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

Associate Professor

Department of Biology

Memorial University of Newfoundland

232 Elizabeth Ave

St John’s, NL, CANADA

A1B 3X9

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

​Matteo Rizzuto


MRes Ecology, Evolution and

Conservation (2014)

Imperial College at Silwood Park

MSc Evolution of Animal and

Human Behaviour (2012)

Università degli Studi di Torino


BSc Biology (2009)

Università degli Studi di Torino


I am interested in trophic web dynamics and animal behaviour, particularly consumer-resources interactions and how human activities affect them. My research uses a lynx-snowshoe hare-plant study system in the boreal forests of central Newfoundland to understand how nutrient cycling varies under different forestry practices. Variation in quality and quantity of nutrients caused by human activities can travel up food webs, ultimately affecting both the individual and landscape level. Within the framework of Ecological Stoichiometry, I aim to assess how species respond to these variations in their habitat and how this, in turn, shapes food-web dynamics at the ecosystem level. ​


Advanced Graduate Diploma

Fisheries Resource Mgt (2016)

Memorial University of Newfoundland

MSc Marine Environmental Mgt (2013)

University of York, England


BSc Conservation Biology and

Ecology (2012)

University of Exeter (Cornwall),



I am interested the conservation of marine mobile species/life stages through spatial strategies, such as dynamic ocean management and marine protected area (MPA) networks. In my research, I will integrate food web theory, metapopulation theory, and metacommunity theory to develop a framework for MPA selection in Atlantic Canada. Crucially, the MPA network will be optimised to take into account species connectivity, both under current and future climate conditions and fishery pressure. The research will use species distribution data and stomach content data, as well as 3D ocean circulation models and current fishery pressure information from the region. 


* Co-supervised by Marie-Josee Fortin at the University of Toronto

Anne McLeod


MSc Environmental Science (2013)

University of Windsor


BSc Ecology (2011)

University of Toronto


I am interested in understanding why some communities are more proficient at adapting to environmental stressors while others prove more susceptible. My research focuses on how food web traits vary across large spatial extents and how stressors, such as increased fragmentation, might influence the resiliency of these communities.

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.

M.Sc. Students
Kelly MacDonald



BSc Environmental Geography, minor

in Biology (2019)

Concordia University


I will be studying the effects of invasive brown trout on the island of Newfoundland, by modelling and mapping its spatial distribution and abundance since its introduction in the 1880s. As well, I will be examining the effects of the brown trout invasion on native Atlantic salmon, a stronghold population that has been declining since the brown trout were introduced. With climate change and increasing global connectivity, understanding invasion and competition dynamics is paramount to maintaining the integrity and resilience of native ecosystems.  

*co-supervised by Craig Purchase

Makayla Swain



BSc Environmental Science (2019)

University of Wisconsin, Green Bay


Direct impacts cause a series of indirect cascading effects that can alter different aspects of an ecosystem.  I am interested in observing these indirect impacts by studying how introducing or removing species can affect soil composition.  My research investigates how the introduction of moose in 1904 to the boreal forests of Newfoundland is affecting aspects of soil horizons.  Using moose exclosures, I will be able to understand the extent of moose impact on soil composition better.  Identifying how indirect changes in microbial activity and nutrient flow could then be indirectly changing the growth of surrounding plants.  This will provide better information on the larger reaching non-visual changes moose could be having to Newfoundland.

B.Sc. Students
Johanna Bosch
Gary McKeown
Former Lab Members
  • Meghan Noonan, MSc student 2019
  • Semra Yalcin, PhD student 2018 - Data Scientist - CHONE II Research Network
  • 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?