Josh Malt

Centre for Wildlife Ecology
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC


My fascination with the biological world was initiated via a childhood spent in the wilderness areas of B.C. As an undergraduate student at the University of Victoria (Biology and Environmental Studies), I developed a passion for ecology and ornithology. These interests led to fieldwork in several research projects, including studies of Northern Goshawks, Song Sparrows, and songbird-forestry interactions. In January 2004, I decided to expand my research experience and pursue a graduate degree at Simon Fraser University, with the Centre for Wildlife Ecology.

Current Research
My thesis topic addresses the conservation of the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), by investigating landscape-level factors that influence their productivity. Specifically, I wish to investigate if murrelets nesting near forest edges experience increased levels of nest predation in comparison to the forest interior. This may arise if nest predators such as corvids (i.e. Stellar's Jays, Ravens) exhibit increased densities along edges, or if predators preferentially use edges for foraging activities. We are addressing this question with a variety of methods, including use of artificial nests, predator surveys, and vegetation data. Our aim is to examine variation in edge effects as a function of a range of landscape variables, such as patch size, elevation, forest age, and overall habitat fragmentation. This research has direct links to the forestry industry and to wildlife management, as our data will assist in the creation of the most effective and efficient protected areas for Marbled Murrelets.

Graduate Advisors
Dr. David Lank Centre for Wildlife Ecology, SFU
Dr. Ron Ydenberg Centre for Wildlife Ecology, SFU
Dr. Alan Burger University of Victoria