HUMANS ARE DIVERSE; SO SCIENCE MUST BE
The ACME Lab is a family. Our scientific lives depend on one another. Our successes are shared, our failures shouldered by all.
We lift each other up, so we can all do better for this world.
We welcome ALL who share this philosophy. We cherish and defend diversity: where you come from, and whom you love.
We lift each other up, so we can all do better for this world.
We welcome ALL who share this philosophy. We cherish and defend diversity: where you come from, and whom you love.
Dr. Jason T Fisher
I am the Director and Principal Investigator of ACME Lab. I am a wildlife ecology research scientist with a keen love for mammals and big Canadian landscapes. I trained at Universities across Canada, worked for the governments of Newfoundland & Labrador and Alberta for 20 years, and started ACME Lab here at UVIC's School of Environmental Studies. I built ACME lab from partnerships across western Canada with UVIC, industry, government, eNGOs, and First Nations. We could not do what we do without these dedicated colleagues and friends. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together, and what we will do in the future.
For more about me, click the obligatory glory biology photo: "Fisher with fisher".
Post Doctoral fellows
Dr. Andrew Barnas
Postdoctoral Fellow, UVIC ACME Lab. Andrew is working with the urban deer project in Esquimalt (BC), as well as Oil Sand Monitoring in Northern Alberta, using camera trap data to estimate wildlife population densities. Andrew is interested in how individual behaviour in response to disturbance can translate to population level impacts. Andrew joined the lab in 2022 after completing a Postdoc working on common eiders and polar bears at the University of Windsor and receiving his PhD from the University of North Dakota working on lesser snow geese. Outside of research, Andrew is typically busy either woodworking, kayaking, or backpacking.
Check out Andrew's website here, or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kathleen Carrol
2019: Ph.D. Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University
2019: Certificate in College Teaching, Montana State University
2019: Certificate in Applied Statistics, Montana State University
2016: M.S. Environmental Sciences, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
2013: B.S. Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine at Orono
2013: B.S. Marine Biology, University of Maine at Orono
Find my CV and more detailed information about my research interests at My Google Scholar
I have a background in wildlife conservation, marine biology, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, statistics, education, and science communication. Most of my work bridges the science-management gap using satellite-derived indices to inform management strategies across various taxa. I collaborate directly with managers and agencies to ensure my work results in actionable conservation initiatives.
My interests include spending time with my three dogs, reading, MMA, cross-country skiing, running, climbing, swimming, backpacking, and paddling. I also play the ukulele, embroider, brew kombucha, make ravioli from scratch weekly, and am adeptly skilled at keeping houseplants alive. I am a certified PADI SCUBA Instructor and spend at least one weekend a month teaching for a local Madison company.
Dr. Ludovick Brown
Postdoctoral Fellow, UVIC. Ludovick is using camera trap data to study the impact of landscape change on mammal communities in Yukon. He is broadly interested in how human activities affect wildlife and conducted research in fields like behavioural ecology and ecotoxicology. Ludovick obtained a Ph.D. in biology from Université de Sherbrooke and his thesis focused on the consequences of hunting in Scandinavian brown bears. In his spare time, Ludovick enjoys hiking, running, hunting, kayak angling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
Dr. Marissa Dyck, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, UVIC. Marissa is working with the Oil Sand Monitoring project in Alberta using camera trap data to understand effects of human development on mammal communities. She has experience studying mammals in a variety of systems ranging from high-alpine mountains to African savannas. Marissa received her Ph.D. in Biology from Ohio University in 2023 where she studied on carnivore ecology and conservation in the U.S. and Romania. Specifically, she used non-invasive field techniques coupled with statistical modeling to assess occupancy, interspecific interactions, and population viability of species such as lynx, wolves, bobcats, and coyotes. Marissa spends as much of her free time as she can in the outdoors mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking, and paddle boarding or exploring with her two dogs.
Ph.D. student, NSERC Canada Graduate Scholar. Nicole studies moose calf survival and population dynamics in central British Columbia. Previously, she conducted her M.Sc. research on spatial and temporal variation of stable isotopes in polar bears and ringed seals. She has diverse ecological interests, and has researched stress in elk, urban connectivity, bioacoustics (if you ever need a bird identified by song, she's your person) and more! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, drawing, hiking, board games and keeping up with her two energetic dogs.
