You know when you’re reading a published peer-reviewed article and it sometimes sounds a bit dull…..but in the grand scheme of things the research is really cool, for example, they conducted the work in Madagascar?! Honestly, sometimes I wish they would throw in an exclamation point somewhere or say, “ya, these results were an exciting find!” just to spice it up a little. Well, I’ll be filling in between those lines, those sometimes very dull lines with talk about the spice.

My name is Lisa, I am starting my PhD in the Environmental and Life Sciences Department at Trent University. If you have completed a PhD or are up to your eyebrows in one, I encourage you to contribute and comment ad lib. Additionally, you can find out more about my paper background (aka my resume) under the “Formal” link on the homepage. The rest of me; hobbies, interests and ‘the unusual’, you can find under the “Informal” link.

You will find me posting here for minimum, the next four years. I’m going to take you into the field, and give you first hand experiences of being in the ARCTIC. Yes, I’m going to the Great Great Canadian North where there are polar bears, walruses and beluga whales. The reason being; greater and lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens, C.c. alanticus respectively for you bird folk out there) are overabundant in North America, and like anything in mother-nature, when one thing is ‘out of balance’, it can have a chain of negative effects. Habitat (where animals live) and any animals coexisting within this habitat may suffer negative impacts from this imbalance. I want to know how shorebirds breeding with snow geese in the arctic are coping/surviving/maybe not surviving from goose-related effects.

Collecting data and field work can be really hard (all scientists nodding heads here), but nowhere in Nature do they say, “So to obtain these behavioural foraging results, I sat outside, motionless, taking observations for countless hours, being eaten by mosquitoes. All the bites made my ear swell up like the cauliflower ears those UFC flighters get”. So, I’ll be sharing THAT information here.

This summer and for the next three summers, I’ll be striped of the luxuries like hydro and all its benefits (ie; cell service, internet, my hair straightener and my beloved Vitamix blender for my morning smoothies), running water and all its benefits (ie; bubble baths and well, regular bathing in general) and the convenience of endless fresh fruit and veggies at the corner grocery store.


Clearly, this is not an excursion for the faint of heart. Me, I’m ecstatic. It doesn’t get any better than this, course, I haven’t been there yet….

-Many thanks to ‘The Great Unwashed’ for encouraging and mentoring through Phase I: operation ‘start a blog’.



Leave a Reply