Darcy Henderson


Darcy graduated from the Department with a PhD (2005) and MSc (2000), and after post-doctoral work with Parks Canada he now works as a Grassland Ecologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada in Saskatoon SK. Prior to his studies at the UofA, Darcy obtained a technical Diploma in Resource Management from SIAST and a BSc in Biology from the University of Saskatchewan. He also gained valuable experience as a full-time instructor for the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and several seasonal jobs working in fisheries, forestry, waterfowl, and parks management in private, NGO and public sectors. Darcy's research at the University of Alberta involved studies in soil biochemistry, land reclamation, range management, and conservation biology applied to problems with carbon sequestration and invasive plant species in Canada's prairie grasslands.

His current work covers a breadth from species at risk research and policy, protected areas management and research, as well as reviewing grant proposals, permits and environmental assessments across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. To do this work Darcy collaborates with other government staff, land owners, NGOs, agriculture and resource industries, and university faculty and students. There is no such thing as a typical day because work might involve dressing in a suit to give expert testimony at hearings, getting sooty and smoky from lighting prescribed burns, working alone in the wilderness, addressing large audiences at crowded conferences, sorting grass and seeds in the lab, but mostly sitting in front of a computer. He finds a career in the federal public service provides opportunities to effectively use the law and influence policy in favour of biodiversity conservation, which is very rewarding.

Current projects include research into the metapopulation patch dynamics, demographics and genetics of a threatened plant species; training students and professionals in rare plant survey techniques; mapping and modeling critical habitat for plant species at risk; monitoring grassland fuel curing ratios for fire management planning; experimenting with control methods for invasive plant species; and helping co-ordinate North America's largest grazing experiment at Grasslands National Park. Darcy is also a committee member for graduate students at the University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan, Chair of the National Recovery Team for Plant Species at Risk in the Prairie Provinces, a member of COSEWIC's Vascular Plant Species Sub-committee, and an Articling Agrologist with the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrology.

Recent Publications:

Koper, N., D.C. Henderson, J.F. Wilmshurst, P. Fargey and R. Sissons. 2008. Design and analysis of rangeland experiments along continuous gradients. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 61: 605-613.

Environment Canada. 2007. Recovery strategy for Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) in Canada. Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service. Ottawa.

Henderson, D.C. and R. Chapman. 2006. Caragana arborescens L. invasion in Elk Island National Park, Canada. Natural Areas Journal. 61: 261-266.

Henderson, D.C. and M.A. Naeth. 2005. Multi-scale impacts of crested wheatgrass invasion in mixed-grass prairie. Biological Invasions 7: 639-650.

Henderson, D.C., B.H. Ellert and M.A. Naeth. 2004. Grazing impact on organic carbon across a gradient of Alberta native rangelands. Journal of Range Management 57: 402-410.

Henderson, D.C., B.H. Ellert and M.A. Naeth. 2004. Utility of C13 for ecosystem carbon turnover estimation in grazed mixed grass prairie. Geoderma 119: 219-231.

Added: 2 February 2009