Past Events & Meetings

What have MFNC members done in the past? Find out here in our archive of past field trips and meetings through to the beginning of 2014!

  • Tue
    06
    Jun
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Patty McLaughlin has been involved with the Wild Bird Care Centre since she was 16. After completing 2 university degrees in biology, she now works at the centre looking after wounded birds brought in by the public, and running their educational program.

    The Presentation:

    The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre is the only place in the Ottawa Valley Area dedicated to the care, treatment, and release of sick, injured, and orphaned wild birds. It is a registered charitable organization and through public donations is able to care for over 3000 wild birds annually. The Centre welcomes visitors to come and learn about its history and daily operations, and hear stories about the most common and the most unusual patients! The presentation will provide a firsthand experience of what it is like to care for over 120 different species of wild birds each year though pictures, video and facts. Ms. McLaughlin will share tricks used to keep the birds comfortable in captivity based on their typical personalities, interesting facts, and miraculous recoveries. She will be accompanied by her sidekick, Indigo, an American kestrel, who cannot be released back into the wild because of his injuries.

    Biography:

    Patty McLaughlin first became involved with the Wild Bird Care Centre at the age of 16 as a volunteer.  She continued to work as a summer student for 5 years as she completed her B.Sc. in Zoology at Laurentian University. She finished her M.Sc. at Carleton University before returning to the Bird Centre where she has been caring for the birds as well as developing and running their educational program for the last 6 years. In 2013, Patty received The Elizabeth Le Geyt Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to public awareness and care for wild birds. Patty’s passion to educate others about birds and the natural world lead her to create a Young Naturalist program for the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists. Now in its 5th year, this successful program continues to fill to its maximum capacity with nature loving 5 – 11 year olds.

  • Tue
    02
    May
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior, ON

    Gilles Grove, Arnprior

    Gillies Grove

    Our Presenter:

    Owen Clarkin grew up near Russell Ontario, and has been studying the trees of Eastern Ontario as a dedicated amateur from an early age. He has a formal background in the natural sciences and is Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club.

    The Presentation:

    We live in a rapidly-changing natural environment.  Among life-forms, trees often give an impression of dynamic stability due to their potential for relatively long lives, and static appearance once mature.  However, observations on the ground indicate that the treed landscape of eastern Ontario and wider North America is changing rapidly. This is due to many factors including higher mortality of and indifference to indigenous species, changes in habitat, and the unprecedented large-scale introduction of alien trees and pests.  Mr. Clarkin will discuss the history of trees in our region, present-day observations, and trends to consider as we look to the future.

    Biography:

    Owen Clarkin grew up near Russell Ontario, and has been studying the trees of Eastern Ontario as a dedicated amateur since the age of 4. After finishing a conventional education in the natural sciences, he has been more seriously exploring topics in tree ecology from an Eastern Ontario perspective, together with a core group of colleagues. He is Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club.

  • Tue
    04
    Apr
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Jessica Forrest is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions and the population biology of wild bees.

    The Presentation:

    Of the approximately 4000 species of bees native to North America, none produces marketable honey—but all have fascinating, and usually solitary, private lives. In this presentation, Dr. Forrest will give an overview of the natural history of bees, with a focus on the Canadian fauna. She will also summarize some of her lab’s recent findings on the factors affecting wild bee populations—including flowers, parasites, and temperatures—and discuss ways to support local pollinator communities.

    Biography:

    Jessica Forrest is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Ottawa, where she teaches upper-level ecology courses, including an alpine ecology field course and courses on plant-animal interactions. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions and the population biology of wild bees. Jessica completed her PhD in 2011 at the University of Toronto and has conducted field work in Colorado, California, and Ontario. To learn more about her lab’s research, visit https://forrestlab.wordpress.com/.

  • Tue
    07
    Mar
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    A highlight annual event.  Combine learning, laughter and camaraderie. NO experience is necessary! Puns welcome.  If you are good at riddles, then this is the place to be! But, be prepared to meet your match. Michael's riddles are challenging, evocative and ever so finely crafted.

