Graduate Students Symposium. It’s a one-day event designed to let students showcase their research. I always look forward to it as it’s such a great event and gives me a chance to hear about all the cool research going on. This year was no exception. Kudos to the organizing committee on another successful symposium. A highlight for me this year was that one of my students, Miguel, was voted for the Joe Brown People’s Choice Award for best talk. This rather, um, phallic, trophy gets to sit in the lab for the whole year before being bestowed on next year’s winner (for the curious, that is a bone from a seal bacculum – the trophies are all handmade and reflective of Newfoundland’s distinctive fauna). Congrats Miguel!

Matt is starting the month by travelling to beautiful Asheville, North Carolina to present his Fogo Island work to landscape ecologists at the US-IALE meeting. The conference website is here and if (like me) you can’t be there, you can follow the Tweeters using the #usiale2016 hashtag.

Congrats to PhD student Emilie Kissler who has been offered a permanent position with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. She’ll soon be relocating to Timmins, in northern Ontario.

March 2016

Here’s a link to an article in the St. John’s Telegram (March 15) about Dr. Troy McMullin’s work, done while he was working here last October.

Happy International Women’s Day (March 8th). Several editors of Journal of Applied Ecology (including me) have contributed to a blog post on perspectives of women in science. Check it out here.

My colleagues Roman Lukyanenko and Jeff Parsons and I have had an editorial on the topic of data quality and citizen science accepted for a forthcoming issue of Conservation Biology. The citation is:

Lukyanenko R, J Parsons, YF Wiersma. 2016. Emerging programs of data quality in citizen science. Conservation Biology DOI 10.1111/cobi.12706

Congrats to Matt on submission of his first article to a peer-reviewed journal. He took the lead on writing up a small summer project he did with Dr. Liboiron and I on Fogo last summer.

I’m part of a forthcoming review article about the value of Landscape Ecology for policy-making, coming out in BioScience. The citation is:

Mayer AL, B Buma, A Davis, SA Gagné, EL Loudermilk, R Scheller, F Schmiegelow, YF Wiersma, J Franklin. In press. How landscape ecology informs global land change science and policy. BioScience

February 2016

My colleagues Roman Lukyanenko and Jeff Parsons and I have had an editorial on the topic of data quality and citizen science accepted for a forthcoming issue of Conservation Biology. Citation information will be posted here soon.

My colleagues at DFO are hiring for two GIS positions – please check this link for the job description.

Matt is off to beautiful Banff in the first week of February for a week-long MEOPeer session.

January 2016

Happy new year! Looking back, I would say 2015 was a pretty successful year in the lab. Wewelcomed two new students (Krista and Matt; both of whom are making great progress on their papers) and hosted 3 visiting researchers (Jennifer from U Manitoba last April and Dr. Wachinger from the University of Stuttgart and lichenologist Dr. McMullin in the fall). We also saw the successful completion of Emma’s MA thesis and Rachel’s Honours thesis. Top that off with some successful grants and publications and it’s been a good year. I’m sure 2016 will bring more exciting activity in the LESA Lab.

  • Congratulations to Andrew Roberts on completion of his MES degree!

Please take note of the event below, hosted by my collaborator Dr. Max Liboiron

Marine Plastics in Newfoundland Fish and Ecosystems: A Public Meeting

Thursday, January 21

7-8:30pm

Petty Harbour Recreation Center

Cribbies Road, off Main Road next to the War Memorial

While plastics have been found in every ocean in the world, the exact amounts and effects of plastic pollution in Newfoundland are unknown.

A team of research at MUN have started a long-term study of marine plastics in Newfoundland by collecting cod guts from the September 2015 food fishery to see of cod are eating plastics. They will present their findings at this public meeting, discuss the issue of marine plastics more broadly, and collect input from attendees about the types of concerns they have around plastic pollution in Newfoundland to direct future research.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

 For more information, contact project leaders at MUN: Dr. Max Liboiron mliboiron@mun.ca (Sociology & Environmental Sciences) & Dr. Charles Mather cmather@mun.ca (Geography)

December 2015

December has been a month full of accomplishments and achievements in the lab. What a great way to end 2015!

