Dr. Hugh Broders - Principle Investigator, Professor
PhD - University of New Brunswick
MSc - Memorial University of Newfoundland
BSc (Honours) - Acadia University
My main interests are in the area of animal population biology. More specifically, my research focuses on characterizing aspects of the biology of animal populations that help explain the causes and predict the consequences of population structure (e.g., resource requirements, social structure). Such research areas are important on at least two levels. First, such questions are vital for increasing our understanding of evolution and evolutionary processes. Second, managing wildlife populations requires data on which to make reliable inferences on biology. Therefore, from a conservation perspective such research areas are critically important.
Julia Sunga - PhD Student (Sept. 2018 – Present)
MSc Biology - Wilfrid Laurier University (2018)
BSc Honours Zoology - University of Guelph (2016)
I was first introduced to the world of behavioural ecology during my undergraduate thesis where I investigated the habitat selection patterns of American badgers in Ontario, and the effects of roads on their movement behaviour. Here at the University of Waterloo, I am investigating the colony structure and social organization of little brown myotis in Newfoundland, Canada. Through monitoring of roosting behaviour, I hope to understand how groups of bats are organized, the role of social relationships in shaping these groups, and the stability of these relationships over time. Generally, I am interested in using animal movement behaviour to answer ecological questions and apply these strategies to better inform conservation initiatives.
Alexandra Sauk – PhD Student (Sept. 2019 – Present)
MSc Microbiology – University of Waterloo (2019)
BSc Honours Wildlife Biology and Conservation - University of Guelph (2016)
My interest in genetics and DNA barcoding began in my undergrad while working at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics with the Barcode of Life Database. Looking to expand my bioinformatics and wet lab experience, I studied landfill bacterial diversity for my MSc looking at community composition across sites and in relation to site chemical composition. Returning to wildlife biology for my PhD, I am investigating the diversity and population genetics of bat ectoparasites in North America, including fleas and mites. Through the use of morphological identification, DNA barcoding and statistical analyses, I hope to identify any undiscovered ectoparasite species and determine population genetic structure to assess dispersal ability of the parasites.
Caleb Ryan - MSc Student (Jan. 2021 – Present)
BSc. Honours - University of Waterloo
I’m interested in the social and behavioural ecology of bats, specifically how individual differences in social preferences and personality traits shape the social organization of little brown myotis summer maternity colonies. My previous experience includes research studying the hibernation behaviors bats use to optimize energy conservation, the diversity of Atlantic Canadian bat ectoparasites and conservation efforts focused on anthropogenic impacts on puffin fledging in Newfoundland.
My current research involves identifying the factors contributing to the social organization and group structure of bat maternity colonies. I use a combination of passive roost monitoring and in hand behavioral experiments to characterise the associations between co-roosting individuals with the goal of identifying individual bonds and social roles underpinning Myotis lucifugus social organization.