South Shore region, Nova Scotia, Canada — Nova Scotia is a peninsula of wilderness on Canada’s rugged Atlantic Coast. Fewer than one million people live here, mostly along the 7,500 kilometers of meandering shoreline, leaving lots of room for an abundance of wildlife. From white-tailed deer to meadow voles, from lynx to loons, the vast forests, rolling hills, and varied coastlines of the South Shore region provide a rich tapestry of species. Watch beavers busily harvesting wood out on the lakes, see otters fishing on the coast, and enjoy the antics of skunks, raccoons, and porcupines as they forage around the field site in the evening.
Nova Scotia's ecological diversity is a product of delicately balanced environmental conditions, and these are vulnerable to the rapid changes expected with global warming. You can help Drs Christina Buesching and Chris Newman explore how Nova Scotia's wilderness ecosystem is being affected by climate change, and help understand the implications for forestry, hunting, and tourism so vital to the local economy.
Meet the Scientists
Dr Christina Buesching
Wildlife Conservation Unit (WildCru), Oxford University
Christina was born in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1969 and is a Research Associate with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University; she’s been coming to Nova Scotia for more than 20 years. Christina has a M.Sc. from the German Primate Center, Göttingen, on the reproductive physiology and behavior of the female lesser mouse lemur and a D.Phil. from Oxford University investigating mammalian sociality and communication in badgers. In the past, Christina has worked on a wide variety of mammals ranging from Australian marsupials to Madagascan prosimians and European carnivores and rodents. She is particularly interested in investigating the socio-political and biological implications of the involvement of volunteers in ecological monitoring. She is a founder and committee member of the Tracking Mammals Partnership and serves on the group focusing on volunteer involvement. Christina has two years of experience teaching general zoology to final year students in Germany and has worked as a Science Officer with Earthwatch Europe. Christina is a member of the committee of the Tobeatic Research Institute of Nova Scotia.
Dr Chris Newman
WildCRU, Oxford University
Chris was born in 1969 and is a Research Associate with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University as well as an experienced Earthwatch Principal Investigator. He undertook his D.Phil. on Population Ecology, Demography and Parasitology at Oxford University and now co-manages the Mammal Monitoring and Badger Projects for the WildCRU. Chris is the Mammals Officer and senior Animal Care and Welfare Officer for the university’s Animal Ethics Committee. He is extensively licensed and experienced in working with a wide variety of wildlife. He also serves on the executive committee of the UK’s Tracking Mammals Partnership. Chris has studied physical geography, geomorphology and geology, allowing him to set ecosystems in their physical context. In the past, he has also taught wilderness survival skills to students. Chris is a member of the committee of the Tobeatic Research Institute of Nova Scotia.