  • Congratulations to Emma LeClerc on passing her MA Thesis exam! She has landed a part-time position at the university, starting in January. She will be teaching the Intro to GIS course in the Geography department.
  • Congratulations to Honours student Rachel Winsor on a successful defense of her thesis!
  • My colleague Dr. Jeff Parsons’ dual SSHRC/NSERC awards are highlighted on today.mun.ca. You can read the details here. I’m involved in the less-technical project, funded by SSHRC.
  • Lab alumnus Dr. Roman Lukyanenko was awarded the “Best Dissertation Prize” at the 2015 International Conference on Information Systems this month. Congratulations Roman!
  • Visiting post-doc Dr. Troy McMullin landed a full-time job. He will be the new Curator of Lichenology at the Canadian Museum of Nature, starting in April 2016. Congratulations Troy!

November 2015

The month is off to a busy start. My colleages Dr. Max Liboiron, Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, and I, together with MES student Krista, ran a successful beach clean up and data collection for our work on citizen science and marine plastics.

Interviewing beach clean-up volunteers

Clean up on Topsail Beach

Trash = Data

Yolanda spent the better part of the first week of November in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, chairing WERAC meetings. It was a productive meeting! The highlight was a public open house/meet and greet at the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce.

WERAC meet and greet. Canoe

WERAC meet and greet. Canoe “lampshade” with Northern Lights effect is constructed by Labrador member Joe Goudie.

October 2015

My visiting colleague, Dr. Gisela Wachinger, from the University of Stuttgart, Germany are having some productive focus groups and interviews with NLNature.com users. I am also learning a lot about Germany’s newest national park, Schwartzwald (Black Forest) and we are working to develop a proposal for future collaborations examining issues and conflicts in and around national parks; comparing Canadian and German case studies.

This month features a second visiting researcher to the lab, Dr. Troy McMullin, a lichenologist from the University of Guelph. He and I are collaborating to make links between boreal forest landscape ecology and lichenology. You can see some pictures of his trip here.

September 2015

HAPPY ACADEMIC NEW YEAR!!

We are happy to see Matt safely back from his 4 months of field work on Fogo. He’s got lots of great data and maps. Also we are happy to welcome back Andrew from his work term and adventures in Labrador – he’ll be busy finishing up his major paper this term.

We’re also welcoming our newsest LESA Lab member – Krista Byrne-Puumula, who is doing an MES related to citizen science and marine plastics (co-supervised by Dr. Max Liboiron).

Also a warm welcome to visiting research, Dr. Gisela Wachinger, from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. She and I are collaborating on research with our NLNature.com users to find out why they use the site, and solicit ideas for ways to make the site better. We’re also working to develop a proposal for future collaborations examining issues and conflicts in and around national parks; comparing Canadian and German case studies.

In funding news, my colleagues Dr. Leroux, Dr. Vander Wal and I recieved a grant from MITACS to support 3 students in our Terrestrial Ecology Research Group.

August 2015

Check out the new website for a collaborative research group in Terrestrial Ecology that I am a part of! Visit it here.

Summer is always a bit of a blur of research activities and writing, plus squeezing in some fun and R & R.

I recently got back from a few days on Fogo with my colleague Max – we went to visit Matt in the field. We got out on a fishing boat to check cod pots, and worked out a new beach survey protocol (dubbed “the Fogo protocol”) to survey for marine microplastics on rocky beaches. We also visited one of the 4 corners of the earth.

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Brimstone Head on Fogo island is alledgedly one of the four corners of the earth…

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Brimstone Head – don’t fall off!

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Matt setting up a quadrat for the Fogo protocol

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I also got out to my lichen site a few times and had awesome help from WISE summer student Rebecca.

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And, in a few of the sunny days we had, I caught some rays and worked on some papers.

SundayAft

Finally, a special issue on the topic of “Protected Areas and Sustainable Forest Management” which I edited is out in Conservation and Society. See the complete Table of Contents here.

July 2015

Yikes, it’s the middle of July and I’ve not updated the website. Things must be busy! Students are all at work (see Andrew’s work term guest blog here) or in the field. Matt is still up on Fogo and a team just got back from two weeks of hard work on the northern Peninsula. Matt sent this awesome photo from Fogo…

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I was recently in Portland, Oregon for the IALE World Congress. It was great. I guess between co-ordinating field work, getting ready for the congress and travelling, I have not updated here. I saw lots of great talks from all over the world, and it seemed that every Canadian landscape ecologist was there too. In honour of hard-working Canucks in the US, here’s a photo of a sculpture just outside the hotel in Portland.

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In publishing news – the issue of ACE-ECO with Karla’s paper is officially rolled out (though her article was online already over a month ago). The full issue is here.

