My name is Ben Collison and I am an Interdisciplinary PhD student in the Westwood Lab at Dalhousie University (K’jipuktuk; Halifax, Nova Scotia), supervised by Dr. Alana Westwood. My current research interests broadly lie at the interface of natural resource management and freshwater ecosystems. I received my BSc in Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge in 2020, and graduated from the Master of Resource and Environmental Management (MREM) program at Dalhousie University in 2022. I have experience working in government and industry as a policy analyst, biologist, aquatic invasive species inspector, and forest technician. I really enjoy connecting with students and other researchers, and have delivered lectures in many courses including 'Environmental Impact Assessment,' 'Global Biogeochemical Cycles,' and 'Management of Natural Resources and the Environment.' Applied research comes with lots of time spent hunkered over the computer combining theory and hard data... but my favourite time doing research is getting my boots muddy outside in the field. Please check out my research interests, publications, and current CV for a complete history of my professional experiences.
I was born and raised in the Kootenay region of British Columbia (Ktunaxa ʔamakiʔ, the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people), split between rural communities in the Elk Valley and the Creston Valley. My love for environmental science and wildlife biology stems from exploring this spectacular area of the world as a young kid. Growing up in a family that included an entomologist (grandfather) and a biologist (mother), both with an immense passion for their work, had an inevitable trickle down effect on me. I can't remember many instances where an outdoor hike or family camping trip was not accompanied by many stops to identify insects, listen to bird calls, or ponder which furry creature made tracks in the snow. In part to these cherished memories is why I put conservation and sustainable use of our natural spaces at the forefront of my work.
When I'm not studying forests and fish, you can find me outside hiking, kayaking, camping, or playing golf!
Wenjutiamw G’mten (Mount Carleton, New Brunswick) in October, 2022 photo credit: Kieran Simpson