Overview - The "Heb" Lab
Our research interests broadly lie in understanding 1) how wildlife such as ungulate herbivores balance the costs of predation with the benefits of foraging, and 2) how human activities influence this balance, and the ensuing conservation and management consequences to wildlife population dynamics. Ungulate habitat selection is a primary mechanism used to balance predation and forage, and our research uses new techniques to link the consequences of resource selection to population dynamics. Our research approach is largely empirical, based on field studies, and makes use of advances in spatial and statistical modeling including resource selection functions, cox-proportional hazards survival analyses, and landscape simulation models using GIS. Because human activities often influence predation risk and forage distribution, we believe it crucial for research to have applied conservation and management components.
Our research has been used for applied management issues in Banff and Jasper National Parks such as endangered caribou recovery, urban elk management, carnivore corridor restoration, and trophic effects of habitat fragmentation. In adjacent provincial lands our research has been applied for ungulate harvest management, developing salvage logging guidelines for ungulates, and managing elk-hay conflicts. Internationally, our work has been used to help promote the recovery of Amur Tigers in the Russian Far East and China, and we are starting similar conservation work on Tigers in Bhutan. Previous work also provided a quantitative transboundary management framework for managing anthropogenic effects on ungulate populations that migrate across jurisdictional boundaries.
Photo credits, thanks to: Mark Bradley (JNP), Layla Neufeld (JNP), John Roach, Norm Munroe, Bighorn Helicopters, Parks Canada, Holger Spaedtke, Taylor Kennedy, & present lab members
Wordle diagram of Heb Lab publication titles in the last 10 years