Galpern Lab @ Faculty of Environmental Design | University of Calgary

Current lab members

(updated: June 2017)

pgalpern_outside_evds Paul Galpern, Assistant Professor (Environmental Design, adjunct Biological Sciences), is a landscape ecologist whose research involves six, four and two-legged animals.  He is interested in pollinator conservation, agroecosystem ecology, landscape genetics and how people move in cities.
 IMG_3792 (3) Cat Fauvelle, Masters student (MEDes, Environmental Design), is studying landscape connectivity and planning in the Saskatchewan boreal plain, simulating protected areas, forestry and impacts on woodland caribou. Her work focuses on four-legged critters.
  Jenn Retzlaff, Masters student (MSc, Biological Sciences), is interested in how functional morphology structures communities of bumble bees in Alberta. She has counted many roadside flowers and identified a lot of six-legged things. Jenn is co-supervised by Ralph Cartar.
  Angie Rout, PhD student (CMD program), explores the use of volunteered smartphone location data to support urban planning and design.  She studies two-legged subjects.
  Danielle Clake, PhD student (Biological Sciences), uses landscape genomic methods to study alpine bumble bee populations.  She hikes up mountains to find the six-legged sort. Danielle is co-supervised by Sean Rogers.
  Jess Vickruck, Post doc, is a bee ecologist currently investigating beneficial insects in prairie agroecosystems. She leads our six-legged research program. Jess tweets at @jessvickruck.
  Laura Coristine is a Liber Ero Postdoctoral fellow. Her work on climate change refugia for biodiversity keeps her busy on her own two legs travelling across the continent. Laura’s postdoctoral mentorship team includes Y2Y, CPAWS, and O2 Planning + Design.
  Michael Gavin, Technician, helps us with GIS, lab work, field work, bumble bee identification, and you name it.  To date we’ve only let him loose on six-legged specimens.
  Alex Chubaty, Post doc, is a guest in our lab and collaborates with us on software development. Alex is employed by the Canadian Forest Service. It’s true that trees have roots (and no legs), but much of his work involves six-legged mountain pine beetles.
  Lincoln Best works for us from time to time as a bee taxonomic consultant, when he’s not busy (as a bee) consulting for others. He has most recently helped us identify tens of thousands of solitary bees. Linc’s six-legged tweets can be found at @beesofcanada.

Prairie field crew (Summer 2017)

Megan Amarbayan
Amy Krause
Natasha Morden
Riley Waytes


FEB 5/17 We've re-opened our search for a PhD student to work on bumble bees in Fraser Valley, BC blueberry fields. Co-supervised with Ralph Cartar here at University of Calgary. See posting here for more information.

OCT 13/07 We're recruiting a PhD student to work on bumble bees in Fraser Valley, BC blueberry fields. Co-supervised with Ralph Cartar here at University of Calgary. See posting here for more information.

JUL 17/17 University of Calgary is using our bumble bee and climate change work as part of a national advertising campaign. See this poster snapped as we sped by on Calgary Transit. Our part of the campaign can be found here

JUN 13/17: Summer is here, and we have started sampling in canola fields and in ditches in the Calgary area, near Duchess, and near Claresholm, Alberta. Big thanks to our grower-cooperators who allow us into their fields to sample insects and measure yield. And also to Canola Council of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and Alberta Conservation Association whose ongoing support has enabled us to expand this prairie cropland ecosystem services and conservation program.

JUN 8/17: We have been in the news. Here our beneficial insect project coordinator Jess Vickruck and Canola Council agronomist Gregory Sekulic talk to Grainews about our collaborative prairie research project. University of Calgary also reported recently on our bee work, here.
APR 1/17: Our field program is building. We have FOUR paid positions this summer for our various Prairie beneficial insect projects. Please contact Jess Vickruck if you are interested in applying. [Thank you for your interest. All positions are now filled. Closed.]

APR 5/16: We have THREE paid positions for field/lab assistants on our pollinator landscape ecology projects. See here for more information. Apply soon. [Thanks to those who applied. Now closed.]

DEC 14/15: It's always Bombus rufocinctus! We are looking for undergraduate volunteers starting in the new year to help us identify bumble bees from this summer's field collection. 1picrufo The infamous and abundant rufocinctus is anything but red-belted as the latin scholars among you have already suggested. Rather, it is a brilliant mimic with thirteen different colour pattern morphs that make our game of identifying prairie bumble bees especially fun. Fortunately we have a secret up our sleeve. Come join the rufocinctus gang and find out how to tell a real rufo (err--we think). Thanks to artist and bee ecologist Riley Waytes for our mascot.

OCT 26/15: University of Calgary tweets about our bumble bee climate change study as one of five "research advances that could change our world." There's always hope!

SEP 15/15: Very pleased to be advertising for a University of Calgary Eyes High Postdoctoral Scholar in pollinator informatics--or is that bee-o-informatics? See the job posting here.

JULY 16/15: We're quite excited about our team's new bumble bee climate change study just out in Science (Kerr, Pindar, Galpern, et al., 2015). The findings were covered by over 400 media outlets around the world (here's a list), with stories appearing in print, on the web, on the radio, in streaming video, on several Canadian TV networks, and in a few languages.

JULY 10/15: Here's University of Calgary's coverage of the main findings of our new bumble bee climate change study in Science.

MAY 1/15: We are advertising for several graduate positions in pollinator conservation and in landscape modelling (for caribou). Please read the ads here. Applications accepted immediately until filled. Start dates as early as Fall 2015 are possible.

APR 14/15 We are advertising for TWO summer field assistants to help with our landscape-scale pollinator field experiment. Please email Paul Galpern to inquire. UPDATE: These positions have now been filled.

APR 14/15 We are advertising for a summer research assistant to take a lead role in our walkshed project. Please see the job ad here. UPDATE: This position has now been filled.

FEB 1/15: We are gearing up for our summer pollinator field experiment in the Calgary area where we will look at how landscape context has influenced insect pollinators. We are also looking for volunteers to help us collect samples from insect traps.

DEC 1/14 We're looking for graduate students. Get in touch if you have any overlapping interests!

AUG 16/14: MEMGENE, new software for detecting, visualizing and conducting inference on spatial genetic data is now published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution. The package is available on CRAN. Helpful for landscape genetics!