R. I. Guy Morrison

Senior Research Scientist - Shorebirds
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Current research and/or projects

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

  • Migration, ecophysiology, energetics, use of body stores, and effects of climate change on shorebirds in the Canadian High Arctic
  • Population status of the endangered avian species, Red Knot Calidris canutus
  • High Arctic studies on shorebirds and their food resources and predators, and the effects of climate change (part of International Polar Year project, Arctic WOLVES [Wildlife Observatories Linking Vulnerable Ecosystems])
  • Population sizes, trends and status of shorebird populations in North America
  • Distribution and migration of shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere and factors affecting their survival

Professional activities / interests

Associate Editor, Waterbirds; Editorial Board, Avian Conservation and Ecology; Guest Editor, North-eastern Naturalist; regular reviewer of manuscripts submitted to leading journals in North and South America and in Europe, as well as in-house publications

Chair, CWS-S&T Shorebird Technical Committee

Senior Environment Canada consultant/advisor on shorebird issues within Canada and internationally

Past President and Executive Committee Member, The Arctic Circle, Ottawa

Speaker and invited speaker at scientific meetings in North and South America and Europe; media presentations (e.g., The Nature of Things, The Weather Network); guest speaker (e.g., cruise ships in Canada and the Arctic)

Post-graduate student supervisor for universities including University of Guelph, University of Toronto, University of Maine and Université Laval

Education and awards

Ph.D. University of Cambridge, UK

B.Sc. (Hons) University of St. Andrews, Scotland

Key publications

COSEWIC. 2007. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Red Knot Calidris canutus in Canada. vii + 58 pp. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa. Authors: Morrison, R.I.G., Baker, A.J., Gonzalez, P.M., Niles, L.J., and Ross, R.K.

Morrison, R. I. G., N.C. Davidson and J.R. Wilson. 2007. Survival of the fattest: body stores on migration and survival in red knots Calidris canutus islandica. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 479-487.

Meltofte, H., T. Piersma, H. Boyd, B.J. McCaffery, B. Ganter, V.V. Golovnyuk, K. Graham, C.L. Gratto-Trevor, R.I.G. Morrison, E. Nol, H.-U. Rösner, D. Schamel, H. Schekkerman, M.Y. Soloviev, P.S. Tomkovich, D.M. Tracy, I. Tulp and L. Wennerberg. 2007. Effects of climate variation on the breeding ecology of Arctic shorebirds. Meddeleser om Gronland (Bioscience) 59: 1-48.

Morrison, R. I. G., B.J. McCaffery, R.E. Gill, S.K. Skagen, S.L. Jones, G.W. Page, C.L. Gratto-Trevor and B.A. Andres. 2006. Population estimates of North American shorebirds, 2006. Wader Study Group Bulletin 111: 67-85.

Morrison, R. I. G., R.K. Ross and L.J. Niles. 2004. Declines in wintering populations of Red Knots in southern South America. Condor 106: 60-70.

Morrison, R. I. G. and R.K. Ross. 1989. Atlas of Nearctic shorebirds on the coast of South America. 325 pp. Canadian Wildlife Service Special Publication, Ottawa.


Member, Steering Committee for PRISM (Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring)

Member, CHASM (Committee for Holarctic Shorebird Monitoring)

Member, Scientific Advisory Committee for Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)

Chair, International Awards Committee, The Waterbird Society

Elective member, American Ornithologists' Union