Natural Resources Institute
317-70 Dysart Rd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2M6


Academic Background

B.Sc., University of Guelph (1995), Wildlife Biology
M.Sc., University of Guelph (1998), Zoology
Ph.D., University of Alberta (2004), Conservation Biology


Ecological Dimensions of Natural Resources Management
Study Design and Quantitative Methods for Resource and Environmental Management
Ph.D. Thesis Seminar
Conservation in Small Island Developing States (field course)


Research Interests

I study conservation of wildlife, especially birds. Much of my research applies landscape ecology or behavioural ecology to conservation questions. For example, my team and I study impacts of oil and gas development on abundance, diversity, productivity, and behaviour of grassland songbirds, and use this research to contribute to landscape and behavioural ecology theory while also contributing directly to conservation and management of many species, including some that are at risk. We have done a lot of research on impacts of noise from oil development on birds, using both mensurative and manipulative landscape-scale experiments. Our team also studies impacts of agriculture on birds, with a special focus on birds of the Caribbean and Central America. I have also recently started to collaborate with Indigenous communities in Canada and Central America to better understand the contributions of Indigenous-managed lands to conservation of migratory birds.

Recent Outreach and Professional Activities

I use my expertise to support a number of non-governmental organizations, particularly Nature Conservancy of Canada; I am on the Board of Directors - Manitoba, and on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Manitoba. I also work closely with Environment and Climate Change Canada on issues related to bird conservation, to help ensure that the most current knowledge is used to help conserve Canada's wildlife. I have also been involved with many academic journal, e.g. as Associate Editor for Condor, Wildlife Society Bulletin; as co-editor of the Interaction of Landscape Structure and Natural Resources Management Section, Current Landscape Ecology Reports; and as a member of the editorial committee for Avian Conservation and Ecology. I am currently President of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists.

Recent and Significant Publications

Heathcote, A., Des Brisay, P., De Ruyck, C.D., Grieef, P., and Koper, N. 2021. Morphological traits of four land bird species in Grenada. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, 28 pp. In press.

Olynyk, M., Westwood, A. R., and Koper, N. 2021. Effects of natural habitat loss and edge effects on wild bees and pollination services in remnant prairies. Environmental Entomology, 33 pp. Online Early. 

Fischer, S., Henderson, D. C., Koper, N. 2020. Residual effects of stocking rates on grasslands following livestock exclusion. Biological Conservation, 243: 108453 (11 journal pages).

Cyr, M-E, Wetten, K., Warrington, M., and Koper, N. 2020. Variation in song structure of House Wrens living in urban and rural areas in a Caribbean Small Island Developing State. Bioacoustics. (14 journal pages). 

Ng, C., Des Brisay, P. G., and Koper, N. 2019. The risks of perceived risks: chestnut-collared longspurs reduce parental care in the presence of conventional oil and gas infrastructure, roads, and industrial noise. Animal Behaviour, 148: 71-80.

Proulx, R., Waldinger, J., and Koper, N. 2019. Anthropogenic landscape changes and their impacts on terrestrial and freshwater soundscapes. Current Landscape Ecology Reports

Fahrig, L., Arroyo-Rodríguez, V., Bennett, J. R., Boucher‐Lalonde, V., Cazetta, E., Currie, D. J., Eigenbrod, F., Ford, A. T., Harrison, S. P., Jaeger, J. A. G., Koper, N., Martin, A. E., Metzger, J. P., Morrison, P., Rhodes, J. R., Saunders, D. A., Simberloff, D., Smith, A. C., Tischendorf, L., Vellend, M., and Watling, J. I. 2019. Is habitat fragmentation bad for biodiversity? Biological Conservation. 230: 179-186.

Enslow, C., Valender, R., Rondel, E., and Koper, N. 2019. The role of historical dispersal and landscape conversion on the biogeography of blood parasites affecting the golden-winged warbler. Parasitology, 1-12.

Curry, C.M., Des Brisay, P.G., Rosa, P., and Koper, N. 2018. Noise source and individual physiology mediate effectiveness of bird songs adjusted to anthropogenic noise. Scientific Reports, 8:3942

Lockhart, J.K. and Koper, N. 2018. Abundance and occurrence of northern mixed-grass prairie songbirds are more strongly influenced by grassland fragmentation than grassland amount. Landscape Ecology. 9: 1543-1558.