Shawn Leroy, a Franco-Ontarian, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa before beginning his MSc in conservation biology at the University of Alberta in the fall of 2003.
Shawn’s general research interests are in the fi elds of ecosystem and landscape ecology and conservation biology. His research focuses on protected areas design, ecological resilience, effects of anthropogenic activity on ecosystems, and spatial flows of energy, materials, and organisms between ecosystems.
For his MSc thesis, Shawn is comparing and evaluating three methods of identifying regional protected areas in the boreal forest: 1) conventional conservation planning methods, 2) community-based planning methods, and 3) dynamic conservation planning methods.
In collaboration with other researchers in Renewable Resources, Shawn has developed a novel, spatially explicit, dynamic simulation model, CONSERV that he is using to incorporate ecological processes in protected areas design theory. In his thesis, he illustrates the use of CONSERV with a case study for protected areas design in the Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories.
While pursuing his M.Sc. degree, Shawn has also actively participated in the Canadian Boreal Ecosystems Analysis for Conservation Networks (BEACONs) project led by Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow.
In the fall of 2006, Shawn began his PhD studies at McGill University where he will refine theory to explain the spatial flows of energy, materials, and organisms between ecosystems and test this theory in an experimental pond system.
Shawn’s career goals are to continue research and teaching in ecosystem and landscape ecology and conservation biology at a Canadian University. In his spare time, Shawn plays guitar in a band, composes music, plays sports, and enjoys fly fishing.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2006 edition of the Landmark Newsletter. Shawn successfully passed his MSc exam in June 2006.