Dr. Juan Zuloaga has just had another paper accepted, this time on global gradients of species endemism, in the high impact journal, Global Ecology and Biogeography. Congratulations, Dr. Zuloaga!
Peter Soroye’s first first-authored paper accepted in Global Change Biology. Amazing work and a milestone for citizen science research and e-Butterfly.org.
Jeremy Kerr is a signatory to a letter in Science on the evidence supporting drastic reductions in neonicotinoid pesticide use worldwide: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/973.1
Jeremy Kerr has been appointed to NSERC Council by Cabinet, and the appointment was approved by the Governor General in February. He’s acting also as Chair of the Committee on Discovery Research, which advises NSERC’s VP Pierre Charest on 70% of its $1.2B annual expenditures.
Jeremy Kerr has won the Partners in Research Science Ambassador National Award!
Kerr’s work on national science policy and funding has included invited presentations to the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada meeting in September (on citizen science and on the prospects for major science policy reforms in Canada), an invited presentation on scientist engagement at the Canadian Science Policy Conference, the closing plenary presentation at the 11th Gender Summit, an invitational panel event at iPolitics hq in Ottawa (with David Naylor, Paul Wells, and Brenda Austin-Smith), an op ed in The Hill Times (Kerr, Baum, and Naylor), meetings with science policy leaders in the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of Finance Morneau, Minister of Science Duncan and her excellent staff, discussions with Universities Canada, the U15, CAUT, and others. It has been an epic run and incredibly worthwhile. Canada is poised for historic changes to research support and historic policy changes are well underway.
Minister of Science Duncan has appointed the extraordinary and capable Dr. Mona Nemer as Canada’s Chief Scientific Advisor. This was the final step on the efforts Minister Duncan, Kerr, and others began in 2015 to restore scientific integrity with the May 26 Motion to Parliament. There is more to do, but seeing Dr. Nemer appointed was a special and historic moment.
Paper in Science, by Jeremy Kerr, on neonicotinoids and bees: A cocktail of toxins: 10.1126/science.aan6713
Major report released: “Restoring Canada’s competitiveness in fundamental research: The view from the bench”. Co-authored with Julia Baum, UVic. Covered in Science, Nature, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Times Higher Education, Ottawa Citizen, and elsewhere.
March - April 2017
March for Science in Ottawa was a great success. Jeremy spoke on Parliament Hill in favour of a positive vision for science, the progress we’ve made on this in Canada, and the progress we need to make again in the US.
Thank you to Queen’s University Biology for the great Research Symposium on Friday, April 21, and the chance to be a plenary speaker to wrap up a great day.
Incredibly grateful to NSERC, the Evaluation Group, and peer reviewers for NSERC Discovery Grant renewal, and a Discovery Accelerator Supplement.
Jeremy spoke at Elmwood School on Earth Day, monarch butterflies, and the need to make a difference. Thanks to an incredible group of girls and teachers for the chance to speak with you on Wednesday, April 19.
Catherine Sirois-Delisle and Peter Soroye spoke at the NatureServe meeting in Ottawa, speaking about their outstanding research accomplishments. Emerging research leaders!
January - February 2017
We have published a Policy Options piece summarizing more detailed advice to Minister McKenna on more effective Species At Risk management for Canada. Grateful to leaders (and co-authors) like Jeff Hutchings (who led the writing on this piece), Sally Otto, Jeannette Whitton, Scott Findlay, and Arne Mooers. This is also the first publication ever where author order is determined by software and alphabetically by first name.
Jeremy contributed to the Museum of Nature’s Arctic Biodiversity Symposium. All presentations are online at https://nature.ca/en/research-collections/research-projects/centre-arctic-knowledge-exploration/arctic-symposium and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKSMD0DJ5KU (Jeremy’s at about 2:45).
The Kerr Lab team took over Research Matters instagram on Dec 13: #TakeOverTuesday. https://twitter.com/ontarioresearch/status/808721796862185472. We care about excellence in communicating science as well as traditional research excellence.
Cassandra Robillard’s main data chapter for her (excellent) thesis was just accepted in Conservation Biology. BRAVO, CASSIE!!! This paper has immediate policy implications for recovery of species at risk in Canada and elsewhere.
Jeremy has won the 2016 Excellence in Media Relations Award.
Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, announced the search for Canada’s Chief Science Advisor at NRC HQ on Monday, Dec 5, 2016. Amazing journey, and much work with the Minister and excellent staff, since our Motion to Parliament last May that set this policy in motion. Engagement by scientists can lead to policy changes: the key is trying to make a difference with an issue.
