2022 Weston Family Awards in Northern Research recipient
The University of British Columbia
Katie is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia studying predator-prey dynamics in Hudson Bay.
Polar bears and ringed seals are valuable resources for communities and important parts of the Arctic marine food web. Seals are polar bears’ primary prey and rely on fish as their main source of energy. Declines in fish can have large consequences for the seals, which in turn impacts the bears.
Katie is using new modelling techniques to quantify past and present predator-prey dynamics for the Hudson Bay system, as well as the relationships between fish, seals and polar bears.
It’s among the first research to investigate the links between ecosystem change and the spatial dynamics of predator-prey interactions in the Canadian Arctic. Understanding how sea ice-loss impacts movement and foraging is essential for the conservation of these ecologically and culturally significant species.