Understand Conserve Inspire





James A. Schaefer


Professor of Biology

Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 7B8, Canada
Telephone 705-748-1011 extension 7968
E-mail jschaefer@trentu.ca

Follow @JamesASchaefer




To understand


Ecology is the study of the relationship between living things and environment. It is my lifelong passion. In my lab, my students and I are conducting research on the behaviour, habitat selection, and demography of mammals and other terrestrial vertebrates. Our goal is straightforward: To generate the understanding for conserving species and their habitat.


Much of our recent effort is focussed on woodland caribou, the secretive creatures of the boreal forest. Given their low densities, their need for vast spaces and their sensitivity to human disturbances, woodland caribou are the most formidable conservation challenge in the North.



To conserve


To be effective, conservation needs an informed public -- citizens engaged and conversant in science. I am a member of the International Boreal Conservation Science Panel and a Fellow with the Leopold Leadership Program, a network that advances environmental decision-making with more than 100 academic scientists.


Two Houses of Oikos is my book -- stories of daily life, linked to science. The book assumes its title from the Greek, oikos, meaning 'house', the linguistic roots of both 'ecology' and 'economy'. The etymology reveals the importance of both houses for human well-being, now and into the future.





Praise for Two Houses of Oikos:



A great collection ... crisp, entertaining, and very good fun to read.

- Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation, Duke University


Timely and insightful ... told in clear and imaginative prose ... makes for excellent company on any vacation of the mind.

- Midwest Book Review


From bite-sized appetizers to full meaty entrees, the book is fun and eye-opening.

- Jeff Wells, Senior Scientist, Boreal Songbird Initiative






Engaging with the media is powerful way to engage with the public. Here is a sampler of my recent efforts, in radio and print:


What's on our Quarter? The past and future of Canadian Caribou : CBC Radio Ideas


Conservation is a reflection of our values : The Globe and Mail


Averting extinction, for people's sake : Toronto Star


An unlikely journey can lead to scientific discovery : Waterloo Region Record



To inspire


At Trent University, we are training the next generation of conservation professionals. In the Department of Biology, we offer the Internship in Conservation Biology, an opportunity to gain course credit while working on a real-world problem with a sponsoring conservation agency. The Internship is part of our Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Biology.


In the Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program, we offer Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in a deliberately interdisciplinary setting. Many of the projects in my lab are conducted in partnership with governmental agencies, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, Manitoba Conservation & Water Stewardship, and Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Environment & Conservation.







Selected publications


Jenkins, D. A., G. Yannic, J. A. Schaefer, J. Connolly, and N. Lecomte. 2018. Population structure of caribou in an ice-bound archipelago. Diversity and Distributions.


Raponi, M., Beresford, D. V., Schaefer, J. A., Thompson, I. D., Wiebe, P. A., Rodgers, A. R. and Fryxell, J. M. 2018. Biting flies and activity of caribou in the boreal forest. Journal of Wildlife Management 82: 833-839.


Bastille-Rousseau, G., D. L. Murray, J. A. Schaefer, M. A. Lewis, S. P. Mahoney and J. R. Potts. 2017. Spatial scales of habitat selection decisions: implications for telemetry-based movement modelling. Ecography 41: 437-443 [Editor's choice].


Pond, B. A., G. S. Brown, K. A. Wilson, and J. A. Schaefer. 2016. Drawing lines: Spatial behaviours reveal two ecotypes of woodland caribou. Biological Conservation 194: 139-148.


Schaefer, J.A., S. P. Mahoney, J. N. Weir, J. G. Luther, and C. E. Soulliere. 2016. Decades of habitat use reveal food limitation of Newfoundland caribou. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 386-393.



Email me if you'd like a reprint.





Maintained by James Schaefer; last updated 27 April 2018.