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Leroux Lab

We are a diverse group of ecologists with expertise in mathematical modelling, geographic information systems, and field-based research.

Leroux crew Feb 2017 lab ice fishing trip @ Great Pond!

Back: Jonathan, Jessica, Anne, Semra. Front: Matteo, Shawn. Missing: Samantha, Meghan, Laurent

​Dr. Shawn J. Leroux


Department of Biology

Memorial University of Newfoundland

45 Arctic Ave

St John’s, NL, CANADA

A1C 5S7

Office: CSF-4344

Office tel.: 709-864-3042

Lab tel.: 709-864-7504

Email: sleroux (at) mun (dot) ca

Photo credit: David Howells


PhD Ecology (2010)

Department of Biology, McGill University

MSc Conservation Biology (2006)

Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta

BA Environmental Studies (2003)

Department of Geography, University of Ottawa

I am an ecosystem ecologist with a strong interest in conservation ecology. I study the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. I am particularly interested in how organism, energy, and material fluxes among ecosystems (e.g. aquatic-terrestrial ecotone) and up and down food webs impacts the functioning of meta-ecosystems.

PhD Students
Sean Basquill



BSc Biology (1992)

Concordia University

MSc Biology (1996)

Centre for Wildlife and Conservation


Acadia University


My professional employment has largely been field-based and I have been fortunate to survey some of the most spectacular and ecologically interesting places in Atlantic Canada.  These experiences have inspired my interest in the factors shaping ecosystem diversity, distribution, and persistence.  I am fascinated by ecological patterns and mechanisms of change.  My research is focused on ecosystem response to anthropogenic land use and climatic drivers.  I am developing models to predict how these drivers affect ecosystem degradation and vulnerability.  My research findings will be applied to help enable more scientifically informed biodiversity conservation assessments and policies in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Adam Meyer



BSc Biological, Biomedical & 

Life Sciences (2013)

McGill University

MSc Ecology (2016)

Queen's University


I hope to discover how large herbivores such as moose change and contribute to the functioning of boreal ecosystems, especially in concert with large-scale forest disturbances such as insect outbreaks. Newfoundland has a long history of over-abundant moose populations and large outbreak cycles of spruce budworm and is also a global hotspot of friendly people and general good will, making it an ideal location for this work. I will use a combination of field work and mathematical modelling to disentangle the direct and indirect effects of moose browsing on carbon and nutrient cycling between aboveground and belowground communities. This work will contribute to boreal wildlife and forest management by broadening our fundamental understanding of ecosystem elemental cycling and the role of animals within it.



My research interests focus on wildlife ecology and conservation from local to global scales. I work from whole organisms to communities to understand how species respond to human and natural drivers. My doctoral research aims to answer the overarching question: how does environmental change constrain seabird energetics across space and time? Through coupling fieldwork with timeseries and powerful modelling frameworks (e.g., Niche Mapper, Dynamic Energy Budget Modelling), I hope to expose the seabird species and populations with the greatest energetic limitations to past and future environmental change. 

*co-supervised by Amanda Bates



BSc Marine Biology with

Oceanography (2017) University of Southampton


MSc Marine Biology (2020)

Memorial University

M.Sc. Students
Hannah Adams



BSc Environmental Science, ecology specialization (2021)

University of Waterloo


My research goal is to discover the connections between ecosystems at a landscape scale. Selective browsing by a hyperabundant moose population and a growing network of ATV trails are two forms of terrestrial disturbances that may have indirect effects on aquatic ecosystems, and I will be using in situ data from stream sites across Newfoundland to validate a meta-ecosystem model of these terrestrial-aquatic interactions. Ongoing climate change and human land development make it crucial to understand the connections between ecosystems and indirect effects that disturbances have across a range of spatial and temporal scales.

Rachael Moran


BSc Environment and Natural

Resources (2020) University of New Brunswick



Natural disturbances such as spruce budworm outbreaks and forest fires can result in tree mortality and lead to canopy openings allowing for the growth of palatable species in the understory. However, when these disturbances are followed by high levels of moose herbivory natural forest regeneration may be suppressed. I will be studying how i) forest fires followed by moose herbivory and ii) budworm outbreaks followed by moose herbivory impact the amount of carbon stored in the eastern boreal forests of Newfoundland. I will then use statistical models and remotely sensed predictor variables to scale these site-level measurements to the landscape level. This will allow me to predict the effects of these disturbances on carbon stocks at broader extents.

