Plenary Speakers

Liana Zanette

Dr. Zanette works on fear; fear of predators, and the impact it has in nature.  Liana has worked on a variety of wildlife, from birds to lions, in many ecosystems in Canada and abroad including the USA, South Africa, Eswatini, Uganda and Germany. Dr. Zanette and her lab have revealed that fear is a powerful force that can affect wildlife populations and stabilize (or de-stabilize) ecosystems. Her work has appeared on radio, television and in print, including Quirks and Quarks on CBC, NewsHour on the BBC WorldService, the Nature of Things, PBS NOVA, The Atlantic, Washington Post, The Guardian. Dr. Zanette is a Professor in the Biology Department at Western University where she teaches Conservation Biology and Population Ecology.  She was a Killam PostDoctoral Fellow at UBC, after receiving her PhD from the University of New England in Australia, her MSc from Queen’s and BSc from the University of Toronto. 

Scott Taylor

Dr. Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Research in his lab is focused on using natural avian hybrid zones and recent avian radiations to understand the genetic bases of traits involved in reproductive isolation, population divergence, and speciation, and the impacts of anthropogenic change, including climate change, on species distributions, interactions, and evolution. He and his lab are fascinated by natural history and the intersections between art and science, and are committed to doing their part to increase diversity and make our community inclusive and supportive. Scott completed his B.Sc. at the University of Guelph in Wildlife Biology, his Ph.D at Queen’s University, and was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He currently teaches ornithology and population genetics, as well as field courses in the Galápagos, Brazil, and the Rocky Mountains. He will be presenting his talk entitled “Insights from avian hybridization into the origin and maintenance of biodiversity”.

Melissa Bateson

Dr. Bateson will be presenting her talk entitled “Obese humans and fat birds: what is the role of limited, unpredictable food?”. More information coming soon. In the meantime, find out more about Dr. Bateson’s research here.

Sigal Balshine

Dr. Balshine’s research interests are centered on evolutionary behavioural ecology with a special focus on sociality, breeding system evolution and anthropogenic impacts on behaviour. Dr. Balshine received her B.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and conducted post-doctoral research at Tel Aviv University, the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology in Vienna and the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Dr. Balshine joined the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour in 2000 and was granted tenure in 2006 and full professor status in 2011. She is also an associate member of the Department of Biology at McMaster University and is a member of the Animal Behaviour Society and the International Society for Behavioural Ecology.