Check out Nicole's website here.
Ph.D. student. Faye has a B.Sc. in Biology from McGill University (2008) and a M.R.M. from Simon Fraser University (2013), where she studied the statistical reliability of indicators of population decline for Fraser River sockeye salmon. After graduating, she spent several years working on contaminated sites along the Pacific coast with DFO, and then moved to the Northwest Territories to work as the Resource Management Supervisor for Nááts'įhch'oh National Park Reserve based in Tulı́t'a. She currently works as a Wildlife Biologist studying Arctic carnivores and furbearers with the Government of the Northwest Territories in Inuvik. She is also a board member on Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı (Sahtú Renewable Resources Board). In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing, as well as indoor activities such as board games and puzzles.
Alexia has just begun her Ph.D. with Dr. Jason Fisher in the ACME Lab, sponsored by Dr. Joanna Burgar and the Mesocarnivore Team at the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship and Francis Johnson from Alkali Resource Management. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with her BSc in Forest Sciences and MSc in Forestry in the Wildlife Coexistence Lab led by Dr. Cole Burton and co-supervised by Dr. Suzanne Simard. Her research focuses on British Columbia’s southern interior fisher population, its decline, and ways to improve fisher habitat by working with First Nations, fire, and industry. When she’s not in the field or working, Alexia spends most of her time paddling, skiing or trying to stay upright on a mountain bike going quickly downhill.
M.Sc. student. Brianna is using biotelemetry to study muskoxen movement and habitat selection in response to changing environmental conditions in the Yukon Territory. She is keenly interested in wildlife ecology and has previously collected grizzly bear hair samples for a population inventory in central Alberta, monitored Olympia oyster settlement rates in the Gorge waterway, and assisted with bird banding on southern Vancouver Island. Brianna spends her spare time trail running, hiking, riding bikes, and taking photos of critters and landscapes along the way.
Sydney Goward, MSc Student, Weston Family Northern Scientist. Partnered with the Arctic Landscape Ecology lab and the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, Sydney is studying Divii (Dall’s Sheep) in the Northern Richardson Mountains, NT. Her research focuses on the use of camera traps and engagement with Gwich’in communities to investigate Divii population demography and mammal community interactions. In 2018, she graduated from Thompson Rivers University with an Honours degree in Natural Resource Science, where she conducted research studying spatial and temporal characteristics of raptor nesting habitat in a managed forest in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Sydney is a Registered Professional Forester (non-practicing) and has a working background in wildlife and habitat management in both BC and AB. Outside her studies, she is an overall backcountry enthusiast, dedicated fly fisher, and amateur wildlife photographer.
Check out Sydney's website for more info here.
Rebecca Smith, M.Sc. student and B.C. Graduate Scholar, is using camera traps to study the functionality of protected areas in the western Canadian landscape, in the context of supporting mammalian biodiversity. Rebecca graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation in 2018. She has contributed to research on insect diversity in Costa Rica and post-construction monitoring of amphibian/reptile populations in Ontario. Most recently Rebecca has worked with Parks Canada in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks conducting ecological monitoring. This work included monitoring winter wildlife corridors, maintaining large wildlife camera arrays, and reporting on the ecological integrity of the parks. Rebecca enjoys skiing, trail running, climbing, and drinking large cups of tea in her spare time
Isabel Deutsch, MSc Student. Isabel is using camera trap data to study the effects of reproduction and immigration on the short-term population dynamics of urban black-tailed deer. Isabel graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. degree in Zoology in 2019. Since then, she has contributed to projects relating to human-wildlife co-existence, specifically addressing human-wildlife conflict issues. Isabel has worked with the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society since 2020 on the Oak Bay and Esquimalt deer projects. She has contributed to research regarding vessel interactions with resident orca whales in the Salish Sea, the reintroduction success of post-release sloth populations in Costa Rica, and the foraging patterns of baboons in South Africa. Isabel enjoys bird banding, backpacking, kayaking, scuba diving and aerial performance arts.