Emmerson Wilson


BSc (2021) St. Francis Xavier




My goal in research is to help inform how humans can better interact with the environment, which I believe can be done in a mutually beneficial way. Nature-based climate solutions (engagement with natural systems to address climatic challenges) are of rapidly growing interest to help confront the perilous levels of carbon in our atmosphere. Meanwhile, human-mediated modifications to key disturbances such as spruce budworm outbreaks and ungulate herbivory can decrease the amount of carbon stored by boreal forests. I am looking to model the relationships between disturbances and carbon storage in Newfoundland’s boreal forests and how managing such disturbances can have an impact on these relationships. In addition, I will project these models across the broader landscape under various combinations of environmental variables. I hope to establish employable recommendations on how disturbance management can be used as a nature-based climate solution to optimize carbon storage in boreal forests.

B.Sc. Honours Students
Julia Ball


My research focuses on how habitat (ie, open versus closed) and species abundance affects frugivory on the island of Newfoundland. Fruit removal by animals is an important component of the seed dispersal process, with direct consequences for plant recruitment. This can ultimately influence the spatial distribution of species, vegetation structure, community diversity, and ecosystem functioning. However, plant-frugivore interactions in boreal ecosystems have been given minimal attention, especially Newfoundland. My research is part of the Global Plasticine Fruits Experiment, which aims to test the macro- and micro-ecological drivers of fruit removal at a global scale.


BSc Honours Biology, Applied 

Ecology, and Conservation

concentration (2023)

Memorial University of



Jenna Scott


BSc Honours Biology, Applied 

Ecology, and Conservation

concentration (2023)

Memorial University of




My primary interests are in the biogeographical factors that influence why organisms occur where they do, more specifically plants. Processes such as disturbance, anthropogenic activity, wildlife contributions, and soil fertility that affect where and why certain plant species grow within their vegetational communities and the landscape as a whole. My research focuses on the effect that seabird island colonies in Newfoundland have on the species richness and composition of vegetational communities where seabirds live. Seabirds significantly alter the soils where they live in dense colonies, and this impacts what kind of plant species are able to grow there.

Former Lab Members
  • Matteo Rizzuto, PhD 2021 - Postdoc - Yale University
  • Samantha Andrews, PhD 2021 - Environmental Consultant - Ocean Oculus
  • Makayla Swain, MSc 2021 - Environmental Consultant - BC
  • Kelly MacDonald, MSc 2021 - Consultant - Fisheries & Oceans Canada
  • Anne McLeod, PhD 2020 - PostDoc - University of Canterbury
  • Johanna Bosch, BSc technician 2020 - MSc student - Memorial University
  • Ben Stratton, BSc honours 2019 - Environmental Law - University of NB
  • Meghan Noonan, MSc student 2019
  • Semra Yalcin, PhD student 2018 - PostDoc - Fisheries & Oceans Canada
  • Laurent Montagano, MSc student 2018 - Research Scientist - Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Jessica MacSween, MSc student 2017 - Park Ecologist - Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • Jonathan D. Ebel, PhD student 2017 - Fisheries Scientist - Idaho Fish & Game
  • Nichola Ellis, MSc student 2016 - Environmental entrepreneur
  • Amy Tanner, MSc student 2015 - Research scientist - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Jeffrey Bonazza, MEnvSc student 2015 - Environmental consultant - MacCallum Environmental
  • Jacalyn Normandeau, NSERC USRA student 2015 - MSc student University of Alberta
  • Justin Strong, NSERC USRA student 2013 - Wildlife Biologist - Government of British Columbia
  • Allison Ford, NSERC USRA student 2015 - MSc student, McGill University
  • Jessica Kobluk, MUCEP and SURA student 2014
  • Ashley Billard, SURA student 2014
​Want to join our lab?
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