Kathy M. Martin

Research Scientist - Bird Populations and Communities

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada's mandate to ensure wildlife is conserved and protected, with specialization in bird populations and communities in managed and unmanaged forest, grassland and mountain ecosystems

  • Global Nest Webs - cavity-nesting bird community dynamics in natural and managed forests in relation to forest cutting regimes and natural disturbance events
  • Ecology, life history, behaviour and conservation of alpine birds in high elevation habitats
  • Effects of forest management and forest health on wildlife biodiversity of mixed forests
  • Climate forcing and the maintenance of vertebrate communities in the Northern Alpine Mountains (SW Yukon / Northern International Polar Year and Climate Change)
  • Landbird monitoring approaches in forest and mountain ecosystems, especially for species listed under the Species at Risk Act and endemic species

Professional activities / interests

Professor, University of British Columbia; Supervises graduate students (4) and post-doctoral fellows (2) with the Department of Forest Sciences

Membership on committees, boards and policy-making bodies: Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution Council, (2007-2010); Board member (2003-2006) and National Science Advisory Committee member (2006-present), Bird Studies Canada; Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Grant Selection Committee Chair, Ecology & Evolution (2004) and Northern Research Supplement ( 2005); Environment Canada member, Williamson's Sapsucker and Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Teams

Organizes international symposia: Cavity nester nest site limitation, Neotropical Ornithological Conference, Venezuela (2007); Natural holes for cavity nesting birds, the missing dimension, International Ornithological Congress, Hamburg, Germany (2006)

Invited plenary talks: Ptarmigan in North America: population ecology, life history and climate, Nagano, Japan (2007); Ptarmigan populations across space, time and climate change, Can. Soc. Zoologists Annual Meeting, Edmonton (2006)

Education and awards

5NR Award, Leadership in Sustainable Development on Forest Ecology 2003 (Government of Canada)

Elected Fellow 1999, Council Member 2003-2007: American Ornithologists' Union

Ph.D. Queen's University (1985)

Key publications

Aitken, K.E.H. and K. Martin. 2008. Plasticity in resource selection affects community responses to an experimental reduction in availability of a critical resource. Ecology, 89(4): 971-980. [DOI: 10.1007/s10336-007-0166-9]

Martin, K., A.R. Norris and M.C. Drever. 2006. Effects of bark beetle outbreaks on avian biodiversity in interior British Columbia: Implications for critical habitat management. Invited paper. BC Journal of Ecosystems Management 7: 10-24.

Wiebe, K.L. , W.D. Koenig and K. Martin. 2006. Evolution of clutch size in cavity-excavating birds: the nest site limitation hypothesis revisited. American Naturalist 167: 343-353. [DOI: 10.1086/499373]

Sandercock, B.K., K. Martin and S.J. Hannon. 2005. Life history strategies in extreme environments: comparative demography of arctic and alpine ptarmigan. Ecology 86: 2176-2186. [DOI: 10.1890/04-0563]

Martin, K., K.E.H. Aitken and K.L. Wiebe. 2004. Nest sites and Nest webs for cavity-nesting communities in interior British Columbia, Canada: nest characteristics and niche partitioning. Condor 106: 5-19. [DOI: 10.1650/7482]

Martin, K. and K.L. Wiebe. 2004. Coping mechanisms of alpine and arctic birds: extreme weather and limitations to reproductive resilience. Integrative and Comparative Biology 44: 177-185. [DOI: 10.1668/1540-7063]

Research facility

5421 Robertson Road
Delta, BC V4K 3Y3


Member for Canada, International Ornithological Committee (2002 - current)

The Centre for Alpine Studies, University of British Columbia

President and Past-President, Society of Canadian Ornithologists (2000-2004)