As well, a special issue on the topic of “Protected Areas and Sustainable Forest Management” which I edited is out in Conservation and Society. See the complete Table of Contents here.

June 2015

We have a guest post from MES Student Andrew, on his Co-op Work term experience. Read it here.

Yolanda has been appointed an Associate Editor at the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology. I’m looking forward to seeing some interesting manuscripts cross my desk!

If any Newfoundland bird watchers want to help with a Shorebird Survey, Environment Canada/CPAWS are looking for your help. See ad below for details.

shorebirds ad

May 2015

Lab alumna Nyssa Van Vierssen Trip’s thesis work is now published. She’ll be starting her PhD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University this September where she’ll work with Dr. Justin Podur.

Van Vierssen Trip N, YF Wiersma. 2015. A comparison of All-Terrain Vehcile (ATV) trail impacts on boreal habitats across scales. Natural Areas Journal 35(2): 266-278

The first of May brought some good-byes… a few shorter, a few longer.

We’re sad to say good-bye to our new friend and colleague Jennifer Doering, who visited the LESA Lab for a couple of weeks from the University of Manitoba to learn some landscape ecology and spatial analysis techniques to intergrate with her Masters research on genetic variability in lichens. You can read a bit about Jennifer’s experience by clicking here.

Jennifer D adjusting to NL wind and topography from flat Manitoba. She adapted quite quickly and learned to appreciate our lichen-friendly climate.

Matt left for his 4 month field work on Fogo Island. Looking forward to hearing about his adventures… perhaps we will get him to guest blog from out there.

Andrew will also be taking some time away from the LESA Lab while he does his 4 month co-op work term with Sikumiut Environmental Management. It sounds like he will have some neat travel up to Labrador and will be picking up some new skills along the way.

April 2015

The end of April is lichen-themed! We’re please to welcome MSc student Jennifer Doering, from the University of Manitoba as a visiting grad student for 2 weeks. As well, Andrew is busy experimenting with a hyperspectral camera for lichen research.

Congrats to lab alumna Karla, who has a paper (based on her honours thesis) accepted in Avian Conservation and Ecology-Écologie et conservation des oiseaux. The citation is:

Letto KR, YF Wiersma, J Brazil, B Rodrigues. 2015. Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) population increases in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland – evidence for habitat saturation? Avian Conservation and Ecology 10(1) art. 4 [online]

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Bald Eagle chick in Placentia Bay, NL (photo by Joe Brazil)

MSc(Env) student Matt, his co-supervisor Max Liboiron and I had a productive meeting at the end of the past month as part of the Fogo Island project. We had a participatory citizen science meeting with fishermen where we collaboratively defined our research question and developed a data sampling strategy.

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Participatory Citizen Science in action (photo by Phoebe Sengers)

March 2015

Congrats to lab alumna Karla, who has a paper (based on her honours thesis) accepted in Avian Conservation and Ecology-Écologie et conservation des oiseaux. The citation is:

Letto KR, YF Wiersma, J Brazil, B Rodrigues. Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) population increases in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland – evidence for habitat saturation? Avian Conservation and Ecology.

Good news for my colleagues Dr. Vander Wal, Dr. Leroux, and I. We’ve each been awarded a research grant to start some integrated research encompassing population, ecosystem and landscape ecology in boreal Newfoundland.

The first paper based on sightings from nlnature.com is out. This is based on a sighting of a new mosquito species to the province, which was made by a member at nlnature.com. Entomologists at Memorial University confirmed it, and have published the report of this new occurrence in The Canadian Entomologist. Read it here.

The is a lot going on this month related to the Fogo Island project. Matt and I are heading to Fogo at the end of the month with Matt’s co-supervisor Max Liboiron and guest visitor Pheobe Sengers for a meeting with the fishermen to develop research quesitons further.

Phoebe is on campus this month and doing several events related to Change Islands (next door neighbour of Fogo). Read about them here.

February 2015

Yolanda was elected co-chair of WERAC (Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council) this month. Here’s the press release.

January 2015

Happy new year from the LESA Lab!

We’re starting the new year with a new student – welcome to Matt, the newest grad student in the lab! Read his bio here!

Emma’s paper on land use in Pine Point, NWT “From cutlines to traplines: post-land use at the Pine Point mine” published in The Extractive Industries and Society is available free online until March 5, 2015. Download it here.