Jamie Clarke, MSc student, Together for Wildlife scholar. In collaboration with the Government of BC, Jamie is testing camera traps as a tool to estimate large ungulate densities. The goal of her research is to compare how camera trap density models perform compared to BC’s standard methods of ungulate density estimation - namely, aerial surveys - to improve the way we inventory and steward wildlife in BC and beyond. Jamie graduated from UBC with a BSc in Biology in 2020. She has worked on many different kinds of research projects, from jaw bone necrosis in rats to bacterial diseases in honeybee colonies to woodpecker hybridization to camera trap monitoring in protected areas. She also worked as a science communicator at UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Most recently, while with WildCAM, she wrote a handbook on density estimation using camera traps. Jamie likes running, skiing, biking, climbing, knitting, reading, and whatever else you might like to get her into
Megan Braun, M.Sc. student and NSERC Scholar. Megan is working with the Oil Sands Monitoring program, using camera trap data to investigate mammalian community dynamics in the boreal forest. Megan graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation in 2023. During her undergraduate studies, she performed research on the implications of landscape gradients on seasonal movements by semi-domestic reindeer in Norway. In her spare time, Megan enjoys running, hiking, reading, tide-pooling, and baking chocolatey treats.
admiral of the fleet
Alina C. Fisher
Alina C. Fisher, M.A. (Comm), Ph.D. Cand., is Research Manager for UVIC'S School of Environmental Studies. She makes the wheels turn and the music play. An unsung hero if ever there was one. She's an ecologist, a Master of Communications, does all our social media, is a Project Management Professional, and is an ex-pro bellydancer to top it all off. Alina is also a Ph.D. candidate with Dr. Eric Higgs in the School of Environmental Studies, examining how landscape change in mountain environments over the last century has affected mammalian communities.
She also suffers the unenviable task of keeping Jason alive. Not sure how, but so far it's worked.
Check out Alina's website here.
sean murray, B.Sc.
Sean Murray, is our Chief Data Management and Analysis Technician. Sean has a passion for wildlife and land conservation. He's worked as a technician performing caribou habitat assessment in Chinchaga Alberta, observing foraging and vigilance behaviour of grizzly bears in Bella Coola, B.C, and assessed the effectiveness of invasive species control and passive restoration techniques in Garry Oak ecosystems throughout southern Vancouver Island. He has recently made the shift to data management and mapping having completed his undergraduate degree in Geography with a focus in Geomatics.
Outside of work he's interested in running/cycling/climbing and futzing about building things out of wood.
Laura Eliuk, Master of Science (2023)
M.Sc. student, NSERC Scholar. Laura uses camera traps to assess human activity and mammal distributions in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, and is interested in how landscape change, human activity, and management decisions affect large mammal distributions. She has a broad interest in field ecology, and has worked two seasons on the Kluane Red Squirrel Project in the Yukon studying behavioural ecology and ecological physiology in red squirrels. Laura has also worked in resource conservation with Parks Canada, with wolves in Minnesota, and has banded songbirds in Manitoba and the Yukon. She is from Winnipeg, MB, where she did her BSc. Hons. in ecology and conducted thesis research on trematode parasites and how they alter the behaviour of their snail hosts. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, picking wild edibles, and photographing critters and plants.
Parasite-modified behaviour in non-trophic transmission: trematode parasitism increases the attraction between snail intermediate hosts (link).
Katherine baillie-David, UVIC graduate fellow, Master of Science (2022)
Katie researched carnivore behavioural responses to predator control in the boreal forest of northeastern Alberta.
Katie is from Ottawa, Ontario, where she received a B.Sc. Hons. in Biology from the University of Ottawa in 2017. Katie is now a wildlife ecologist with LGL Consulting.
Check out Katie's website for more info here.
Macgregor Aubertin-Young, nserc scholar, master of science (2022)
M.Sc student, NSERC Scholar. Macgregor investigated the environmental determinants of local mammal species richness and the role of traits in mediating species responses to landscape change. He previously described new species of mites while researching hummingbird–mite interactions in Peru, studied grass hybridization along the Fraser River and worked as a bird banding technician in the South Okanagan. Macgregor is now a data scientist with the Government of British Columbia.
Dr. Andrew Ladle, PostDoctoral Fellow (2021)
Andrew worked with the Oil Sands Monitoring program, where he used spatially-explicit methods of estimating animal density for multiple species using camera trap data to understand species' response to apex predator removal and landscape disturbance. Andrew received his PhD (2017) from University of Alberta researching grizzly bears in the Canadian Rockies, and returned to Canada after finishing a post-doc position on wolverine ecology at SLU- Grimsö, Sweden. Andrew is a continuing collaborator with ACME Lab.
