Forest Ecology Research Group

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FERG student wins award at Ontario Biology Day

Congratulations to Greg Lynch, B.Sc. honours student in the Forest Ecology Research Group, for winning “Best Plant Biology Poster” at the recent Ontario Biology Day. Greg’s poster was titled “Growth Responses of Tamarack to Recent Climate Warming: A Dendrochronological Study from Canada’s Northern Boreal Peatlands”. Congratulations on the great work, Greg!

Have a look at Greg’s work here


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The Scotty Creek Forest Dynamics Plot

Did you know our work in Scotty Creek, NWT is part of the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) global network of forest research plots?

We’re very proud to be part of this network and contribute to large-scale and long-term monitoring on the world’s forests.

Check out their Scotty Creek page!

CTFS Network Map. Source: CTFS website

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Laurier biologist named Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Below is an official Wilfrid Laurier University press release about our very own Dr. Gordon McNickle. Welcome to Laurier, Gord!


Waterloo – On September 23, Gordon McNickle was announced as Wilfrid Laurier University’s first Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient by the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

The prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country’s economic, social and research-based growth. Only 70 Banting Fellowships are awarded annually and valued at $70,000 per year for two years.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. McNickle to Laurier as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow,” said Matthew Smith, associate dean: postdoctoral affairs. “Dr. McNickle is a world-class scholar, and this prestigious award will allow him to develop his research profile within the Department of Biology as he prepares for the next stage of his career.”

Together with his faculty supervisor, Jennifer Baltzer, Canada Research Chair in forests and global change, McNickle’s research examines the boreal forest using game theoretical approaches to predict responses of dominant tree species to global climate change. This research explores the impact of climate change on the boreal forest.

The boreal forest is the largest ecosystem in Canada and is an important resource for Canada’s $60 billion per year pulp wood industry. Globally, the boreal is second only to tropical forests in terms of ecosystem services such as atmospheric carbon capture and sequestration.

“My work will be done under a formal partnership between Wilfrid Laurier University and the Government of the Northwest Territories,” said McNickle. “There is substantial potential for impact both from a basic scientific understanding of this important ecosystem, but also for real-world management practices.”

“This ability to give a little of my expertise back to society is an important part of taking the fellowship at Laurier.”

He will be delivering a public talk on Friday, October 4 at 2:30 p.m. in the Science Building on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, room N1044. The talk, titled “Plants, games and foraging behaviour: from nutrients to ecosystems” as part of the Department of Biology’s Seminar Series.


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NWT Officials Tour Scotty Creek Research Site

During a tour of the Scotty Creek research site, Bill Quinton, second from right, and Jennifer Baltzer explain one of the studies being conducted to David Livingstone, left, the chair of the science committee for the partnership between the territorial government and Wilfrid Laurier University, and Michael Miltenberger, right, the territorial minister of Environment and Natural Resources. – Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

We were fortunate to take a group of NWT officials, including the territorial minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, researchers and community leaders on a tour of our Scotty Creek Research Site. It was a great opportunity to showcase our research and highlight its importance to the entire region. Thank you to everyone who made this tour possible.

More information is given in this news article here