    Come and find out. This is an awesome and exhilarating way to learn about local natural history. Michael’s contagious enthusiasm, his keen insight into the intricacies of nature, and the countless anecdotes of his experiences as a naturalist always make for a very entertaining evening.

    Participants will be divided into teams that will compete to answer riddles and identify items from nature. Is there a young, dynamic, capable team ready to conquer all? Or perhaps, 2 out of 3?

  • Tue
    07
    Feb
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior, ON

    A highlight annual event.  Combine learning, laughter and camaraderie. NO experience is necessary! Puns welcome.  If you are good at riddles, then this is the place to be! But, be prepared to meet your match. Michael's riddles are challenging, evocative and ever so finely crafted.

    Come and find out. This is an awesome and exhilarating way to learn about local natural history. Michael’s contagious enthusiasm, his keen insight into the intricacies of nature, and the countless anecdotes of his experiences as a naturalist always make for a very entertaining evening.

    Participants will be divided into teams that will compete to answer riddles and identify items from nature. Is there a young, dynamic, capable team ready to conquer all? Or perhaps, 2 out of 3?

  • Tue
    03
    Jan
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    We are looking forward to learning all about your prized nature or natural history possessions or experiences! Please sign in at the door with the item or topic you wish to showcase. If you are showing photos, there should not be more than five and they should be on a USB key. You may also bring prints to put on a table. Donations welcome from non-presenters (a Loonie or Toonie, please). See you there!

  • Tue
    06
    Dec
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Bill Montevecchi is a University Research Professor in the Psychology, Biology and Ocean Sciences Departments at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  His interdisciplinary research lab focuses on the behavioral ecology of birds and their responses to environmental change.

    The Presentation:

    Funk Island, a small granite outcrop 50 km off the northeast Newfoundland coast, is home to a large colony of Northern Gannets and the world’s largest colony of Common Murres. The island’s remoteness and treacherous access for humans and other terrestrial predators, has allowed these cliff-nesting seabirds to lay their eggs at ground zero.

    Just over a couple of centuries ago, Funk Island held the largest breeding aggregation of the last flightless bird of the northern hemisphere – the Great Auk or “Penguin” as it was called then. The grassy meadow on the otherwise bald rock has grown upon the composed remains of the many thousands of auks that were discarded by crews that plucked their down for stuffing in mattresses and quilts.

    Yet during historical times and well before, another people – the Beothuk also visited Funk Island for different purposes.  This talk will explore the co-occurrences of the extinct flightless bird and the extinct indigenous people who have captured my imagination since I first set foot on Funk Island 40 years ago and have been returning every year since.

    Biography:

    Bill Montevecchi is a University Research Professor in the Psychology, Biology and Ocean Sciences Departments at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  His interdisciplinary research lab focuses on the behavioral ecology of birds and their responses to environmental change.  He has more than 350 publications, including Newfoundland Birds: Exploitation, Study, Conservation (1987, Harvard University) written with the late Les Tuck.  His permanent community exhibition Funk Island Seabirds and the Extinct Great Auk on Fogo Island provides a basis for conservation, educational and artistic activity.

    In May 2016, the Canadian Partners in Research bestowed him with their Natural Science Ambassador Award.  In 2011, Nature NL presented him with the Tuck – Walters Award, and in 2008 Ocean Net acknowledged his efforts with a Local Hero Award.  He is a Science Advisor for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC], the US National Science Foundation, Bird Studies Canada, Nelson Canada, the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves and the Species Status Committees of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is Chair of the Sandy Pond Alliance to Protect Canadian Waters.  He has served as a Director of Nature Canada and the Nature Conservancy [Atlantic]. beothukgreat-auk

  • Tue
    01
    Nov
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin Street, Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Allan Donaldson is a retired professor from the Department of Geology, Carleton University in Ottawa. His specialty is sedimentology, with an emphasis on rock strata of Precambrian age.

