Grant Gilchrist

Research Scientist - Marine Birds

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada's mandate to ensure wildlife is conserved and protected

  • Population dynamics of sea ducks and pelagic seabirds in the Eastern Arctic and West Greenland in relation to harvest, avian disease, sea ice, and climate change
  • Research of foraging behaviour, diet, endogenous reserve dynamics, and predator-prey relationships
  • Surveys of seabird distribution in both summer and winter to identity key marine habitats in the Arctic
  • Studies that focus on harvest and ecological knowledge of marine birds by Aboriginal peoples.  Important to ensure sustainable harvest, as well as incorporating Aboriginal needs into the conservations and management strategies of northern Canada and Greenland

Professional activities / interests

Canadian representative, Circumpolar Seabird Group (CBIRD), part of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Agreement

Member, Sea Duck Joint Venture Scientific Technical Committee (North American Waterfowl Management Plan)

Chair, Northern Studies Trust Committee, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Conducting and supervising wildlife research at Carleton, other universities, and as a Network Investigator in the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence Program (currently overseeing Ph.D. and 2 M.Sc. students, and 3 Post Doctoral Research Associates)

Education and awards

Ph.D. Zoology, University of British Columbia, 1995

Contributing author, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 2005

Key publications

Gilliland, S., H.G. Gilchrist, R.F. Rockwell, G.J. Robertson, J.P. Savard, F.R. Merkel and A. Mosbech. 2008. Evaluating the harvest of northern common eiders in Greenland and Canada. Wildlife Biology. In press.

Heath, J.P., H.G. Gilchrist and R.C. Ydenberg. 2007. Diving by common eiders foraging in an Arctic polynya under variable current velocities: field tests of theoretical dive cycle models. Animal Behavior 73(5): 877-844.

Robertson, G.J., H.G. Gilchrist and M.L. Mallory. 2007. Colony dynamics and persistence of Ivory Gulls breeding in Canada. Avian Conservation and Ecology - Ecologie et Conservation des Oiseaux 2(2):8.

Gaston, A.J., H.G. Gilchrist and J.M. Hipfner. 2005. Climate change, ice conditions and reproduction in an Arctic nesting marine bird: the thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia, L.). J. Animal Ecology 74(5): 832-841. [doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2005.00982.x]

Gilchrist, H.G. and M.L. Mallory. 2005. Declines in the abundance and distribution of the ivory gull (Pagophila ebernea) in Arctic Canada. Biological Conservation 121: 303-309.

Gilchrist, H.G., M.L. Mallory and F.R. Merkel. 2005. Can Local Ecological Knowledge contribute to wildlife management? Case studies of migratory birds. Ecology and Society 10:(1) 20.

Research facility

Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3


Adjunct Professor, Biological Sciences, Carleton University

Adjunct Professor, Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology, Memorial University

Honorary Research Associate, University of New Brunswick