Jeremy was very busy at the Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC), co-organizing an event on re-envisioning the Canadian science landscape to account for rapid evolutionary change in how research is conducted, and serving as a panellist in Imogen Coe’s equity, diversity, and inclusivity session. The session Jeremy co-organized with Rees Kassen was mentioned the next day in Science. Great work by co-panellists Maria DaRosa, Karly Kehoe, Andrew Pelling, and Val Walker.
Jeremy presented his lab’s research in Parliament, giving a talk entitled, “The great biodiversity challenge: conserving nature through a century of unprecedented change”. Thanks to Speaker of the House Regan, PAGSE, NSERC, and the RSC for the opportunity to discuss biodiversity, ecosystem services, and citizen science in such an extraordinary setting. Shout-outs to excellent Canadian eco-evo researchers and institutions, and thanks to Parliamentarians for excellent discussions afterward and since.
Our symposium, “Life on the edge: Mechanisms of adapting to climate change”, was accepted at CSEE 2017, co-organized by Julia Baum and Danielle Claar. Excited to have Amy Angert, Carissa Brown, Terrie Klinger, and Jen Sunday joining us. Balancing marine and terrestrial perspectives.
Rosana Soares defended her thesis and did a marvellous job of it! Bravo, Rosie!
Dr. Rachelle Desrochers has published another paper from her research, this time in Diversity and Distributions, looking at how bird diversity changes relative to local extinction-colonization dynamics.
Monarch butterflies and our lab in the news for Mission Monarch with Presidents Obama and Pena Nieto of Mexico at Macleans. Also appeared on CBC Radio 1’s In Town and Out (“Why should we cry over less milkweed”) and on CTV nationally and in Toronto. Jeremy published an op-ed in The Hill Times that comments on the role of monarchs as both symbol and an indicator of the need for profound change in conservation policy.
Mission Monarch launches. Using remote sensing and the power of citizen science to understand monarch breeding habitat across Canada and begin the critical task of monarch butterfly recovery. Built on e-Butterfly.org foundations.
Juan Zuloaga’s exciting paper on thermal barriers and elevation gradients’ unique impacts on biodiversity was accepted at Ecography. Data and supplementary materials for this paper are freely available on the Papers page.
Laura Coristine has been accepted into the extraordinary Liber Ero program! Many congratulations!
February 6: Kerr Lab is on Quirks and Quarks again. Laura Coristine speaks to Bob McDonaldabout her exciting new study on rapid climate change-related population losses of birds in North America! Songbirds’ range gets squeezed by climate change.
We have published an op-ed in The Toronto Star setting out priorities for restoring federal science integrity. Co-authored with Dr Isabelle Côté, Jeff Hutchings, David Schindler, Andrew Gonzalez, and Brett Favaro.
A short message on the need to account for sensible criteria - widely known in the climate change community but less so in the pollinator community - when considering where, how, and when to move pollinator species for managed relocation. In Science.
Great work by Cassandra, Rosana, and Laura on continental perspectives on helping species respond to climate change. Covered in conservation news: https://conservationcorridor.org/2015/10/review-facilitating-range-shifts-across-barriers/
Congratulations to Emily Acheson on the Malaria Journal paper looking at bednet use across Tanzania relative to mosquito habitat suitability.
Congratulations to Cassandra Robillard, Laura Coristine, and Rosana Soares on the publication of our most recent paper in Conservation Biology: Facilitating climate change-induced range shifts across continental land use barriers.
Our report to Science was published, examining how 67 bumblebee species have responded to changing environmental conditions across Europe and North America. There is a distinct and critical role for climate change in these trends, but pesticides (and neonicotinoids), pathogens, and habitat loss harm bees also. We have seen global media coverage (TV, print, radio, online, twittersphere, etc.). New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, LA Times, Independent, NBC, CBS, USA Today, NPR, CBC Radio and The National, CTV National News, many local radio broadcasts across Canada and the United States, Ottawa Citizen, El Pais, Le Monde, German Public Radio, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, Kyodo News, Le Devoir, La Presse, and many other outlets covered the work. We are grateful to colleagues internationally who made insightful comments on the biological processes and trends for bumblebee losses following climate change.
The Global Young Academy held its annual general meeting in the Ottawa region, and we held a special event at the National Research Council headquarters. We organized an event for Members of Parliament who have moved from academics to public life to discuss their experiences. Very special thanks to Dr. Kennedy Stewart and Dr. Kirsty Duncan. Conservatives were a no-show.
Gordon Orians, Nigel Roulet, Jim Schaeffer, Jeff Wells, and Jeremy Kerr met with Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, to discuss strategies to conserve massive expanses of wilderness in Ontario’s boreal. Thanks to Premier Wynne for extraordinary commitment.