Meet Laurence, Ecologist Team Leader

Favourite part of the park?

There are so many beautiful places and landscapes in all the parks we get to work in, so this is a difficult question. Last summer, in Ivvavik National Park, we followed a small creek from the Firth River upstream. It led to a tall waterfall that was surrounded by blooming flowers and splashing mist. A definite highlight!

Best project/study you’ve gotten to work on?

My master’s project, done in collaboration with Parks Canada, was on muskox-caribou interactions. There are community concerns regarding reintroduced muskox population’s impact on the Porcupine caribou herd, and this project was about investigating those concerns, including habitat use and herbivory impacts. I loved being able to work in the park and with local partners on this project.

Favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of the job is being able to spend time outdoors. In the summers especially, we are fortunate to get to spend a lot of time in the parks researching and monitoring water quality, lemming density, raptor occupancy, permafrost depth, caribou habitat, and many other important parts of the ecosystem.

What do you love most about science?

At its basic core, science is having a question about the natural world, and going about trying to figure out an answer. I love both parts of that equation, thinking of questions and doing the work to answer them. I like that more and more, we’re thinking about which questions to ask and how to ensure Indigenous communities are getting the answers and the work they want to see be done, get done.