Yolanda is giving a workshop on Citizen Science at the MEOPAR-Sponsored symposium on Knowlege Mobilization at the end of this month.

Roman’s paper is out in Information Systems Research… the first article of the last issue of 2014  – access it here.

December 2014

The Fogo project is featured in the University’s “Face Forward” campaign. Check it out here.

A paper led by recent PhD grad Roman is out in a top-leve Information System journal. Check it out here.

Yolanda is attending the Nature Conservancy Canada launch of the Labrador Nature Atlas. The launch is a 3-part tour hitting Goose Bay, Corner Brook and St. John’s. You can read more here.

November 2014

Congratulations to MES student Andrew Roberts, who was presented with this year’s CIG-NL Geomatics Scholarship at the Geomatics Atlantic meeting this month!

Andrew recieving his award from the Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the CIG, Dr. Rodolphe Devillers

Andrew receiving his award from the Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the CIG, Dr. Rodolphe Devillers

It’s a busy month for presentations… Yolanda presented work completed with recent PhD grad Roman Lukyanenko at the Canadian Institute of Geomatics NL meeting this month, and is presenting on forestry-themed research in the Biology department at the Canadian Institute of Foresters – NL meeting later this month. Between those she is off on a quick trip to Nova Scotia to participate in the Fishermen’s Forum.

We had a very successful “Oceans of Data” workshop last month. Read all about it here. Now it’s time for report writing and thinking about how to maximize all the great new connections and potential collaborations made.

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group shot “Oceans of Data” workshop October 23-24, 2014

October 2014

Congratulatoins to MES student Andrew Roberts, recipient of this year’s CIG-NL Geomatics Scholarship!

It’s the countdown to the “Oceans of Data” workshop on ocean themed citizen science and ocean literacy that I am hosting later this month. Read all about it here.

MA student Emma LeClerc has her first paper out! It’s based on oral interviews and mapping she did in Fort Resolution, NWT on the topic of the abandoned Pine Point Mine and forms the “land use” chapter of her thesis. You can find the paper here.

Alumus Shad Mahlum’s paper is now up on the “In Press” and formatted and looking spiffy in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Click here for the PDF (if you have access to the journal, otherwise go to Shad or my profile on Research Gate to get post-prints). I was recently alerted to the fact that his first paper in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (access it here) was the “most viewed” article of that issue. Congratulations Shad!

September 2014

Happy academic new year! September always feels like a fresh start! Here in the LESA Lab we are welcoming new MES student Andrew Roberts – his profile should be up on the Students page soon.

Alumus Shad Mahlum’s paper is now up on the “Just in” page of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Click here for the PDF.

In lab alumni news – Megan Lafferty’s contract with the Nature Conservancy has been extended into 2015 so we get to keep her on the Rock for another year.  Click here to read an article in the local paper about her summer field work. Dr. Julie Andersen has started a job with Water Management in Norway, and Shad Mahlum has been offered a position in a fisheries research centre at University Miljo (also, by coincidence, in Norway). As well, Dr. Lukyanenko started a tenure-track position at Florida International University.

This month, my colleague Dr. Dave Cote and I are presenting a webinar for the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation. Details here.

August 2014

August is usually a slow month in acadmia. However, we’re still pretty busy here in the LESA Lab. Summer students Tomo and Shannon have a few weeks left in their contracts and are wrapping up some excellent project work.

CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Roman Lukyanenko who passed his PhD exam with distinction on August 8. If you missed his excellent defence, you can watch a 3-minute video version here (taped at Memorial’s 3-minute thesis competition in 2013).

The Lewisporte Pilot published an article highlighting our Fogo Island Citizen Science project that is just getting underway. You can read the article here.

July 2014

Congrats to Roman Lukyanenko, PhD candidate who just got a paper accepted in the very prestigeous journal Information Systems Research, which also makes this week a “hat trick” for me (Shad and Julie’s papers were earlier this week). Roman’s paper is:

  • Lukyanenko R, J Parsons, YF Wiersma. In press. The IQ of the crowd: understanding and improving Information Quality in structured user-generated content. Information Systems Research

Congrats to Shad Mahlum, MSc grad from the LESA lab  on the acceptance of the second paper from his thesis for publication! Way to go! The citation is:

