I started my PhD program in September 2014 co-supervised by Wendy and Arne Mooers. My past research has covered broad topics including toxicology, biomechanics, and population dynamics. Originally from Ontario, I completed my undergraduate degree in wildlife biology at the University of Guelph, working with Doug Fudge on mammalian keratin biomechanics. Afterwards, I switched tracks to realign with my long-held passion for herpetofauna and completed my MSc at McGill University, working with David M. Green on the population dynamics and conservation of the endangered Fowler’s toad in Long Point, Ontario. This led me into becoming interested in how amphibians differ in their population dynamics and from there, amphibian comparative biology.
Currently my interests are rooted in comparative biology, macroecology, and conservation biology with a focus on amphibians. For my thesis I am interested in examining interspecific variation in amphibians’ responses to different global stressors – specifically disease, habitat modification, and climate change. To that end I hope to utilize a variety of analytical and empirical tools to take an integrative approach to understand, and ultimately predict, a species sensitivity to different stressors. Currently I’m working on several projects that link aspects of amphibian life history and ecological traits to sensitivity to disease (chytridiomycosis) and habitat modification at a global scale using phylogenetic comparative methods.
While amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class, we have very limited data and knowledge on the vast majority of species. As such, methods to predict a species’ sensitivity using available data, including evolutionary history and certain functional traits, may be an effective means by which we can prioritize species for conservation management and threat abatement. Ultimately, I hope to fill this knowledge gap by highlighting at-risk species and clades with a predictive modelling framework.
Other research topics I am interested in include the role of ex situ management in biodiversity conservation, the drivers and consequences of evolutionary distinctiveness, and life history evolution in amphibians.
I am happy to correspond on any topic. Please do not hesitate to contact me: dgreenbe[at]sfu.ca