    The Presentation: 

    Stromatolites are distinctive layered structures formed by biofilms of cyanobacteria. They provide an impressive record of the only life that existed throughout the first 90% of our planet's 4.6 billion-year-old history. When more complex life forms evolved at the end of the Precambrian, predation on cyanobacterial precursors was a predictable consequence, resulting in a paucity of stromatolites thereafter. In much of the Ottawa Valley, however, stromatolites are remarkably abundant in Ordovician strata, and some occur in the underlying Cambrian strata. An environmental condition unsuitable for biofilm browsers such as gastropods is the likely reason. Absence of gastropod fossils within the stromatolite-bearing strata, along with associated evidence of evaporitic conditions, suggest that hypersalinity is the likely explanation for abundant stromatolites throughout the Ottawa Valley. Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay, Australia, provides a present-day example of such an environment.

    Biography:

    Allan Donaldson (BSc Queen's 1956, PhD Johns Hopkins 1960) spent a decade working for the Geological Survey of Canada, followed by 35 years as a professor at Carleton University. His teaching and research specialty is sedimentology, with an emphasis on studies of strata of Precambrian age. In retirement Allan continues to contribute to geological outreach projects in Eastern Ontario.

  • Tue
    04
    Oct
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Jim des Rivières is a photographer and fine art printer who created a website (moths.ca) to share images of moths collected in and around the Ottawa Valley.
    The Presentation:
    For several years he has been photographing local moths and butterflies, but mainly moths. Working with dried specimens, he captures high resolution digital images directly with a desktop flatbed scanner, from which he makes large prints using an inkjet printer. The large prints allow the viewer to see the creature close up without need of a magnifying glass. This reveals a marvellous world of intricate shapes, structures, and colours that surprise and delight viewers of all ages. In this presentation he will run through the stages involved in producing these works of art on paper, and showcase some of his favourite local moths.
    Biography:
    Jim des Rivières is a photographer and fine art printer. He is best known for his exhibit of 45 large format moth images ( http://moths.ca/exhibit/ ) which were first shown at Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature in 2010 and are currently touring nature museums in cities across Canada and the U.S., including New York City, Edmonton, and Saint John.

  • Tue
    06
    Sep
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Dr.  Grégory Bulté is a biology instructor at Carleton University where he teaches lecture-based and field courses about animal biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology.

    The Presentation:

    The reproductive behaviours of aquatic turtles are poorly understood due to the difficulties of studying these animals under natural conditions. Since 2003, I have been studying the ecology and behaviour of the northern map turtle in Lake Opinicon. Using a wide range of field techniques, my collaborators and I have uncovered many aspects of the reproductive biology of this fascinating creature. I will share with you the most exciting highlights of this on-going work as well as some tantalizing unanswered questions.

    Biography:

    Grégory Bulté is a biology instructor at Carleton University where he teaches lecture-based and field courses in the areas of animal biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. He is particularly interested in the behaviour, conservation, and natural history of amphibians and reptiles and has been spearheading a long-term ecological study on the northern map turtle in Lake Opinicon.

    Grégory first completed a college degree in biological techniques which ignited his interest for wildlife research. He then completed an undergraduate degree in biology at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières followed by a PhD in biology at the University of Ottawa, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Carleton University.

     

    Photo by Michael Runtz

    Basking allows northern map turtles to elevate their body temperature and absorb energy. Photo by Michael Runtz

  • Tue
    07
    Jun
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Katie Clow, DVM, is a PhD Candidate at the University of Guelph examining the ecology of Lyme disease in Ontario, and a graduate from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph.

    The Presentation:

    Dr. Clow will explore the key ecological factors associated with the blacklegged tick and Lyme disease in Ontario. Emphasis will be placed on the role of habitat, climate and wildlife for the establishment and spread of this emerging disease. Some of the common myths and misconceptions of Lyme disease will be discussed. Participants will be provided with practical knowledge on how to protect themselves from blacklegged ticks, while still enjoying the great outdoors.

