Lee Hecker | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 16/09/2022
8:30 am - 9:30 am

Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree. This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Lee Hecker. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

Location: 849 General Services Building (GSB), University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

Zoom Link: https://ualberta-ca.zoom.us/j/91889530462

PhD with Drs. Scott Nielsen and Mark Edwards

Thesis Topic: Influence of nutrition on the habitat selection of the Ronald Lake wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) herd

Seminar Abstract:

Nutrition is a key factor influencing habitat selection in all wild animals. When
managing wildlife, understanding the relationship between the quantity and quality of forage and an animal’s habitat selection is vital to success. My objective was to investigate how nutrition influences habitat selection of the Ronald Lake wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) herd at the northern edge of Alberta’s oil-sands region. To meet my objective I (1)conducted a review of bison diets across North America; (2) made predictions about the herd’s diet and assessed how they regulate their nutritional intake seasonally; (3) evaluated how nutritional and physical habitat components influence habitat selection while exhibiting different behaviors; (4) investigated the motives behind a unique migration the herd undertakes each spring. My dissertation has informed the management of the herd and highlights the importance of considering nutrition as a factor influencing all components of an animal’s life.