Dept. of Natural Resource Sciences

Prestigious awards provide support to young scientists in Canada pursuing research in Canada’s North

Published on: 7 Jul 2021

The Arctic is warming at approximately twice the global rate. A new study led by researchers from McGill University finds that cold-adapted Arctic species, like the thick-billed murre, are especially vulnerable to heat stress caused by climate change.

“We discovered that murres have the lowest cooling efficiency ever reported in birds, which means they have an extremely poor ability to dissipate or lose heat,” says lead author Emily Choy, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Natural Resource Sciences Department at McGill University.

Classified as: Arctic, climate change, heat stress, heat tolerance, seabirds, birds, thick-billed murre, Coats Island, Emily Choy, Sustainability
Published on: 7 Jul 2021

Congratulations to Pierre G. Langlois, B.Sc. (Agr)'78, CBIS (MIS)'90, the first of several members of the Macdonald community to be named an Unsung Hero as part of the University’s Bicentennial Celebrations!

Pierre lives the Macdonald motto “Mastery for Service.” Over the years, he has dedicated much of his time and energy to representing the interests of others and bettering the units and communities he serves. 

Classified as: #McGill200
Published on: 18 Jun 2021

Using a Fitbit and a spy mic, scientists have discovered new insight into the behaviour of the elusive Canada lynx. A new study by researchers from McGill University, University of Alberta, and Trent University provides a first look at how miniaturized technology can open the door to remote wildlife monitoring.

Classified as: Canada lynx, sounds, behaviour, ecology, Sustainability, Emily Studd, Allyson Menzies, Murray Humphries
Published on: 31 May 2021

Many Canadians are familiar with the honking and hissing that marks the beginning of the spring season, some might be more intimately familiar with the feeling of large wings batting about the sides of their head, but one thing is for certain: most Canadians have a Canada goose story.

Canada geese flying in their V formation are usually one of the first signs of the return of warm weather, but it also marks the return of the pesky waterfowl taking over our waterfronts, golf courses and parks. Here’s what you should know about the birds that have become a national symbol.

Classified as: Canada geese, David Bird, wildlife
Published on: 12 May 2021

'Eco-accounting' project aims to produce a comprehensive tally of our natural landscapes, to better aid decision-making around land management

The bean counters have arrived and Elena Bennett [Natural Resource Sciences] could not be happier.

Classified as: eco-accpounting, elena bennett, ecosystem services
Published on: 26 Apr 2021

“Our research shows that climate change is having substantial impacts on Arctic ecosystems, with consequences for exposure to toxic pollutants like mercury,” says co-author Jean-Pierre Desforges, a Postdoctoral Fellow [NRS] at McGill University under the supervision of Nil Basu [NRS/SHN] and Melissa McKinney [NRS].

McGill Newsroom

Classified as: Arctic, climate change, diet, mercury exposure, narwals, pollution, Sustainability, tusks
Published on: 31 Mar 2021

Water scarcity in rural Alaska is not a new problem, but the situation is getting worse with climate change. Lasting solutions must encourage the use of alternative water supplies like rainwater catchment and grey water recycling.

Classified as: water security
Published on: 31 Mar 2021

In the Arctic, climate change and pollution are the biggest threats to top predators like narwhals. Studying the animals’ tusks reveals that diet and exposure to pollution have shifted over the past half century in response to sea-ice decline. Human emissions have also led to a sharp rise in the presence of mercury in recent years, according to an international team of researchers.

Classified as: narwhals, Arctic, tusks, mercury exposure, climate change, diet, pollution, Sustainability, Jean-Pierre Desforges
Published on: 29 Mar 2021

Emily Choy [Post Doctoral Fellow, NRS. Advisor : Kyle Elliott] became hooked on the Arctic when, as a Master’s student, she jumped on a research opportunity to study the effects of manmade contaminants on High Arctic food webs on Devon Island, Nunavut. “When I experienced how out of the world it was and observed the wildlife that are so highly adapted to the Arctic environment, I just fell in love,” says Choy.

Classified as: Arctic, contaminants, food chain
Published on: 25 Nov 2020

[Natural Resource Sciences professor Kyle Elliott, Canada Research Chair in Arctic Ecology, and grad students Allison Patterson and Don-Jean Leandri-Breton are co-authors on this study]

Classified as: animal migration, tracking, climate change, large data, Arctic
Published on: 8 Nov 2020

[Co-author Joshua Sterlin is a PhD student in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University.]

An increase in cutting in Quebec’s public forests would be a mistake for the forests, the industry, the climate and the regions.

A recent opinion article in the Montreal Gazette (“Shortfall in forest harvest is costly to economy” Oct. 29) called on governments and logging companies to work together to increase cutting in Quebec.

Classified as: forestry, tree cutting, climate change
Published on: 8 Nov 2020

While the world has been locked down for much of the spring and summer, airplanes have been grounded, fishing fleets have sat mostly idle and cars have stayed parked in their driveway as people worked from home. What kind of impact has this had on the environment? And what lessons have we learned from the relatively quick pivot governments and citizens have made to combat the spread of COVID-19? Can we apply the same commitment and speed of mobilization to pressing issues like climate change?  

Classified as: Anthropocene, covid-19
Published on: 28 Aug 2020

OpEd by Tom Mulcair, former the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (2012-2017). 

Fifty years ago, Canada became a major, credible player in the world of environmental protection with the creation of our first department of the environment by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. That move was  accompanied by a progressive vision that was critical of the unbridled growth which showed no regard to the consequences for life on our planet. 

Classified as: Anthropocene
Published on: 11 Aug 2020

McGill’s Elena Bennett wants you to imagine a radical, inspiring, and realistic future for our planet

When you think of the Earth 50 years from now, what do you see? Do you imagine desolate cities, scorched forests, dead oceans, lost biodiversity? Elena Bennett wants you to know the future doesn’t have to be bleak.

Classified as: Anthropocene, seeds, McGill School of Environment
Published on: 20 Jul 2020


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