    Biography:

    Dr. Katie Clow graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph in 2011. During veterinary school, she completed internships at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following graduation, she practiced small animal medicine in Renfrew, ON. In the fall of 2013, Katie began her PhD thesis examining the ecology of Lyme disease in Ontario in order to better understand and predict the distribution and spread of the disease. She has a keen interest in veterinary public health, and hopes to continue her career in academia, with a strong focus on vector-borne disease research, teaching and international development.

  • Tue
    03
    May
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Naomi Cappuccino is an associate professor at Carleton University where she teaches a variety of courses in the general areas of ecology and evolution.

    The Presentation:

    Dog- strangling vine is one of the most invasive alien plants in Ontario. Naomi Cappuccino will share the results of research conducted in collaboration with her students and colleagues to understand what characteristics give this plant such an advantage over native vegetation and make it so difficult to eradicate. The potential for biological control of the vine using herbivores brought in from its native range in Ukraine will also be discussed.

    Biography:

    Naomi Cappuccino is an associate professor at Carleton University where she teaches a variety of courses in the general areas of ecology and evolution.  Naomi obtained a BA in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. Her interests include the ecology of invasive alien plants and insects and how best to control these pest species. Together with colleagues at the Central Experimental Farm, she has been involved with the recent releases of biological control agents that attack dog-strangling vine, the lily leaf beetle and the leek moth.

  • Tue
    05
    Apr
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Colin Jones is a lifelong naturalist and is the Provincial Arthropod Zoologist at the Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Peterborough, Ontario.

    The Presentation:

    Dragonflies and damselflies are beautiful and truly fascinating creatures! From the Ebony Jewelwing to the Stygian Shadowdragon, these insects are not only an important part of our ecosystem, they are also exciting to watch. Colin Jones will be presenting a talk, complete with photographs, on the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ontario during which he will highlight their fascinating life cycle, their conservation, the habitats they are found in and how you can learn more about them yourselves by getting out there and watching them first-hand.

    Biography:

    Colin Jones – Colin is a lifelong naturalist and is the Provincial Arthropod Zoologist at the Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Peterborough where he deals primarily with rare species. Like many naturalists, Colin first developed a keen interest in birds and birding but this interest gradually grew into other areas. Over the past 25 years, he has been very interested in the study of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). He is coordinator of the Ontario Odonata Atlas project and is the co-author of “A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Provincial Park and Surrounding Area”, now in its 2nd edition.

  • Tue
    01
    Mar
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    Our Presenter:

    Dr.  Grégory Bulté is a biology instructor at Carleton University where he teaches lecture-based and field courses about animal biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology.

    The Presentation:

    The reproductive behaviours of aquatic turtles are poorly understood due to the difficulties of studying these animals under natural conditions. Since 2003, I have been studying the ecology and behaviour of the northern map turtle in lake Opinicon. Using a wide range of field techniques, my collaborators and myself have uncovered many aspects of the reproductive biology of this fascinating creature. I will share with you the most exciting highlights of this on-going work as well as some tantilizing unanswered questions.

    Biography:

    Grégory Bulté is a biology instructor at Carleton University where he teaches lecture-based and field courses in the areas of animal biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. He is particularly interested in the behaviour, conservation, and natural history of amphibians and reptiles and has been spearheading a long-term ecological study on the northern map turtle in lake Opinicon. Grégory first completed a college degree in biological techniques which ignited his interest for wildlife research. He then completed an undergraduate degree in biology at l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières followed by a PhD in biology at the university of Ottawa, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Carleton University.

  • Tue
    02
    Feb
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    A highlight annual event.  Combine learning, laughter and camaraderie. NO experience is necessary! Puns welcome.  If you are good at riddles, Michael's are the BEST-challenging, evocative and ever so finely crafted.

    With Art away sweating in the wilds of Florida, will Gord win AGAIN?  Is there a young, dynamic, capable team ready to conquer all? Much more fun than watching the usual hockey game.

    Who will win the coveted Seton Cup (we don't have one yet, but if you want to bring one and have it engraved, you are welcome)?

    Come and find out. This is an awesome and exhilarating way to learn about local natural history. Michael’s contagious enthusiasm, his keen insight into the intricacies of nature, and the countless anecdotes of his experiences as a naturalist always make for a very entertaining evening. Participants will be divided into teams that will compete to answer riddles and identify items from nature.

