Kathrine ‘Kat’ Stewart – M.Sc.

Kat StewartKathrine joined the McLoughlin lab on May 1st, 2014 as part of Saskatchewan’s Boreal Woodland Caribou Project. This multi-faceted study aims to reduce uncertainty surrounding the status of Saskatchewan’s boreal woodland caribou populations by (a) investigating how these populations and their associated habitat respond to uniquely high levels of natural disturbance within Saskatchewan’s boreal shield, and (b) identifying habitat critical to the persistence of these populations. This information will support the development of a provincial Range Plan to ensure the long-term survival of boreal woodland caribou in Saskatchewan.
As one of several students working on this project, Kathrine is interested in modelling caribou habitat selection and resource use, through the application of Resource Selection Functions, in order to gain a better understanding of the ecological mechanisms influencing the distribution and movement of individual caribou across the boreal landscape. Specifically, Kathrine hopes to integrate GPS data from 144 radio-collared caribou with vegetation surveys, aerial population surveys and GPS co-ordinates of radio-collared wolves and bears to examine how predation from wolves and bears; forage quality and availability; rates and types of disturbance; and other potential factors predict caribou habitat selection at various temporal and spatial scales.
Prior to joining the lab, Kathrine earned a BSc. (Honours) in Biology from Simon Fraser University, B.C. and spent three years studying the social behavior of primates in Africa and Central America.