I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree (Hons.) from the University of Waterloo’s interdisciplinary program in Environment & Resource Studies in 1993. Following graduation I was employed full-time as a consulting analyst on several waste management projects and environmental planning initiatives across southwestern Ontario. I was able to take a hiatus from work during this period to pursue a Master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, which I completed in 1999. I began doctoral studies in Environmental Biology and Ecology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 2000. I completed my dissertation in 2006 and remained in Edmonton as a post-doctoral fellow on the International Polar Year and as a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences. I came to Queen’s in 2008.
I teach in both the Department of Geography and the School of Environmental Studies. My teaching interests span the science of ecology and the practice of environmental management, and I encourage students to integrate the two whenever possible. I frequently use case studies in my teaching, which helps students see the link between theory and its application in “the real world”. I also try to ensure that students studying the natural world actually get outside and observe it first hand!
Graduate students in my lab can expect to be part of an interdisciplinary team. Students pursue individual projects but, at the same time, learn from each other. There are opportunities to use a wide variety of methods and techniques, including dendrochronology (tree ring analysis), plant community analysis, GIS and remote sensing, and species distribution and habitat modeling. My role in this environment is like a coach; I help each student through the process of research design, data collection and analysis, but I also help the team to work together.
GPHY102: Earth System Science
GPHY 318: Advanced Biogeography
GPHY 418: Landscape Ecology
GPHY 818: Graduate Seminar in Landscape Ecology
ENSC 320: Wildlife Issues
ENSC 430: Honour’s Projects in Sustainability
My research interests lie at the interface of ecology and geography and my work draws upon and contributes to the fields of biogeography, landscape ecology, and conservation biology. The central focus of my research is the study of patterns and processes of habitat change and vegetation dynamics at the landscape scale, especially in Arctic and alpine environments. I am also interested in the implications of this change for resource management, particularly in protected areas. I use a wide range of methods and techniques, including dendrochronology, remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis, species distribution modeling, historical ecology, and plant community analysis. Fieldwork figures prominently in my work.
Conway AJ, Danby RK. 2014. Recent advance of forest ecotones in southwest Yukon grasslands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44: 509-520.
Danby RK. 2011. Monitoring forest-tundra ecotones at multiple scales. Geography Compass 5: 623-640.
Danby RK, Koh S, Hik DS and Price LW. 2011. Four decades of plant community change in the alpine tundra of southwest Yukon. Ambio 40: 660-671.
Danby RK, Hik DS. 2007. Variability, contingency and rapid change in recent subarctic alpine treeline dynamics. Journal of Ecology 95: 352-363.
Danby RK, Hik DS. 2007. Responses of white spruce (Picea glauca) to experimental warming at a subarctic alpine treeline. Global Change Biology 13: 437-451.