Grant Gilchrist

  • I’m a Research Scientist at the National Wildlife Research Centre in Ottawa (Environment Canada) and currently an adjunct professor at Carleton University. Early in my career I was influenced and inspired by several long-term ecological studies lead by Jamie Smith (song sparrows, University of British Columbia), Tony Gaston (seabirds, Environment Canada), and Ian Stirling (Polar Bears, Environment Canada). These studies not only quantified environmental change over time, but also the often complex responses of wildlife to these changes. These rare studies were instrumental when detecting ecological change driven by extreme weather events, diet shifts, the emergence of diseases, and climate change; all issues that might otherwise have gone undetected.

    After joining Environment Canada in 1995, I emulated these studies when designing my own research program to address Federal priorities to conserve Arctic birds and ecosystems. I now lead multidisciplinary research programs to provide insights into the underlying processes of Arctic seabird ecology. These include foraging behaviour, reproduction, migration, winter distribution, and how seabirds are affected by changing climate and emerging diseases in the north. In addition, several projects focus on the harvest of some marine bird species by Aboriginal Peoples. I began these studies because of the importance of ensuring sustainable levels of harvest, as well as incorporating Aboriginal needs into conservation and management strategies of northern Canada and Greenland. Most studies are collaborative and multidisciplinary in nature; linking academia, Government, industry, and aboriginal organizations.


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