Spatial alignment between grizzly bear genetic groups and Indigenous language families in coastal BC

Spatial alignment between grizzly bear genetic groups and Indigenous language families in coastal BC

In the landscape on the central coast of what is now known as British Columbia, genetic analyses have identified three distinct genetic groups of grizzly bears.  The spatial areas of these groups align strikingly well with the geographies of three Indigenous language families (Tsimshian, Northern Wakashan, Salishan Nuxalk).  The explanation the research partnership favours is…

Research: Dietary differences among individuals with different genes and coat colours gives insight into the maintenance of the Spirit bears among black bear populations

Research: Dietary differences among individuals with different genes and coat colours gives insight into the maintenance of the Spirit bears among black bear populations

The paper, “Intrapopulation foraging niche variation between phenotypes and genotypes of Spirit bear populations,” was published in the open-access journal Ecology and Evolution.

Study: Spatial patterns and rarity of the white‐phased ‘Spirit bear’ allele reveal gaps in habitat protection

Study: Spatial patterns and rarity of the white‐phased ‘Spirit bear’ allele reveal gaps in habitat protection

New research has identified that the small genetic change responsible for Spirit bears – a rare, white-coated form of black bears – is up to 50% rarer in the Great Bear Rainforest than previously estimated. The study also indicates that geographic hotspots, where the Spirit bear version of the gene was especially prominent lack adequate protection from resource extraction…

The future of applied conservation science is bright

The future of applied conservation science is bright

This has been a time of remarkable accomplishment for the Raincoast Applied Conservation Science Lab at the University of Victoria. The research that the lab produces is a dynamic mix of population analyses, biogeography, marine-terrestrial interactions and much more, all rooted in a ‘wildlife welfare’ ethic. Collaboration with Indigenous communities forms the hallmark of much of this work, which is being directly applied…

Converging knowledges to inform and empower conservation

Converging knowledges to inform and empower conservation

This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel aboard the Raincoast vessel Achiever with several other members of the ACS lab to participate in Koeye camp, a cultural revitalization and education program operated by the Heiltsuk First Nation’s QQS Projects Society. We were there to engage with the youth campers about the research conducted by…