2022 Weston Family Awards in Northern Research recipient
University of Alberta
David is fascinated with the Arctic ecosystem. The University of Alberta PhD student is studying the ecology of polar bears by assessing the impacts of environmental change on population dynamics.
The Artic is experiencing an unprecedented rate of sea ice loss due to global warming, which has profound impacts of ice-dwelling species such as polar bears, particularly those found in the southern regions of their territory.
Using data collected along the shore of Hudson Bay during the late summer period when polar bears are forced ashore during the ice-free season, David’s research assesses how changing sea ice conditions directly influence metapopulation dynamics and shifts in polar bear distribution between neighbouring populations. His project also explores the indirect impacts of environmental change on polar bear demography.
By combining multiple sources of information from several jurisdictions, it will be possible to develop new models to estimate key demographic parameters essential to the conservation and management of the species.