Clara joined the lab in 2016 as part of the Saskatchewan’s Boreal Woodland Caribou Projet. Her research is interested in the behavioural ecology and population dynamic of woodland caribou living in the Saskatchewan boreal shield to understand how this population respond to high level of natural disturbances (e.g. wildfires) while experiencing very low anthropogenic pressure. Using telemetry tools and aerial surveys, she is assessing the demographic key parameters (i.e. survival, production, recruitment, population trend…) and investigating how caribou individuals use habitat and respond to predation from wolves and bears. She is also interested in understanding how the environment retro-impact caribou fitness depending on individual strategies of resource selection.
In collaboration with other students and researchers involved in this project, her work should help determining the status of this population of caribou that remains unknown and its critical habitat, while woodland caribou are declining across Canada. Given the naturally unique environment that is the Saskatchewan boreal shield, understanding how caribou live in such ecosystem could serve as a base line against which caribou populations in more human-altered landscapes can be compared.
Clara grew up in France and completed her undergrad at the University of Paris-Sud XI in 2013. In the meantime, she got herself involved in various research or conservation projects as a field volunteer or assistant. For example, she studied sea turtles in Costa Rica and in Kenya and humpback whales in Madagascar. She did her master degree at the Universities of Burgundy and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (France) where she studied intra-specific variability in the acoustic structure of alarm calls produced by Alpine marmots and in the behavioural response of the receivers between individuals and populations (dialects). Clara is always involved in diverse associations. In the past, she has been an active member at the WWF France, “Ensemble pour Païolive”, “Le Groupe Naturaliste de l’Université de Bourgogne”. She has been an executive member of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the Wildlife Society during two years. Currently, she is the student representative of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the ACFAS, Association for knowledge in French.