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I am a Master’s student in the Environmental and Life Sciences Program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. My work focuses on habitat selection by Canada lynx and bobcats on the north shore of Lake Huron, and I am supervised by Dr. Jeff Bowman (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) and Dr. Marie-Josee Fortin (University of Toronto). I am a trainee in the NSERC-funded CREATE Enviro program, which “provides advanced training in environmental research and technologies to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Trent University, Queen’s University, and the University of Toronto”. I also hold a 2017 W. Garfield Weston fellowship with WCS Canada.

I completed my B.Sc. in Biology at McGill University, where I first became involved in research as a lab assistant with Dr. Virginie Millien and her work on the role of the white-footed mouse in the spread of Lyme disease. I went on to assist with trapping small mammals and ticks for Dr. Millien in the Monteregie area that summer, and then participated in McGill’s Canadian Field Studies in Africa semester the next winter. CFSIA was an experience that solidified my passion for wildlife biology. The following summer, I was a research assistant on a road ecology project for Dr. Jochen Jaeger at Concordia University, live-trapping radio-collared American marten in the Laurentians north of Quebec City. I returned to McGill in my fourth year to do my honours thesis with Dr. Millien: a meta-analysis involving life history, phylogeny, and spatial range data for terrestrial mammals.

Before starting my Master’s with Jeff Bowman, I worked for him as a summer assistant wildlife biologist with the MNRF. This gave me a chance to dip my toes into several different projects (including bat surveys, muskrat surveys, live-trapping of flying squirrels, and vegetation sampling) and hone new skills.

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Panel 1

Research

Over the past several decades, the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has lost approximately 40% of its historic range throughout North America. Possible causes of this range contraction include climate change, habitat loss and/or fragmentation, changes in forest management practices, and competition with other predators, especially the closely-related bobcat (Lynx rufus). Concurrent with the lynx range contraction, the bobcat’s range has been expanding northward into areas formerly and currently occupied by lynx.

My research aims to address habitat selection by Canada lynx and bobcats in an area of range overlap in northeastern Ontario. Through snow-tracking and the use of GPS collars, I am investigating the land-cover types, snow conditions, and prey species that the two species select at a fine scale. Understanding the resource use of these two species is important for predicting future range limit changes and for informing conservation and management of the Canada lynx, a species that is threatened in the contiguous US and is a valuable natural resource.

 

Samantha_Morin_research      IMG_0159

Adult male lynx (March 2017)                  Adult male bobcat (November 2017)

IMG_4580[1]                           IMG_4489[1]

Canada lynx tracks (March 2017)                     Bobcat tracks (Feb 2017)

Panel 2

Education and Experience

Education:

 

M.Sc. (2016-present)

Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program

Trent University, Peterborough, ON

Supervised by Jeff Bowman (OMNRF) and Marie-Josee Fortin (University of Toronto)

 

Honours B.Sc. in Biology (2012-2016)

McGill University, Montreal, QC

Honours thesis supervised by Virginie Millien

 

Work Experience:

 

Graduate Teaching Assistant (2016-present)

Biology Department

Trent University, Peterborough, ON

Course titles: Introductory Ecology, Introduction to Genetics, Foundations of Cell and Molecular Biology

 

Assistant Wildlife Biologist (2016)

Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section

Science and Research Branch

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Peterborough, ON

 

Research Assistant (2015)

Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning

Concordia University, Montreal, QC

 

Research Assistant (2013-2014)

Redpath Museum

McGill University, Montreal, QC

 

img_0996     samantha-morin

Tick-proof near Montreal (2014)                    At the peak of Kilimanjaro (2015)

img_9127-2           img_4009

Transporting an American marten (2015)                     Muskrat survey (2016)

 

Panel 3

Contact

Please fill out this form if you’d like to get in touch with me, or send me an email at samanthamorin@trentu.ca