Chantel Markle

Assistant Professor

EV2-2046A, ext. 40533

Chantel is a wildlife ecohydrologist and conservation biologist with expertise in the protection and management of threatened wildlife and wild spaces. She specializes in interdisciplinary and collaborative research, integrating a combination of spatial and landscape ecology, GIS, remote sensing, and hydrology approaches to drive evidence-based decision making in wildlife management and environmental policy. To visit Chantel’s research website, see the Wildlife Ecohydrology and Conservation Lab.

Key areas of Graduate Supervision: wildlife ecology, spatial and landscape ecology, conservation biology, ecohydrology, habitat restoration, herpetology

Recent Courses Taught

ENVS 278: Applied Statistics for Environmental Research

Research Interests

The goal of Chantel’s interdisciplinary research program is to advance our knowledge and understanding of the spatiotemporal effects of climate change disturbances (e.g., wildfire, drought, weather whiplash) on the resilience and vulnerability of threatened wildlife and their habitats. This collaborative research supports evidence-based policies for the conservation and management of healthy reptile populations and habitat. Three main research themes include:

Effects of climate-mediated disturbances on habitat use and function. Climate change disturbances such as wildfire, drought, and weather whiplash events are increasing in frequency and severity. The effects of these climate-mediated disturbances on habitat function have consequences for the long-term persistence of vulnerable ecosystems (e.g., wetlands) and threatened wildlife (e.g., reptiles) that rely on these habitats. It is critical to understand how multiple stressors effect habitat function to support data-driven wildlife management and habitat restoration strategies in a changing climate. Learn more about this research here.

Climate refugia: Detecting and predicting change. Identifying ecosystems resilient to climate change is recognized as essential for conservation strategies. However, wetland ecosystems may respond differently to stressors depending on the strength of ecohydrological feedbacks, resulting in fluctuations in habitat availability and suitability. Therefore, our ability to detect and predict spatiotemporal changes in climate refugia will be instrumental in guiding management decisions and informing policy. Learn more about this research here.

Habitat restoration: enhancing resilience to climate change. In an era of unprecedented change, habitat restoration techniques can be used to enhance habitat resilience to climate change. Weather conditions and lack of organic soil are current limitations to habitat restoration and creation in rock barrens landscapes. Through collaborative research, I aim to create innovative, interdisciplinary restoration approaches to restore habitat conditions to ensure reptile population persistence. Learn more about this research here.

Selected Publications (for full list, see publications page)

Markle CE, Gage HJM, Tekatch AM, Wilkinson SL, & JM Waddington. (2022). Wetland successional state affects fire severity in a boreal shield landscape. Wetlands 42:87.

Markle CE, Law T, Freeman HCA, Caverhill B, Davy CM, Hathaway J, McNeil J, Moxley KJ, Richer S & P Chow-Fraser. (2021). Using the Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) plastron as a ‘fingerprint’: Photo identification of an endangered species. Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management.

Markle CE, Sandler NA, Freeman HC, & JM Waddington. (2021). Multi-scale assessment of rock barrens turtle nesting habitat: Effects of moisture and temperature on hatch success. Ichthyology and Herpetology 109: 507-521. doi: 10.1643/h2020125.

Hudson DT, Markle CE, Harris LI, Moore PA, & JM Waddington. (2020). Ecohydrological controls on lichen and moss CO2 exchange in rock barrens turtle nesting habitat. Ecohydrology. doi: 10.1002/eco/2255.

Markle CE, North TD, Harris LI, Moore PA, & JM Waddington. (2020). Spatial heterogeneity of surface topography in peatlands: assessing overwintering habitat availability for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Wetlands 40(6): 2337-2349. doi: 10.1007/s13157-020-01378-2.

Markle CE, Wilkinson SL & JM Waddington. (2020). Initial effects of wildfire on freshwater turtle nesting habitat. Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.21921.

Markle CE, Moore PA, & JM Waddington. (2020). Primary drivers of reptile overwintering habitat suitability: Integrating wetland ecohydrology and spatial complexity. BioScience. doi: 10.1093.biosci/biaa059.

Markle CE, Moore PA, & JM Waddington. (2020). Temporal variability of overwintering conditions for a species-at-risk snake: Implications for climate change and habitat management. Global Ecology and Conservation. 22: e00923.

Markle CE& P Chow-Fraser. (2018).Effects of European Common Reed on Blanding’s Turtle Spatial Ecology. Journal of Wildlife Management. doi 10.1002/jwmg.21 435.

Markle CE, Chow-Fraser GE, & P Chow-Fraser. (2018). Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration. PLoS One 13(2):e0192134.  

Markle CE, Gillingwater, SD, Levick R, & P Chow-Fraser. (2017). The true cost of partial fencing: Evaluating strategies to reduce reptile road mortality. Wildlife Society Bulletin 41(2):342–350.