Brigham Lab (University of Regina)

I am interested in the behaviour and ecology of free-living animals under natural conditions. My own work focuses on the roosting and feeding ecology of temperate insect eating bats and nocturnal insectivorous birds called goatsuckers. I am also keen to understand how these animals employ heterothermy (e.g., torpor) to cope with food shortages. My students and I study how these organisms cope with environmental constraints (e.g., cold, drought, loss of habitat). This includes addressing questions about prey selection, prey detection abilities, the influence of moonlight, habitat selection and the nature of torpor use. There are obvious natural comparisons between goatsuckers and bats. Students in my lab are currently working on diverse projects including: the use of torpor and hibernation by Australian owlet nightjars and Common Nighthawks and the use of torpor and social behaviour by tree-and crevice roosting bats.


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Morrissey Lab (University of Saskatchewan)

Research interests: Avian ecology and wildlife ecotoxicology; effect of pollution stressors (pesticides, endocrine disruptors, industrial and urban pollutants) on insects, birds and aquatic ecosystems; understanding the effects of chemicals on whole life cycles of birds; freshwater ecology and pollution.


Somers Biology Lab (University of Regina)

My research uses a combination of field biology, molecular genetics, and stable isotopes to better understand interactions between humans and wildlife, and how animals respond to human-modified environments. In particular, my recent program has focused on: (1) understanding animal resource needs; (2) population structure; and (3) conflicts over fisheries resources. My program has capitalized on a modern resource selection function approach to examine conservation issues for a variety of species based on habitat.  I develop and use genetic markers to examine the population structure of several animal taxa, including birds (e.g., American white pelican, Sprague’s pipit), invertebrates (e.g., earthworms, tapeworms) and fish (e.g., walleye, sauger, lake whitefish, round whitefish). Recent projects have also used stable isotopes to augment our knowledge on population structure based on resource use, providing a novel perspective for management.  My program has also taken advantage of the gradient of aquatic environments in Saskatchewan to conduct novel studies on double-crested cormorant niche use, prey sources, and interaction with humans. Ultimately my goal is to provide informative data to help develop and implement appropriate, science-based conservation and management strategies for the taxa I study.