Department of Biology
Phone: (250) 658-3325
NSERC PDF, University of Toronto, 2003-2005
Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 1999
M.Sc., Queen's University, 1990
B.Sc., University of Toronto, 1988
Mammalian predators and prey on islands.
That prey should fear predators seems like such a basic biological fact that a world without
My work focuses on a model species of mammalian
deer mouse (Peromyscus
maniculatus), on B.C.’s
islands has long been hypothesized to be due to the paucity of predators. There may now
be more medium-sized mammalian predators, or ‘mesopredators’, such as raccoons
(Procyon lotor) and weasels (Mustela erminea), on these islands, than there were 50-100
years ago, in part because these mesopredators were introduced on many previously
predator-free islands, and because the predators that preyed on them, such as wolves
(Canis lupus), cougars (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus), have been
extirpated from most of the Gulf Islands. My research also addresses: these changes in
the abundance of mesopredators; whether they have begun to ‘forget’ about their
predators; and what effect this has had on their physiology, growth and health. In addition
to answering fundamental ecological questions, the results from this research will provide
the cornerstone for a planned introduced predator mitigation program for the new
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
At work near Saltspring Island
I am looking for M.Sc. students to work on a variety
of projects within the
context of my
current major research program. If you find the kinds of questions my research addresses
compelling, please fill in my Potential Grad Student Questionnaire and forward it to me
(via e-mail) together with a brief (up to 2 page) outline of the kind of research you envisage
conducting in my lab. Funding for graduate studies is of course available from NSERC
and this will look best on your future C.V. There are a wide variety of other
external funding sources, as well as University of Victoria Fellowships ($13,000 M.Sc.).
Clinchy, M., and Smith, J.
M. 2006. Combined food and predator
effects on songbird nest survival and annual reproductive success: results from a
bi-factorial experiment. Oecologia, 147: 632-640.
L., MacDougall-Shakleton, E., Clinchy,
M., and Smith,
Brown-headed cowbirds skew host offspring sex ratios. Ecology, 86: 815-820.
M., Zanette, L., Boonstra, R., Wingfield, J. C., and Smith, J.
Balancing food and predator pressure induces chronic stress in songbirds. Proceedings
of the Royal Society of London, Biological Sciences, 271: 2473-2479.
Taylor, A. C., Zanette, L., Krebs, C. J., & Jarman, P. J. 2004. Body
age and paternity in common brushtail possums. Molecular Ecology, 13: 195-202.
L., Smith, J. N. M., van Oort, H., and Clinchy,
M. 2003. Synergistic effects
of food and predators on annual reproductive success in song sparrows. Proceedings
of the Royal Society of London, Biological Sciences, 270: 799-803.
Haydon, D. T., & Smith, A. T. 2002. Pattern does not equal process:
what does patch occupancy really tell us about metapopulation dynamics? The
American Naturalist, 159: 351-362.
Krebs, C. J., & Jarman, P. J. 2001. Dispersal sinks and handling effects:
interpreting the role of immigration in common brushtail possum populations.
Journal of Animal Ecology, 70: 515-526.
C. N., Clinchy, M., Taylor, A. C., Krebs, C. J.,
Jarman, et al. 2001.
Adjustment of offspring sex ratios in relation to the availability of resources for
philopatric offspring in the common brushtail possum. Proceedings of the
Royal Society of