  • Mahlum S, D Kehler, D Cote, YF Wiersma, L Stanfield. In press. Assessing the biological relevance of aquatic connectivity to stream fish communities. Submitted to Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Congrats to Dr. Julie Andersen, LESA Lab Alumna on the acceptance of the final chapter of her thesis for publication in PLoS ONE.  The paper can be viewed/downloaded here. The citation is:

  • Andersen JM, GB Stenson, M Skern-Maurizen, YF Wiersma, A Rosing-Asvid, MO Hammill, L Boehme. In press. Drift diving by Hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. PLosONE

It’s been a good news month on the funding front. As PI, I was awarded two grants; a Partnership Workshop Grant from MEOPAR to run a workshop this fall on “Ocean Citizen Science and Ocean Literacy”. As well a group of us recieved funding under the Harris Centre Applied Reserach Fund to establish a citizen science project with fishermen on Fogo Island.

Here’s a link to a story on the Memorial website about my appointment (along with 3 other colleagues) to WERAC.

June 2014

I paper I collaborated on with colleagues at TUM (while on sabbatical) is out! PDFs here.

Acevedo-Cabra R, YWiersma, D Ankerst, T Knoke. 2014. Assessment of wildlife hazards with a semiparametric spatial approach. Environmental Modeling and Assessment DOI: 10.1007/s10666-014-9411-9

We’ve still got lots of icebergs!! You can track them here. As well, the lack of snow and somewhat nicer temps mean we are seeing an increase in sightings on NLNature.com. We’ve recently re-vamped the interface at NLNature a little bit to make it more user friendly. So, don’t forget to log your interesting sightings!

Welcome also to Shannon Steele, an undergrad from Dalhousie University, who is doing an exchance in my lab. She is working on NLNature.com and also OceanViewer.org

Nyssa came back to the Rock for her convocation. It was great to see her again. Congrats to her and the others from my lab who weren’t able to make their convocation – Shad Mahlum (MSc) and Julie Andersen (PhD).

DSCF1974

 May 2014

It’s “spring” in Newfoundland. The teaching term is over, so we’re getting busy on some research in the lab. New summer student Tomo Sato just joined the lab, and will be working with me on a number of project over the next 16 weeks.

Spring in Newfoundland also means icebergs (and cold weather) – you can track them here. As well, the lack of snow and somewhat nicer temps mean we are seeing an increase in sightings on NLNature.com. Don’t forget to log your interesting sightings!

Spring also means election season for many academic societies, and Yolanda was just elected Coucillor-at-Large on the Executive of the US chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecologists.

April 2014

Yolanda is off to the Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society annual meeting – where she will be a plenary speaker and presenting a poster. Then she’s off to Munich for the FChange meeting which her hosts and friends from last year’s sabbatical are organizing.

Work with my colleagues in IS, Dr. Jeffrey Parson and PhD student Roman Lukyanenko was cited recently in an editorial in MIS Quarterly – one of top journals in Infromation Systems. You can read the editorial on “Design science research” here.

March 2014

In honour of Women’s History Month, a colleague ( Linda Loubert of Morgan State University) is creating a crowd-sourced map of Women in GIS. Click here to see the map, and if you are a woman working with GIS (in research, teaching, gov’t/NGO work) – please add a point to the map!

February 2014

SUPER CONGRATULATIONS to Julie Andersen who passed her PhD oral exam! Congratulations Dr. Andersen! Well done! Here is a post-defense photo of her with her two supervisors – Dr. Garry Stenson and I.

Julie Andersen 003

Also a big CONGRATULATIONS to Nyssa on passing her MSc thesis examination! Way to go!

On February 9, Roger Tomlinson passed away. He is a Canadian known as the “Father of GIS”. You can read a tribute here. I had the amazing good fortune of interviewing him for the (then fledlging) Society for Conservation GIS back  in 2000 when I was beginning grad work and just discovering GIS and landscape ecology. I’ve dug it out and posted the interview here (I can’t believe I found it in a box! Guess I’m a packrat)… you can still buy the edition of the magazine Conservation Geography – edited by Charles Convis – that it was published in at the ESRI store.

LESA lab Alumna Megan Lafferty just signed a contract with Nature Conservancy Canada and is taking over and Conservation and Stewardsip Coordinator for the NL office of NCC. She has also been invited to present a Webinar of her MES work to members of NCASI later this month.

January 2014

Happy new year from the LESA lab!

Yolanda is part of a special issue in Scholarly Review and Communications in which Canadian scientists reflect on their careers and the “state of science”. You can read her piece here.