Alexandra Francis, NSERC Scholar, Master of Science (2020).
Alex studied the effects of salvage logging from the Mountain Pine Beetle on moose behaviour in the interior of British Columbia. Alex presently works for the Government of British Columbia as a Wildlife Biologist in Kamloops.
Thesis: Evaluating habitat use of female moose in response to large scale salvage logging practices in British Columbia, Canada.
Dr. Frances Stewart,
Dr. Joanna Burgar, UVic Post-Doctoral Fellow (2019).
Joanna tackled hierarchical Bayesian models to estimate density, to help identify effects of landscape change and inform management. Joanna is now a Wildlife Biologist with the Government of British Columbia in Vancouver. She remains a collaborator in our Wildlife CAMERA project, a collaboration with other Universities, government, and industry.
Check out Joanna's website here.
Siobhan Darlington, NSERC Scholar, Master of Science (2018).
Siobhan researched white-tailed deer habitat selection and movement in the northeast boreal forest of Alberta in response to climate and landscape change, and predation risk.
Siobhan is now a Ph.D student in the WiRE Lab at the University of British Columbia.
Check out Siobhan's website here.
Gillian Chow-Fraser, NSERC and UVIC Scholar, Master of Science (2018).
Gillian studied caribou calf predation in response to predation risk and oil and gas development in the boreal, and wolverine response to and changing competition conditions in the Rockies.
Gillian is now Boreal Program Manager for CPAWS Northern Alberta.
Sandra Frey, NSERC SCHOLAR, MASTER OF SCIENCE (2018).
Sandra studied carnivore community ecology, investigating how landscape development alters species' spatiotemporal activity patterns. Her 1st MSC paper was one of RSEC's Top 20 most downloaded papers in 2018, and her 2nd won the MITACS Award for Outstanding Innovation. Sandra is the UWSS's Project manager for the Urban Boreal Deer Research Project, providing logistics and deftly capturing deer wandering the wilds of Oak Bay, Victoria.
See more about Sandra here.
Nicole Heim, NSERC Scholar, Master of Science (2015).
Nikki was the first ACME student (brave!). An avid and terrifying climber, she strapped dead beaver to her back and hiked in blizzards to mountaintops to study wolverine distribution in the Alberta Rockies. Crazy. Also, 6 peer-reviewed publications and counting. Nikki now works as Willdife Biologist for the Ktunaxa Nation.
Lilli Gaston is the ACME Lab’s Research Assistant and Field Technician. She recently graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Victoria, where she completed a directed studies with the ACME Lab. Her research involved the use of camera traps to study predictors of fisher occurrence in multiple landscapes across Alberta. Lilli is passionate about wildlife ecology and has had an absolute blast setting up camera traps for large mammal monitoring in the boreal, counting migratory breeding songbirds in northern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta, and participating in burrowing owl conservation on the Canadian prairies. Lilli enjoys reading fiction, hiking, and ocean kayaking, and she is keen to pursue a M.Sc. in the near future.
Wylie Fuller, B.Sc.
Wylie Fuller, B.SC. was the previous ACME Lab Chief Spatial Data and Statistics Technician. Wylie is researching mammal communities in Alberta with the Oil Sands Monitoring program, and is modelling black-tailed deer habitat use in Oak Bay with the UWSS Urban Deer team. Wylie began research with the ACME Lab on an undergraduate thesis, and is now a graduate student at Simon Fraser University. Check out Wylie's website here.
Persia Khan, B.Sc.
Persia Khan, was a B.Sc. Honours student investigating mammal activity patterns in the Bighorn Country of Alberta using camera trap data. During her undergraduate degree at UVic, Persia has worked on several projects with an ecological focus including recreation ecology studies with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, research on dietary preferences of coastal bears, and aquatics and vegetation field work with Parks Canada.
Hannah Boczulak, B.Sc.
Hannah Boczulak was a B.Sc. Directed Studies student investigating mammals response to disturbance - specifics TBA, During her undergraduate degree at UVic, Hannah has focused on physical geography and ecology, including research on qualitative risk assessments of boreal woodland caribou with Natural Resources Canada, investigating lichen and tree dating techniques in BC’s Coast Mountains and assisting in the creation of a Marine Reference Guide with the Pacific Salmon Foundation.