519-888-4567, ext. 45616
Steve uses social media in lieu of a static research website; these days, you can mainly find him on Bluesky (smurph.bsky.social) or Mastodon (@smurph).
Steve teaches courses on restoration ecology, rewilding, conservation ecology, translational ecology and parks and protected areas.
Steve leads the Conservation and Restoration Ecology (CaRE) research group.
Restoration ecology aspect focuses on using biophysical and technology (e.g. drones, AI) innovations and solutions in restoring forests, meadows, prairies, riparian habitats, urban habitats, and wetlands. There is a strong focus as well on the core theoretical foundations of restoration ecology with work on the UN Decade and Canadian research. Much of this is done collaboratively, e.g. https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/ecorestoration/
For conservation, the focus has been geared towards long term planning and management, especially at the international level as well as regional projects on invasive species, rare species, and endangered species.
In addition to the eponymous areas of conservation and restoration ecology, CaRE’s research is tied to tests of socioecological resilience in a variety of locales around the world and in many anthropogenic and more ‘wild’ lands and waters (industrial sites, urban areas, agroecosystems, parks and protected areas).
The research includes many different types of taxa as indicators (plants, fungi, amphibians, arthropods) and different ecosystems (old fields, prairies, forests, dunes, wetlands, riparian zones, mountains, valleys, deserts, and even the Arctic on occasion). Steve's lab is question or problem focused rather than concerned with the taxon or type of ecosystem to be studied.
Steve is Editor-in-Chief of Restoration Ecology, the flagship (official) journal of the international Society for Ecological Restoration.
Steve is involved with the Centre for Applied Sciences in Ontario Protected Areas (CASIOPA) and the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) plus numerous other national and international agencies and projects. He has presented over 200 talks at international conferences and authored several hundred academic, professional, practitioner, and policy papers.
Steve’s research projects mainly are focused on restoring or conserving ecological communities or national and international ecological management. Students are encouraged to develop their own focus and independent projects though they should relate to Steve’s overarching research areas listed above. Consider your interests, put together a ‘pitch’ and contact Steve to discuss your ideas.