Congratulations to LESA lab Alumna Nyssa – whose work has just been accepted for publication in the Natural Areas Journal. This citation is:

    Van Vierssen Trip N, YF Wiersma. A comparison of All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trail impacts on boreal habitats across scales. Natural Areas Journal.


December 2013

Shad’s paper on fish movement across culverts in Terra Nova national park is out. Limited number of PDFs are available here.

Mahlum S, D Cote, YF Wiersma, D Kehler, KD Clarke. 2014. Evaluating the barrier assessment technique FishXing and the upstream movement of fish through road culverts. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 143(1): 39-48

Julie’s third thesis chapter is finally out with PLOS One. You can find it by clicking here.

Andersen JM, M Skern-Mauritzen, L Boehme, YF Wiersma, A Rosing-Asvid,MO Hammill, GB Stenson. 2013. Investigating annual diving behaviour by Hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) within the Northwest                               Atlantic Ocean. PLoSOne 8(10): e80438. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080438

Limited number of full PDFs of Tony’s recent article “Benefits and drawbacks of two modelling approaches for a generalist carnivore: can models predict where Wile E. Coyote will turn up next? In the International Journal of GIS are available here.

November 2013

Yolanda is presenting at the “MUNbuttoned” session #2 at Rocket Bakery on November 13. Check out the full 3-night schedule of events at munbuttoned.ca

NLNature is profiled in the St. John’s Telegram today. See the full article at: http://www.thetelegram.com/Living/2013-11-05/article-3465649/Nature-from-the-ground-up/1

October 2013

Congratulations to PhD candidate Julie Andersen on acceptance of a thesis chapter for publicaiton in PLoS. The citation is:

Andersen JM, M Skern-Mauritzen, L Boehme, YF Wiersma, A Rosing-Asvid,MO Hammill, GB Stenson. In press. Investigating annual diving behaviour by Hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) within the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. PLoS One.

Our citizen science website NLNature.com is yielding some interesting (and unanticipated sightings). Here’s a story on one of them from the St. John’s Telegram.

October 17, 2013: Academic Top 10 story on Academica group (scroll down to story #5)

September 2013

MSc almnus Tony McCue has had a paper accepted based on collaboration with our colleagues in the provincial Wildlife Division. Congratulations – persistence pays off! The citaiton is:

McCue AJ, McGrath MJ, Wiersma YF. In press. Benefits and drawbacks of two modeling approaches for a generalist carnivore: can models predict where Wile E. Coyote will turn up next? International Journal of Geographic Information Systems. 3rd Special Issue on Spatial Ecology.

Congratulations to Shad on passing his MSc thesis examination! He is continuing work in fisheries research in Norway.

August 2013

Congraulations to Karla on passing her MSc thesis examination! Karla has just accepted a one-year contract as a Wildlife Management Biology with the government  of Nunavut. She is moving to Iqaluit later this month. Good luck Karla!

Congratulations to Shad on submission of his thesis.

Megan successfully passed her MES major paper and is also graduating from the LESA lab. She has started a six-month contract as Conservation and Stewardship Coordinator with the Nature Conservancy Canada – Newfoundland & Labrador chapter. We’re happy she’s sticking around on the Rock for a bit!

July 2013

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our newly-revamped Citizen Science website, NLNature. Visit it and contribute often! Tell your friends!

Megan submitted her MES Major paper. Way to go!

Congratulations to Shad on the acceptance of a manuscript at Transactions in American Fisheries Science. This work represents chapter 2 of his thesis and looks at predicted vs. actual fish passage in culverts at Terra Nova National Park. The citation is:

Mahlum S, D Cote, YF Wiersma, D Kehler, KD Clarke. In press. Evaluating the barrier assessment technique FishXing and  the upstream movement of fish through road culverts. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

June, 2013

Roman is off on a two week tour of the island to promote our citizen science website, nlnature.com to various interest groups.

Congratulations to Karla for submission of her MSc thesis.

May, 2013

Yolanda is now on Research Gate… you can “follow” here there: www.researchgate.net

April, 2013

Karla Letto successfully presented her MSc exit seminar on Friday, April 19 with an engaging and interesting talk. One more hurdle towards completion achieved…

March, 2013

Congratulations to Christina Bourne for successfully passing her MSc thesis examination! Way to go!!!

February, 2013

Roman is profiled in the 2011-2012 School of Graduate Studies report. The full report is available here; scroll to pg. 11 to find him.

