Dr. Stan Boutin
University of Alberta |Co-director, ABMI Science Centre | email@example.com |
Dr. Stan Boutin’s interests include population dynamics of boreal species and he holds an Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair with the objective of providing people with the information and tools necessary to make ecologically-informed land use decisions. The lab is focused on making ecological research relevant to society by tackling pressing conservation issues related to human land use and climate change. Dr. Boutin’s work takes place in the heart of Alberta’s Oil Sands and extends across Western Canada, where conservation challenges are immense and economic stakes are high. This creates an excellent opportunity to study large-scale systems undergoing rapid human-induced change. A “poster child” for this situation is the woodland caribou, whose threatened status and large-scale habitat requirements make it an interesting case that challenges Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). Through a major effort to build collaborations with industry and government, Alberta now has one of the most comprehensive pictures of woodland caribou population dynamics in the country. The Boutin lab has done foundational research to determine the proximate cause of widespread caribou declines and has proposed innovative conservation actions. Although the core of the project is applied, Dr. Boutin’s group has also tested ecological theory involving predator-mediated Allee effects, apparent competition, and landscape genetics. We are now at a critical stage of the caribou recovery process in Alberta and Western Canada, creating the opportunity to implement and monitor a series of innovative recovery experiments.