Speakers

Speaker Schedule

  • 25 Sep 2020; Josh Sayers; Have you seen Ontario’s elusive Badger? (Online Zoom Meeting)
  • 30 Oct 2020; Lesley Sampson; Insights into Coyote/Human Dynamics (Online Zoom Meeting)
  • 27 Nov 2020; Toby Thorne; Toronto Zoo’s Native Bat Conservation Program (Online Zoom Meeting)
  • 29 Jan 2021; Kat Lucas; Aquatic Species at Risk in the Great Lakes (Online Zoom Meeting)
  • 26 Feb 2021; Jeff Bowman; Flying Squirrels in Ontario (Online Zoom Meeting)
  • 26 Mar 2021; Ellen Jamieson; A Day in the Life of a Shorebird in South Carolina (Online Zoom Meeting)
  • 30 Apr 2021; Brian Banks; Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (Online Zoom Meeting)

Meeting Information

Currently our meetings are held online via Zoom. WBFN members receive emails with links and instructions. Please visit our Contact Page for further information.

Note that all regular indoor meetings have been cancelled due to COVID-19. During normal times we meet as follows:
Monthly meetings take place at the Cobourg Public Library, 200 Ontario St., Cobourg, typically during the last Friday of the month and starting at 7:30 p.m. Each meeting will start off with WBFN business, announcements and sightings, typically lasting 30 minutes. Approximately 1 hour is then devoted to our guest speaker. The final 30 minutes allows for meeting the guest speaker and visiting among members and guests. These meetings are open to the public and we encourage guests to introduce themselves.
Google Maps: Meeting Location

Speaker Topics & Descriptions

Friday, September 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Josh Sayers
Topic: Have you seen Ontario’s elusive Badger?
Description: Biologist Josh Sayers, leader of the Ontario Badger Project, a conservation program to save the grizzled grey creatures, calls them “ghost-like” because they are nocturnal, few people ever see them. Plus, they have a huge range that they move within every few days. One badger around Tillsonburg, Ont., called 32,000 hectares home.
Originally from rural Lambton County, Josh has spent the last 15 years or so working across North America and the Caribbean on a variety of research and conservation projects studying a wide range of mammals and birds. His primary focus for much of the last decade has been the Ontario Badger Project, which he started along with his wife Danielle Ethier, and Chris Kyle of Trent University.

Friday, October 30, 2020, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Lesley Sampson
Topic: Insights into Coyote/Human Dynamics
Description: Lesley Sampson’s research and practice center on canid behavior and nonlethal coexistence methodologies. She is consulted across North America and abroad, facilitating human-wildlife conflict resolution and outreach. Her extensive fieldwork experience has included collaborations with both scientific and government agencies, working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, local governments, community scientists, and researchers from Queen’s, Manitoba, Toronto, and Guelph Universities.

Friday November 27, 2020, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Toby Thorne
Topic: Toronto Zoo’s Native Bat Conservation Program
Description: When I met that first bat I could not have imagined that I would end up at the Toronto Zoo working on a program to conserve them. The zoo’s Native Bat Conservation Program is part of our commitment to conservation excellence, and particularly the Canadian species in our backyard. bats in North America need all the help they can get. In the past decade several million bats have died because of White Nose Syndrome — a fungal disease introduced from Europe. There are eight resident bat species in Ontario, half of which are now listed as endangered. Bats are also threatened by habitat loss, wind turbines and urbanization.A difficulty with conserving bats is our poor understanding of many aspects of their ecology and needs. Addressing knowledge gaps for bats is a large part of the zoo’s bat program.

Friday January 29, 2021, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Kat Lucas
Topic: Aquatic Species at Risk in the Great Lakes
Description: Kat Lucas is the Aqua-Links Program Assistant at the Toronto Zoo. She has a passion for conservation education and connecting others with the environment. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science, Zoology, and a Master of Environmental Science with a focus on aquatic toxicology and fish reproduction. Our Great Lakes support a diverse array of plants and animals, with rich ecosystems that are unique in the world. The lakes provide us with fresh drinking water, food, and recreational opportunities. I am focusing on some of the species at risk in our Great Lakes and our role as individuals to protect this sensitive ecosystem.

Friday, February 26, 2021, Annual General Meeting, 7:30 p.m. Join at 7 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
A new Executive Board will be elected. A quorum of at least 25 members is required, so be sure to join the meeting.
Speaker: Jeff Bowman
Topic: Flying Squirrels in Ontario
Description: Dr. Jeff Bowman is a Senior Research Scientist with the Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, also an Adjunct Professor in the Environmental and Life sciences Graduate Program at Trent University. Jeff leads Ontario’s furbearer and small mammal research programs, and has expertise in population and landscape ecology, and landscape genetics. Flying squirrels are cryptic, nocturnal species with many interesting adaptations to their nighttime habits. He will provide some insights into the natural history of flying squirrels, how and why we study these species, and the history of our research, as well as distribution of Ontario’s two flying squirrel species, the northern and southern flying squirrel, our recent discovery of hybridization between the species, and the causes and consequences of this hybridization.

Friday, March 26, 2021, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Ellen Jamieson
Topic: A Day in the Life of a Shorebird in South Carolina
Description: Shorebirds are an incredible group of birds that are important for wetland ecosystems and
undergo one of nature’s craziest phenomena – migration! But shorebirds are in trouble – their
populations are experiencing drastic declines and many species are threatened or
endangered.
Ellen was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario. She was encouraged to learn about nature
and immerse herself in the outdoors from a young age. She completed her undergraduate
degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, majoring in Biology and English. She
had the opportunity to study Tree Swallows in the Annapolis Valley and also conducted a
Herring Gull and Common Eider census on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy. Her love of field
work led her to pursue a Master of Science at Trent University in the Environmental and Life
Sciences program where she studied shorebird habitat use and foraging ecology on Bulls
Island in South Carolina.

Friday, April 30 2021, 7:30 p.m. (Online Zoom Meeting)
Speaker: Brian Banks
Topic: Canadian Migration Monitoring Network
Description: As spring arrives in Canada, so do billions of migratory birds. Understanding their annual journeys and population trends is vital to halting their decline and promoting conservation. A key contributor in this effort is the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network, a national collaborative of nearly 30 bird observatories. Brian, a nature writer who lives near Roseneath, wrote a feature article on the CMMN in the latest Canadian Wildlife magazine and will share what he learned from observatory operators, banders, and avian biologists in reporting this story. The article is Brian’s latest for Canadian Wildlife. He also writes frequently for Canadian Geographic and ON Nature magazines. A geographer by training, he will also weave in a few reflections from other stories that have taken him into the field with naturalists, biologists, fellow geographers, ecologists, conservation practitioners, adventurers, and explorers.

Past Speaker Page

Speaker Posters