Congratulations to Shad for submission of a manuscript from his thesis work. It’s great to see that achieved already!

Good news for my colleague Dr. Amy Hurford and I, who just received funding from the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research. We’ll be working with data from the provincial Wildlife Division to model caribou movement and herd fidelity in Labrador.

January, 2013

Happy new year from the LESA Lab! Watch for more news from us in 2013! We are looking forward to another productive and exciting year!

Congratulations to Karla Letto, who just landed a short-term contract to work at DFO in St. John’s.

Julie’s third chapter of her PhD is now published! Below is the reference. She is busy revising chapter four after encouraging reviews from PLoS.

  • Andersen JM, YF Wiersma, GB Stenson, MO Hammill, A Rosing-Asvid, M Skern-Maurizen. 2013. Habitat selection by hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. ICES Journal of Marine Science 70(1): 173-185.

December, 2012

Congratulations to Stacey for successfully passing her MSc! Hope your new job at Stantec in Corner Brook is going well!

Yolanda has volunteered on the national “Ask a Scientist” panel. Check it out, and tell all your non-scientist friends and family to send their interesting and intriguing science questions to this group.

Congratulations to Christina for submitting her MSc!

November, 2012

Congratulations to LESA Lab Alumnus Tony McCue, who just began a position as an Environmental Scientist with Stantec out in British Columbia. Best of luck out west Tony!

Congratulations to Roman – who was awarded a $5000 research grant from the Harris Centre to support our work using NLNature as a platform for research in Citizen Science. Nice work Roman!

October 2012

Congratulations to Julie, who submitted her PhD thesis and to Stacey, who submitted her MSc thesis!

Also congratulations to Shaun Garland, MSc, who is convocating this month!

Emilie is off to present a poster at the Wildlife Society meeting in Portland, OR (this is the third meeting in the last 18 months that someone from the lab is attending that is in the Pacific Northwest – popular destination!)

Emma presented a talk at the Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers in Halifax, NS.

September 2012

Yolanda is off on her first sabbatical. She will be visiting the Institute for Forest Management, at the Technical University of Munich. Auf wiedersehn!

June 2012

Shad Mahlum is off to Massachusetts to present at the National Conference on Engineering & Ecohydrology for Fish PassageFrom there, he is re-locating to Norway (to write up), via Montana. No he’s not bad with directions…

Congratulations to Shaun Garland on successfully passing his MSc examination!

May 2012

Congrats to MSc student Troy Davis and the group of undergrads from BIOL 2600 on the publication of our paper in the journal Arboriculture and Urban Forestry.

Yolanda is off to the North American Fish and Wildlife Conservation Congress to present a poster of Tony’s work (he’s busy moving).

Work that Yolanda has done with colleague Renee Sieber at McGill and her team has been published in a book that was released this month at the final GEOIDE meeting. The book, on “The Added Value of Scientific Networking”, is available online here.

April 2012

Good luck to Karla as she heads off to Duke University for a 3 month visit in Dr. Dean Urban’s lab under a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement.

Karla is also presenting this month at the US-IALE meeting in Rhode Island.

Also a fond farewell and good luck to Troy Davis, who is heading back south of the 49th parallel to take a position with the US National Parks Service in the Smokeys. We’ll miss you!

January 2012

Congratulations to Tony McCue on successfully passing his MSc examination!

My former PhD supervisor Tom Nudds and I wrote a letter to PNAS that created a little bit of debate. Thanks to the LESA lab folks whose discussions of the paper by Pompa et al. in our journal group prompted me to write the letter! Tom’s colleague Dr. Karl Cottenie sums up the story rather nicely in his (wicked awesome!) blog. You should subscribe to this blog – it’s good.

December 2011

Julie is presenting a poster at the Biennial  Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Tampa, Florida.

September 2011

Roman is presenting at a workshop in the UK called The Difference that Makes a Difference: an interdisciplinary workshop on information and technology

Shad Mahlum and our colleague Dave Cote from Parks Canada are presenting at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Seattle.

May 2011

Congratulations to Troy Davis, who is a published author in an anthology of work on working for the US National Parks Service.

April 2011

Nyssa Trip is off to Portland, Oregon to present at the US-IALE meeting.

March 2011

Congratulations to honours student Patricia Howse, award winner at the APICS conference.

January 2011

My co-edited book is out with Springer. Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding as I holed up doing final edits!

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