     

  • Tue
    05
    Jan
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club, 15 Galvin St., Arnprior, ON

    We are looking forward to learning all about your prized nature or natural history possessions or experiences! Please sign in at the door with the item or topic you wish to showcase. If you are showing photos, there should not be more than five and they should be on a USB key. You may also bring prints to put on a table. Donations welcome from non-presenters ( a Loonie or Twonie, please).

  • Tue
    01
    Dec
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Note: This is our Annual General Meeting.  Club business precedes our regular agenda of sightings and our presentation.

    Our Presenter: Dr. Stacey Robinson is a Research Scientist at Environment Canada’s National Wildlife Research Centre in Ottawa.

    Neonicotinoids and Their Effects on Amphibians

    The Presentation:

    Neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticide used in agriculture and can contaminate surface waters via run-off from fields. In recent years, the use of neonicotinoids has been speculatively linked to the collapses of honey bee colonies. Given that neonicotinoids are now the most widely-used insecticides worldwide, with substantial use in Canada, and persist in the environment, there is potential for widespread contamination of agriculture-associated aquatic ecosystems. My project examined the health impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on aquatic ecosystems by studying the sub-lethal effects on amphibians, specifically wood frogs and northern leopard frogs.

    Biography:

    Stacey is a Research Scientist at Environment Canada’s National Wildlife Research Centre in Ottawa. Her research program focusses on studying the effects of pesticides and other contaminants on non-target wildlife. Stacey completed her PhD in 2011 at Carleton University where she studied the relationships between contaminants and parasites in double-crested cormorants. Stacey grew up on a hobby farm near Russell, Ontario and her childhood consisted of raising farm animals and camping with her family. She has always been fascinated and appreciative of the natural environment. Her first experiences of field research involved following white-throated sparrows through the forests of Prince George, British Columbia. She was studying the birds’ parasite infections for her undergraduate thesis at Wilfrid Laurier University. Stacey was always encouraged by her parents to follow her passions and she now has her dream job at Environment Canada.

    staceywoodfrog

    One of Stacey's Wood Frogs, spending its first day as an adult.

  • Tue
    03
    Nov
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Our Presenter: Dr. Jeff Skevington is a research scientist at the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) and an Adjunct Professor at Carleton and Guelph Universities.

    The Presentation:

     Including over ten percent of all described animal life on the planet it behooves us as naturalists to know a bit about flies. With 160,000 described species and over 10 times that number undescribed, flies occupy every imaginable ecological niche. The ‘bad’ flies are actually very small in number but have shaped human history and development across the planet. Malaria transmitted by flies has kept parts of Africa, the Orient and South America wild and continues to kill enormous numbers of us annually. In Canada, some areas are off limits for ranching as the stock would be killed by biting flies. But even more than the negatives, flies provide enormous economic advantages for us. Pollinator flies are second only to bees in their role in agriculture and some foods like chocolate are entirely reliant on pollinator flies. Decomposition and sewage treatment are dominated by Diptera (the scientific name for flies). I will take you on a walk through this jungle of diversity and along the way will throw out as many fascinating nature nuggets as possible about this amazing group of animals. What is that swelling on your favourite chipmunk’s groin? Why does Hollywood love flies? How many fruit flies can one female and her progeny produce in a year? What fly species provides one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Zealand? How many mosquito species are there in Canada? How long does it take for flies turn a dump truck full of oranges into compost? How about an animal carcass? What flies provide nuptial gifts to their partners (tips you won’t find on Ashley Maddison!)? How can you identify and learn more about species of animals that form such a staggering diversity? Bring any flies or photos of flies you have been curious to learn about and we will try to figure out what they are. I will even bring some pinned fly specimens from the Canadian National Collection for show and tell before and after the presentation.

