Ray T. Alisauskas

Research Scientist - Arctic ecosystems and waterfowl conservation and management

Current research and/or projects

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

  • Arctic ecosystem research with emphasis on arctic-nesting geese as keystone species that influence arctic vegetation and other wildlife
  • Wildlife population biology with emphasis on population dynamics and nutritional ecology of arctic-nesting and prairie-nesting geese and seaducks
  • Estimation of wildlife population size using aerial survey, hunter survey, and mark-recapture methods
  • Estimation of recruitment and survival in waterfowl populations and the role of exploitation through hunting
  • Focus of long-term research on population biology of waterfowl is at Migratory Bird Sanctuaries: Queen Maud Gulf (since 1990) in Nunavut and Redberry Lake (since 2000) in Saskatchewan

Professional activities / interests

Scientific and organizing committee membership for (1) North American Duck Symposium and (2) North American Arctic Goose Conference and Workshop

Member, Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Member and North American Liaison, Goose Specialist Group of Wetlands International/World Conservation Union

Education and awards

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (1988-1989), University of Manitoba and Delta Waterfowl Research Station

Ph.D. (Avian nutritional ecology) University of Western Ontario, 1988

M.Sc. University of Western Ontario, 1984 / B. Agriculture Macdonald College, McGill University, 1980

Key publications

Samelius, G., and Alisauskas, R. T. 2009. Habitat alteration by geese at a large arctic goose colony: consequences for lemmings and voles. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87(1): 95-101.

Alisauskas, R. T., K.L. Drake and J.D. Nichols. 2009. Filling a void: abundance estimation of North American populations of arctic geese using hunter recoveries. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 3:463-489.

Traylor, J. J. , Alisauskas, R. T., and Kehoe, F. P. 2008. Ecological correlates of duckling adoption among white-winged scoters Melanitta fusca: strategy, epiphenomenon, or combination? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62(7):1085-1097.

Wayland, M. , Drake, K. L., Alisauskas, R. T., Kellett, D. K., Traylor, J. J., Swoboda, C. J., and Mehl, K. R. 2008. Survival rates and blood metal concentrations in two species of free-ranging North American Sea Ducks. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27:698-704.

Samelius, G., Alisauskas, R. T., and Hines, J. E. 2008. Productivity of Lesser Snow Geese on Banks Island from 1995-1998. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper No. 115. (Banks Island Snow Goose Study)

Harriman, V., Alisauskas, R. T., Wobeser, G. A. 2008. The case of the blood-covered egg: ectoparasite abundance in an arctic goose colony. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86(9):959-965. 

Wayland, M. , Alisauskas, R. T., Kellett, D. K., Mehl, K. R. 2008. Trace metal concentrations in blood of nesting king eiders in the Canadian arctic. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 55:683-690.

Slattery, S. M., Alisauskas, R. T. 2007. Distribution and habitat use by Ross's and lesser snow geese during late brood rearing. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2230-2237.

 Mehl, K. R., and Alisauskas, R. T. 2007. King eider brood ecology: correlates of duckling survival. Auk 124:606-618.

Jónsson, J. E., Afton, A. D., Alisauskas, R. T. 2007. Does body size influence nest attendance? A comparison of Ross’s geese (Chen rossii) and the larger, sympatric lesser snow goose (C. caerulescens caerulescens). Journal of Ornithology 148:549-555

Samelius, G., Alisauskas, R. T., Lariviere, S. 2007. Survival Rate of Experimental Food Caches: Implications for Arctic Foxes. Canadian Journal of Zoology 85:397-403.

Wayland, M., R.T. Alisauskas, D.K. Kellett, J.J. Traylor, C.J. Swoboda, E. Neugebauer, and K.R. Mehl. 2007. Year-to-year correlations in blood metal levels among individuals of two species of North American sea ducks. Environmental Pollution: 150(3): 329-337. [DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2007.01.025]

Samelius, G., R.T. Alisauskas, K.A. Hobson and S. Larivière. 2007. Prolonging the arctic pulse: long-term exploitation of cached eggs by arctic foxes when lemmings are scarce. Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 873-880. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01278.x]

Alisauskas, R. T., K.L. Drake, S.M. Slattery and D.K. Kellett. 2006. Neckbands, harvest and survival of Ross’s geese from Canada’s Central Arctic. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 89-100.

Alisauskas, R. T., J. Charlwood and D.K. Kellett. 2006. Vegetation Correlates of Nesting History and Density by Ross’s and Lesser Snow Geese at Karrak Lake, Nunavut. Arctic 59: 201-210.

Alisauskas, R. T. 2002. Arctic climate, spring nutrition, and recruitment in mid-continent lesser snow geese. Journal of Wildlife Management 66: 181-193.


Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan

Graduate student senior advisor (14 M.Sc. and 6 Ph.D. students as of 2007)

Life Member, Arctic Institute of North America