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About Me

My name is Ben Collison and I am an Interdisciplinary PhD student in the Westwood Lab at the School for Resource & Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University (K’jipuktuk; Halifax, Nova Scotia), co-supervised by Dr. Alana Westwood and Dr. Tony Walker. My current research interests broadly lie at the forestry/freshwater interface, investigating how land-use decision making influences aquatic habitat for freshwater and migratory salmonid fish species. 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 held roles in government and industry, working as an integrated planning biologist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, aquatic invasive species officer for the Province of British Columbia, and forest technician for the Creston Community Forest. I also enjoy teaching and have guest lectured in environmental impact assessment graduate courses and held teaching assistantships in undergraduate courses, including scientific writing. Applied research comes with lots of time spent hunkered over the computer combining theory and hard data... but my favourite time is spent 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 and achievements.

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 (much to the dismay of the group) to identify insects, listen to bird calls, or ponder which mammal made tracks in the snow. In part to these cherished memories is why I put conservation of our natural spaces above everything else


When I'm not studying forests and the critters that live in them, 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

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