    Biography:

    Jeff has been a research scientist at the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) since 2003. He is also an adjunct professor at Carleton University and University of Guelph where he has been involved with training and mentoring over 50 of the next generation of biologists and in particular insect systematists. His research specializes on the taxonomy and phylogenetics of flies, in particular flower/hover flies (Syrphidae), big-headed flies (Pipunculidae) and thick-headed flies (Conopidae). Jeff did his training at the University of Guelph with Steve Marshall (MSc) and the University of Queensland with David Yeates (PhD). He has maintained an Australian slant to his research since his time living there. Australia is the true frontier for insect taxonomists as most of the fauna remains to be discovered and described. Jeff has published over 100 research articles, book chapters and books. Many can be downloaded from his website (www.canacoll.org/Diptera/Staff/Skevington/Skevington.htm). Jeff ‘s trajectory as a naturalist started with insects at a very early age, diversified into birds at age 8, and expanded to include all things natural during his undergraduate days as a park naturalist first at Algonquin and then at Pinery. Mentors in the Woodstock and St. Thomas Field-Naturalists’ Clubs had a lot to do with shaping his interests and directions but as with many naturalists, it was his experience in Algonquin that solidified his goals and his work with Steve Marshall that really turned him on to insects.

  • Tue
    06
    Oct
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Our Presenter: Dr. Myron L Smith is the Chair of the Biology Department at Carleton University.

    The Presentation:

    The Fungi comprise an enigmatic group of organisms that is most closely related to the animal kingdom. Fungi are familiar to most of us as moulds and mushrooms, but we tend to overlook their profound impacts on human affairs as plant and animal pathogens and symbionts, in industrial fermentation processes, as decomposers and as research subjects. In this talk, I will provide a brief overview of the functional and structural diversity of fungi, and highlight some surprising aspects of their biology, genetics and behaviour.

    Biography:

    Dr. Smith served as the Director of the Institute of Biochemistry from 2002-2007 and is a member of the Institute of Environmental Science. Dr. Smith teaches courses in general and molecular genetics, biotechnology, mycology and molecular ecology. His research encompasses genetics, molecular biology, microbiology and general biology and focuses on four main themes: i) deciphering the biochemical and genetic bases of non self recognition-associated cell death, ii) identification and characterization of new antibiotics from ethnobotanical leads and from agroforestry and bioprocessing ‘waste’ for use in health, food and industrial applications, iii) development of methods to identify and enumerate microbial strains for environmental monitoring, and iv) application of genetic markers to life history studies. This research spans questions of basic biological interest and has biotechnology applications in diverse areas that include health, agrifood industry, environmental contaminants, and biofuel developments.

    Dr. Smith obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Botany at the University of Alberta and his PhD at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, specializing in genetics within the Biotechnology Program. Following his Ph.D., Dr. Smith received NSERC and Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowships to carry out genetics research in the Biotechnology Laboratories at the University of British Columbia.

  • Tue
    01
    Sep
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Our Presenter: Éric Hébert-Daly, National Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

    The Presentation:

    Public conservation in Canada takes a long time from start to finish. And while the processes move along slowly, development and encroachment happen quickly and often outpace our ability to plan. Southern Canada, in particular in our own region, has significant additional pressures, but they all have one thing in common: poor or non-existent planning. Where are the connections between protected areas for wildlife? Where are the buffer zones needed to ensure healthy ecosystems? We are no where near our international commitments to conservation – both in quality and in quantity. How do we get there from here?
    Biography:

    Éric has been CPAWS’ National Executive Director since April 2009. He was previously Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for one of Canada’s major political parties. Éric is fluently bilingual, a graduate of Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs, and a Certified Lay Worship Leader for the United Church. He has worked with municipal, regional and national groups across Canada and has focussed his attention on social justice, ecological and human rights issues throughout his career. Éric is an avid cyclist and hiker and has travelled extensively throughout Canada, with a particular interest in remote and northern regions from Labrador to Inuvik. He enjoys canoeing, cross-country skiing and camping, as well as his home life shared with his partner on the north edge of Gatineau Park near Ottawa.

