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Ecology: A Canadian Context, 2nd Edition

By Bill Freedman, Darryl Gwynne, John P. Smol, Roger Suffling, Roy Turkington, Richard Walker, Jeff Hutchings, Dawn Bazely
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Hardbound Book
688 pages
ISBN-10: 0176510141
ISBN-13: 9780176510145
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 2nd

Ecology: A Canadian Context presents the fundamentals of ecology within a Canadian context while integrating evolution and the concept of sustainability wherever it is relevant. In addition to covering the core concepts of ecology, this title profiles the extensive ecological research being conducted in Canada.


  • *NEW* Ecology in Depth box, entitled "Paleoecology of Dinosaurs" contributed by Phil Currie, celebrated palaeontologist at the University of Alberta
  • *NEW* New chapter summary: Each summary consists of a series of bullet points tied to the learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter, summarizing how each learning objective was addressed in the chapter
  • *NEW* New section on plant physiology within Chapter 7 – Physiological Ecology
  • *NEW* Enhanced coverage of urban ecology throughout the book, including Chapter 13 – Landscape Ecology, and a new Environmental Applications 14.1 box - Feral Cats: Natural Born Killers
  • *NEW* Enhanced use of cross-references within and among chapters, ensuring concepts are thoroughly integrated throughout the text
  • *NEW* Improved Visual Program: Over 150 new photos and 70 new and improved illustrations

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Ecology Chapter 2: Environmental Influences Chapter 3: Ecological Energetics Chapter 4: Nutrients and Their Cycling Chapter 5: Population Ecology Chapter 6: Behavioural Ecology Chapter 7: Physiological Ecology Chapter 8: Life Histories Chapter 9: Community Ecology Chapter 10: Disturbance and Succession Chapter 11: Biomes and Ecozones Chapter 12: Biodiversity Chapter 13: Landscape Ecology Chapter 14: Conservation of the Natural World Chapter 15: Resource Ecology Chapter 16: Paleoecology: Lessons from the Past Chapter 17: Ecology and Society Glossary References Name Index Subject Index Species Index

Author Information

Bill Freedman

Bill Freedman is a professor of Biology (and former chair of Biology) at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he has taught classes in introductory biology, environmental science, and environmental ecology for over 20 years. The Dalhousie biology professor and ecologist was recently awarded the gold-level Canadian Environment Award for Conservation. The prestigious award recognizes his volunteer work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a national organization that takes direct action in preserving Canada's biodiversity by identifying and acquiring ecologically important areas to set aside as protected areas. The Nature Conservancy of Canada does projects all across Canada. As the Chair of NCC's Atlantic Regional Board, Dr. Freedman has seen the protection of more than 11,000 hectares of ecologically important habitat, including New Brunswick's Musquash Estuary in the Bay of Fundy, habitat of the endangered pine marten in Newfoundland and Labrador, and vital piping plover nesting sites on Prince Edward Island. Besides his work with NCC, Dr. Freedman is known for his research in environmental ecology and for his educational efforts. He has written more than 200 scientific papers and research reports. He wrote the first introductory level textbook in environmental science in Canada — Environmental Science: A Canadian Perspective, which is now published (by Pearson) in its fourth edition. His specialty class at Dalhousie is the third-year Environmental Ecology (BIOL 3060), which explores the ecological effects of pollution, human disturbance, and other environmental stressors. And, in 2002, he founded the Canadian Environmental Literacy Project (, an online source of curriculum materials for educators. Modules include such varied topics as climate change, effects of pesticide use, and expressions of natural values in Canadian literature.

Jeff Hutchings

Jeffrey A. Hutchings is a professor of biology at Dalhousie University. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Memorial University. Jeff's research centres on questions pertaining to the life history evolution, behavioural ecology, population dynamics, and conservation biology of marine and anadromous fishes. In addition to Jeff's teaching and research responsibilities, he is Chair (2006–10) of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC,, the national science advisory body responsible for advising the federal Minister of the Environment on the status of species at risk in Canada.

Darryl Gwynne

Darryl Gwynne is a professor of biology at the University of Toronto in Mississauga. He has a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Toronto in 1974 and a Ph.D. in zoology and entomology from Colorado State University in 1979. Following this he spent several years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico and the University of Western Australia. Darryl's research has centred on insects and spiders and using these organisms to understand Darwin's ideas about sexual selection. Darryl is the author of over 100 scientific papers, several popular articles, and the book Katydids and Bush-crickets: Reproductive Behavior and Evolution of the Tettigoniida (Cornell University Press, 2001). His new book will be a popular tome on insect sexual selection that focuses on the life histories of insects found in the area of his Credit River Valley home.

John P. Smol

John P. Smol, FRSC is a professor in the Department of Biology at Queen's University, with a cross-appointment to the School of Environmental Studies, where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. He received a B.Sc. from McGill University, an M.Sc. from Brock University, and a Ph.D. from Queen's University. In 1991, John founded the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of about 30 researchers dedicated to the study of global environmental change, focusing primarily on lake ecology. An ISI Highly Cited Researcher, he has authored about 400 journal publications and book chapters, as well as 16 books. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society named him as the 2008 Environmental Scientist of the Year. In 2009, John was presented with a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, considered by many to be Canada's top teaching honour.

Roger Suffling

Roger Suffling was raised in London, England, and attended the University of Wales (Aberystwyth) where he earned a B.Sc. in botany. He took a Ph.D. at the University of Guelph in Ontario where he specialized in plant ecology and weed science. Roger has been a professor at the University of Waterloo since 1975. He has three broad research areas: (1) incremental change in landscapes, including the influences of climate change, governmental policy and planning, and fire ecology; (2) incremental habitat loss and restoration in urban and near-urban areas; and (3) restoration and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems. Roger is a trustee of the Quetico Foundation. For part of each summer, he assists in the development of a summer research program for Northern youth from Atikokan and neighbouring First Nations communities. Since 1999, they have been collecting the ground information for a resource inventory of the 4655 km2 Quetico Provincial Park. In his teaching, Roger works with the University of Waterloo's LT3 Institute to develop interactive instructional modules for his course.

Roy Turkington

Roy Turkington earned his B.Sc. (Hons) degree in biological and environmental studies from the New University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and his doctorate from the University College of North Wales, then did post-doctoral research at the University of Western Ontario. Roy is a professor in the Department of Botany and the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He is primarily an experimental field ecologist, investigating how population-level processes, such as competition and herbivory, influence community structure, specifically species diversity and ecosystem function. Roy's research, and that of his students, is supported primarily by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC Canada) and has been conducted in a wide range of community types, such as the boreal forest in northern Canada; grasslands in Western Canada and the United Kingdom; Garry oak ecosystems; the Negev desert in Israel; riverine forests in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania; and the subtropical forests of southern China.

Richard Walker

Richard Walker completed his Ph.D. in animal physiology at Michigan State University in 1975 and immediately accepted a faculty position at the University of Calgary in the Department of Biological Sciences, where he remains an active faculty member. While in graduate school, Richard developed a keen interest in environmental physiology and the effects of pollutants on aquatic animals. He has had the privilege of working with some of Canada's leading environmental physiologists and has published journal articles on aluminum toxicity in brook trout. Richard loves to teach and has received several teaching excellence awards from the Students Union and from the Faculty of Science. He lectures in courses in introductory animal biology, comparative animal physiology, and human physiology and is in charge of the laboratory teaching in physiology.