Dr. Nicholas J. Lunn

Research Scientist - Polar Bear Ecology and Arctic Marine Ecosystems

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s mandate to ensure wildlife is conserved and protected

  • Population dynamics and general ecology of polar bears, a keystone species that provides insight into the overall health of biodiversity within the Arctic marine ecosystem
  • Effects of climatic change on the ecology of polar bears in western Hudson Bay and on factors that influence their long-term reproductive performance
  • Original and management-oriented research on polar bears, pinnipeds (e.g., seals, walruses) and ecological inter-relationships in the Arctic marine ecosystem

Professional activities / interests

Environment and Climate Change Canada representative on the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, which meets annually to review and exchange technical information, coordinate research activities and provides technical advice to the Polar Bear Administrative Committee in support of Canada’s conservation responsibilities under the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears (1973)

Environment and Climate Change Canada representative on the Scientific Working Group to the Canada-Greenland Joint Commission on Polar Bear, which provides the Joint Commission with scientific advice and recommendations with respect to the conservation and management of shared polar bear subpopulations

Editorial Advisor, journal Arctic

Review research grant applications, research proposals, and manuscripts submitted to scientific journals

Member of supervisory committees for graduate students (3 M.Sc. students and 1 PhD. student at the University of Alberta and York University; External Examiner for 1 Ph.D. student at the University of Saskatchewan, to date)

Education and awards

Environment Canada Citation of Excellence (Teamwork, Partnering and Collaboration) in recognition of contribution to the 2007 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC (2008)

Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Alberta, 1995-1996

Ph.D., British Antarctic Survey and Open University, 1993

M.Sc., University of Alberta, 1985

B.Sc., University of Alberta, 1981

Key publications

Young, B.G., S.H. Ferguson and N.J. Lunn. 2015. Variation in indices of ringed seal density and abundance in western Hudson Bay determined through aerial surveys, 1995 to 2013. Arctic 68:301-309.

McCall, A.G., A.E. Derocher and N.J. Lunn. 2015. Home range distribution of polar bears in western Hudson Bay. Polar Biology 38:343-355.

Castro de la Guardia, L., A.E. Derocher P.G. Myers, A.D. Terwisscha van Scheltinga and N.J. Lunn. 2013. Future sea ice conditions in western Hudson Bay and consequences for polar bears in the 21st century. Global Change Biology 19:2675-2687.

Derocher, A.E., J. Aars, S.C. Amstrup, A. Cutting, N.J. Lunn, P.K. Molnár, M.E. Obbard, I. Stirling, G.W. Thiemann, D. Vongraven, Ø. Wiig and G. York. 2013. Rapid ecosystem change and polar bear conservation. Conservation Letters 6:368-375.

Cherry, S.G., A.E. Derocher, G.W. Thiemann and N.J. Lunn. 2013. Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics. Journal of Animal Ecology 82:912-921.

Vongraven, D., J. Aars, S. Amstrup, S.N. Atkinson, S. Belikov, E.W. Born, T.D. DeBruyn, A.E. Derocher, G. Durner, M. Gill, N.J. Lunn, M.E. Obbard, J. Omelak, N. Ovsyanikov, E. peacock, E. Richardson, V. Sahanatien, I. Stirling and Ø. Wiig. 2012. A circumpolar monitoring framework for polar bears. Ursus Monograph Series 5:1-66.

Ferguson, S.H., D. Berteaux, A.J. Gaston, J.W. Higdon, N. Lecomte, N.J. Lunn, M.L. Mallory, J. Reist, D. Russell, N. Yoccoz and X. Zhu. 2012. Time series data for Canadian Arctic vertebrates: IPY contributions to science, management, and policy. Climatic Change 115:235-258.

Chambellant, M., N.J. Lunn and S.H. Ferguson. 2012. Temporal variation in distribution and density of ice-obligated seals in western Hudson Bay, Canada. Polar Biology 35:1105-1117.

Thiemann, G.W., N.J. Lunn, E.S. Richardson and D.S. Andriashek. 2011. Temporal change in the morphometry-body mass relationship of polar bears. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:580-587.

McKinney, M.A., I. Stirling, N.J. Lunn, E. Peacock and R.J. Letcher. 2010. The role of diet on long-term concentration and pattern trends of brominated and chlorinated contaminants in western Hudson Bay polar bears, 1991-2007. Science of the Total Environment 408:6210-6222.

Lunn, N.J., D. Vongraven, S. Schliebe and S. Belikov. 2010. Polar bears. Pages 26-28 In Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 – Selected Indicators of Change. Edited by T. Kurvits, B. Alfthan and E. Mork. CAFF International Secretariat, Akureyri, Iceland.

Peacock, E., A.E. Derocher, N.J. Lunn and M.E. Obbard. 2010. Polar bear ecology and management in Hudson Bay in the face of climate change. Pages 93-115 in A Little Less Arctic: Top Predators in the World’s Largest Northern Inland Sea. Edited by S.H. Ferguson, L.L. Loseto and M.L. Mallory. Springer, New York. Abstract.

Medill, S., A.E. Derocher, I. Stirling and N.J. Lunn. 2010. Reconstructing the reproductive history of female polar bears using cementum patterns of premolar teeth. Polar Biology 33:115-124. Abstract.

Towns, L., A.E. Derocher, I. Stirling, N.J. Lunn and D. Hedman. 2009. Spatial and temporal patterns of problem polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. Polar Biology 32:1529-1537. Abstract.

Lunn, N.J. 2007. Polar bears – a species in peril? Box 4.3, Page 231 in A. Fischlin, G.F. Midgley, J.T. Price, R. Leemans, B. Gopal, C. Turley, M.D.A. Rounsevell, O.P. Dube, J. Tarazona and A.A. Velichko. 2007: Ecosystems, their properties, goods, and services. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Edited by M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Regehr, E.V., N.J. Lunn, S.C. Amstrup and I. Stirling. 2007. Effects of earlier sea ice breakup on survival and population size of polar bears in western Hudson Bay. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:2673-2683. Abstract.

Derocher, A.E., N.J. Lunn and I. Stirling. 2004. Polar bears in a warming climate. Integrative and Comparative Biology 44:163-176. Abstract. [doi:10.1093/icb/44.2.163]

Lunn, N.J., I. Stirling, D. Andriashek and E. Richardson. 2004. Selection of maternity dens by female polar bears in western Hudson Bay, Canada and the effects of human disturbance. Polar Biology 27:350-356.

Lunn, N.J., S. Schliebe and E.W. Born. (Editors). 2002. Polar Bears: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. SSC Occasional Paper No. 26. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, vii + 153 pp.

Stirling, I., N.J. Lunn and J. Iacozza. 1999. Long-term trends in the population ecology of polar bears in western Hudson Bay. Arctic 52:294-306.

Lunn, N.J., I. Stirling, D. Andriashek and G.B. Kolenosky. 1997. Re-estimating the size of the polar bear population in western Hudson Bay. Arctic 50:234-240.

Lunn, N.J., I. Stirling, S.N. Nowicki. 1997. Distribution and abundance of ringed and bearded seals in western Hudson Bay. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 54:914-921.


Member, Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee

Member, IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group

Member, The Society for Marine Mammalogy