  • Tue
    02
    Jun
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Gary Bell, Conservation Biologist – Eastern Ontario,  Nature Conservancy of Canada, will update us and present to us about Gillies Grove and the Gervais property, near Westmeath, Ontario, which has been purchased with a generous donations from the Ottawa Field Naturalist Club supplemented by a donation by our Club. Join us to better understand the importance of these NCC properties supported by our Club.

    Did you know the Ottawa River Valley is home to the longest underwater cave system in Canada? Beneath the surface lies a subterranean wonderland seldom seen by the human eye – the Ottawa River Caves. The labyrinth measures over 10 kilometres in length under several islands throughout the Ottawa River, and includes a four kilometre section on the Ontario side of the river known as the Gervais Caves.  The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) purchased the 82-acre Gervais Caves property in January 2015 protecting most of the entrances to the caves on the Ontario side.  The property also protects important karst landforms, sinkholes and a diversity of species, including rare and at risk species.

    Come and hear the latest on the Gillies Grove Nature Reserve, including current stewardship actions, initiatives and partnerships and our recent, record-breaking discovery.

  • Tue
    05
    May
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Dr. Valerie Behan-Pelletier, an Honorary Research Associate (an Emeritus position) with the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, will present: Have you eaten any soil lately? Soil, where oribatid mites live and where our food begins...

    We live on the rooftops of a hidden world. In one handful of rich organic soil lives a greater diversity than in a coral reef – soil is the “poor man’s tropical rainforest”. It is the luxuriant tapestry that ensures life on earth; it is where most of our food begins. Yet, soils are possibly the least understood of the planet’s ecosystems, and the most fragile, and are increasingly among the most degraded ecosystems in many parts of the world.

    Dr. Behan-Pelletier will use oribatid mites, one of the most diverse groups of mites in soil, to show the interactions of animals in this ecosystem. 2015 is the International Year of Soil; she will illustrate how soil is the critical transition between the Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and how a biodiverse soil provides the essential ecosystem services, including carbon and nutrient cycling, decomposition of dead organic matter; biocontrol and development of soil structure to ensure plant growth. Oribatid mites are a key component of this soil biodiversity, and among the most beautiful.

    This talk will illustrate the latest knowledge on the biological complexity of oribatid mites. It will focus on their ecology, their defense mechanisms, and their diversity in the dynamic interplay that is the soil ecosystem. It will show how they and other charismatic microfauna are contributing to our quality of life.

  • Tue
    03
    Mar
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Dr. Brent Patterson,  a research scientist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and an adjunct professor at Trent University will provide a presentation on: Wolves and Coyotes in Ontario. Brent  joined the MNRF as a research scientist in 2001 and has been an adjunct professor at Trent University since that time as well.  His research involves studying wolves, coyotes, deer and moose in both temperate and boreal regions.  Prior to joining the MNR Brent worked for 3 years as a biologist for the Government of Nunavut in the central Canadian Arctic where he worked with caribou, muskox and wolverine.  Brent has a M.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from Acadia University, and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Saskatchewan.

  • Tue
    03
    Feb
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    This is an interesting and entertaining way to learn about local natural history. Michael’s contagious enthusiasm, his keen insight into the intricacies of nature, and the countless anecdotes of his experiences as a naturalist always make for a very entertaining evening. Participants will be divided into teams that will compete to answer riddles and identify specimens.

  • Tue
    06
    Jan
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    We are looking forward to learning all about your prized nature or natural history possessions or experiences! Please sign in at the door with the item or topic you wish to showcase. If you are showing photos, there should not be more than five and they should be on a USB key. You may also bring prints to put on a table.

  • Tue
    03
    Jun
    7:30 pmArnprior Curling Club

    Our presenter is Wildlife/Species at Risk Biologist at Garrison Petawawa.

    The Kirtland’s Warbler is an endangered song bird that was considered to be one the rarest birds in the world.  In Canada there were only 18 documented sightings in breeding habitat up until 2005.  In 2006, it was re-discovered at Garrison Petawawa (formerly CFB Petawawa).  Since then, the Department of National Defence has been surveying, monitoring, and protecting Kirtland’s Warblers.  Birds have been returning and nesting on the Army facility.