Wendy J. Palen

Assistant Professor, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Conservation

     Department of Biological Sciences (B8277)            
     Simon Fraser University
     8888 University Drive
     Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
     (778) 782-4063, wpalen AT sfu.ca

Ph.D. 2005:         University of Washington, Zoology &
                             School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Seattle, WA
B.A. 1999:           University of Virginia, Biology and Environmental 
                             Sciences, Charlottesville, VA

Current Lab Members

Janie Dubman - MSc student 

Janie is a new Master’s student who has >5 years experience working in the sweltering tropics of Borneo with charismatic hairy things. Janie is interested in tradeoffs between energy development and ecosystem services and conservation. She is learning to love freshwater ecosystems. 

Amanda Kissel - MSc student

Amanda is doing field work to estimate the movement patterns, habitat use, and demographic rates of the highly imperilled Oregon spotted frog, Rana pretiosa, Canada’s most endangered amphibian. She is confronting theories about the best ways to recover this species with demographic and economic modeling. 

Sacha O’Regan - MSc student (former USRA- 2010)

Sacha is working on a project that will tease apart the vulnerability of amphibians to different anthropogenic stressors using life history theory  and demographic modeling. She is also heading a project that will expeimentally test hypotheses about life history timing and the interaction of thermal environments with pond hydroperiods. 

Viorel Popescu - Smith Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2014)

Viorel is working on a new project aimed at estimating the cumulative impacts of small hydropower dams (aka run of river) for species conservation and ecosystem services. He is also committed to habitat and ecosystem conservation in Romania, where he helped start several eNGOs.

Maureen Ryan - Smith Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013)

Mo is heading a large collaborative project aimed at forecasting the vulnerability of montane amphibians to future climate change and how that interacts with the history of trout introductions to alpine lakes. This project will provide an important tool to help guide trout removal efforts  for climate resilience. She also teaches at Western Washington University in the interdisciplinary Fairhaven College.  

Danielle Courcelles - USRA (2010) and research assistant

Danielle is one of our macroinvertebrate taxonomy experts in the lab, and has been working on a project aimed at understanding the energy and resource use of juvenile steelhead across watersheds in Northern California. This summer she led a project to extend this framework to the dominant stream predator, Dicamptodon tenebrosus.

Jodie McCormick - Research assistant 

Jodie is the other half of our crack team of macroinvertebrate taxonomy  experts. She has been working on collections from rivers in Northern California for several years and also occasionally joins us in the field. She has also worked as a research assistant on fox populations in Germany and for Environment Canada. 

Zach Montieth - USRA (2010) and undergrad assistant

Zach is estimating demographic rates for stream salamanders in Northern California tributaries and applying them to a matrix modeling framework to ask questions about population sizes and persistence in different ecological contexts. Zach also has been working on a collaborative modeling project looking at Northern Lapwing egg harvest in the Netherlands.  

Robin Munshaw - USRA (2011) and undergrad research assistant

Robin is working on a range of projects in the lab including a project looking at nutrient recycling by top predators in stream food webs.  Robin’s USRA project follows up on his experimental data by using simulation models to explore how food web changes in the future may alter stream nutrient cycling.  

Rylee Murray - Research assistant

Rylee is evaluating landscape attributes of exotic bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) occupancy in the Fraser Valley, BC. He is also an all-around amazing field tech who works on all our Oregon spotted frog projects and will transition into being the lab manager for our Run of River project this yrar. 

Aly Serena - USRA (2011)

Aly is working on projects associated with understanding the consequence of climate warming for wetland amphibians, and specifically is evaluating tadpole thermal performance of different species in BC. 

Current Undergrad Volunteers
Kendall Chan
Chloe Reid
Chris Jones

Lab Alumni

Will Atlas - MSc, on the role of terrestrial subsides for juvenile steelhead and tributary food webs.

Isabell Eischeid - former undergrad research assistant and honours student who worked on Oregon spotted frogs and also patterns of small hydro development in BC.

Hannah Gehrels - former USRA, worked on collaborative projects as part of the Oregon spotted frog team. 

Greg Lee - former SFU honours student, and is currently aiming to begin medical school next year.  

Kathrine Stewart - former SFU honours student, currently working in conservation research in Ethiopia. 

Beth Nyboer - former SFU lab manager and research assistant, currently NSERC MSc student working on cichlid conservation and fisheries management in Africa. 

Brett Favaro - former SFU undergrad honors student, currently a PhD student at SFU working on reducing bycatch of rockfish in the BC spot prawn fishery.

Jessica Ingram - former SFU undergrad honors student, currently working in environmental consulting.

Jennifer Jones - former field assistant, currently working in ecological consulting (Adopt-A-Stream Fdn.), WA.

Adam Goodwin - former undergrad field assistant, currently working on his MSc at UBC Okanagan, Earth and Environmental Sciences. 

Ranjan Muthukrishnan - former field assistant, now a PhD candidate UCLA Ecology and Evolution.

Jackie Carter - former undergrad honors student, now finishing her MSc at the Univ. of Washington, Alaska Salmon Program.

James Stegen - former undergrad field assistant, now Research Scientist at the US National Lab, Richland, WA.