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Climate Change and Arctic Wildlife

Sea ice is important habitat for many Arctic species and is being lost due to climate warming. I am conducting field studies in the Eastern Canadian Arctic and using long-term datasets to predict the effects of sea ice decline on Arctic wildlife. Arctic wildlife is also important source of food and clothing for many Northern peoples. My research uses predictive models to help Northern people adapt to changes in Arctic wildlife populations, and to help manage wildlife harvest to promote ecosystem resilience.


Selected publication:

Dey CJ, Richardson E, McGeachy D, Gilchrist HG & Semeniuk CAD. 2017. Increasing nest predation will be insufficient to maintain polar bear body condition in the face of sea-ice loss. Global Change Biology

In the media:

Read about these results on Seeker.com

Research partners: 

This research is part of a large collaborative research cluster including Canadian government scientists (Grant Gilchrist, Evan Richardson), academic partners (Christina Semeniuk, Oliver Love, Kyle Elliot, Mark Forbes, Joël Bêty), Inuit partners (the Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat, Hunters and Trappers Associations in Coral Harbour, Cape Dorset, Kimmirut and Sanikiluaq) and many important funders (Environment and Climate Change Canada, Mitacs, Baffinland, Liber Ero, NSERC, PEW Charitable Trust, Oceans North).

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Evolution of Animal Traits

Environments determine which traits are required for animals to survive and reproduce. My research investigates why different species have different traits, and how multiple traits co-evolve to define animal phenotypes.


Selected publications:

Dey CJ, O’Connor CM, Wilkinson H, Shultz S, Balshine S & Fitzpatrick JL. 2017. Direct benefits and evolutionary transitions to complex societies. Nature Ecology & Evolution

Dale J, Dey CJ, Delhey K, Kempenaers B & Valcu M. 2015. The effects of life-history and social selection on male and female plumage coloration. Nature

In the media:

Read about my research on bird color evolution in The Economist.

Listen to an interview I gave to Radio Canada International

Research partners: 

This research involves collaborations with an international group of academics including James Dale (Massey University), John Fitzpatrick (Stockholm University), Bart Kempenaers (Max Planck) and Sigal Balshine (McMaster University). It is funded through various sources including NSERC and the New Zealand Marsden Fund.

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Social Behaviour

One of the most important parts of an animal’s environment is other members of their species. I have been studying how parental care, sexual behaviour and social competition influence trait expression, survival, and reproduction in a variety of vertebrate species. 


Selected publications:

Dey CJ, Dale J and Quinn JS. 2014. Manipulating the appearance of a badge of status causes changes in true badge expression. Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Dey CJ & Quinn JS. 2014. Individual attributes and self-organizational processes affect dominance network structure in pukeko. Behavioral Ecology

In the media:

Listen to me talk about social signalling on Quirks and Quarks

Watch a video about my research on avian communication

Research partners:

This research is in collaboration with James Quinn and Sigal Balshine (McMaster University), Adam Reddon (John Moores University) and Christina Semeniuk (University of Windsor). It is primarily funded by NSERC.