What is the CWE?
Mission Statement
General Information
Ongoing Projects
Species we study
Annual Reports
Opportunities with CWE
Seminar Series

Philippa ‹PippaŠ Shepherd


Biographical Sketch

Born and raised in Ottawa, Montreal and the Laurentians, I was busted as a bird nerd at an early age when a Loon's egg I had collected exploded in my room.I got my BSc in Ecology from McGill University, after which I spent three years working as a wandering field slave/student in some of the most beautiful places in North America: the Manomet Bird Observatory in Massachusetts (ospreys); the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research in South Carolina (egrets, herons, ibis); the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick (shorebirds); the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in California (everything under the sun); and the Hastings Natural History Reservation in California (bluebirds).Next stop was Acadia University in idyllic Nova Scotia, where I spent two years studying the effects of a new baitworm fishery on the foraging behaviour and prey of migrant shorebirds in the Bay of Fundy for my MSc. Then after trekking around Central America for a few months, I headed out to the left coast and Simon Fraser University to start my PhD. My thesis is on the wintering ecology of Dunlin (a shorebird) in the Fraser River Delta, and my supervisor is David Lank.While a student, I have collaborated on some interesting projects unrelated to my thesis, including studies of the spring migration and stopover foraging ecology of the Western Sandpiper; of the breeding ecology of terns on Sable Island, Nova Scotia; and of the distribution of nesting shorebirds on Somerset Island, Nunavut. I also serve on the technical committee for the Canadian Shorebird Conservation Plan.

Research Interests

My PhD research addresses several topics related to the winter ecology of Dunlin (Calidris alpina pacifica), including: the use of space by individuals in relation to prey availability and predation risk; activity patterns in relation to sex, season, and predation risk; winter distribution and site fidelity; habitat preferences; latitudinal sex segregation; and their status and conservation in Canada. My Masters thesis focussed on the effects of a baitworm fishery on migrant shorebirds foraging in the Bay of Fundy Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve, and conservation biology remains one of my abiding interests.
Recent Publications
Shepherd, P., D. Lank, B. Smith, N. Warnock, G. Kaiser, and T. Williams. 2001. Sex ratios and sex determination of Dunlin wintering at two latitudes on the Pacific coast. Condor 103:352-360.
Shepherd, P. 2001. Status and conservation of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) in Canada. Bird Trends #8, Canadian Wildlife Service publication.
Sutherland, T., P. Shepherd, and R. Elner (2000). Predation on meiofaunal and macrofaunal invertebrates by Western Sandpipers (Calidris mauri): evidence for selection and dual feeding modes. Marine Biology 137:983-993.
Shepherd, P. and J.S. Boates. 1999. Effects of a commercial baitworm harvest on Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) and their prey inthe Bay of Fundy Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve. Conservation Biology 13(2):347-356.
Harrison, P.J., K. Yin, L. Ross, J. Aravi, K. Gordon, L. Bendell-Young, C. Thomas, R. Elner, M. Sewell, and P. Shepherd. 1998. The Delta foreshore ecosystem: past and present status of geochemistry, benthic community production and shorebird utilization after sewage diversion. In: C. Gray and T. Tuominen (Eds.) Health of the Fraser River Aquatic Ecosystem Vol. 1. DOE FRAP report 1998-11, pp.189-210.
Shepherd, P. 1997. The winter ecology of Dunlin (Calidris alpina pacifica) in the Fraser River Delta. Fraser River Action Plan Technical Report (Environment Canada) DOE-FRAP 1997-38.

Back to CWE main page
CWE web site created by Lesley Evans Ogden. Last updated on 21 June, 2001. Contact CWE webmaster.