Ecology

To understand how life has evolved on Earth, scientists have looked to ecology to see how present-day organisms live with one another and to study the impact they and their environment have on each other.

On this page, you’ll find information about ecology as a discipline, what University of Alberta ecologists are researching, and the effect their work has.

What Is Ecology?

Ecology is an area of biology that studies the interactions of organisms with one another and their environment.

Ecology is a broad field that investigates many topic areas. A degree in Ecology can take students on many career paths, including bioinformatics, environmental law, pest and disease management, wildlife conservation, and more.


Latest Ecology News

Read some of the exciting news stories about UAlberta ecologists whose work is helping excavate Earth’s evolutionary mysteries.

Blocking cannabinoid receptors affects zebrafish development, study shows

New research by University of Alberta biologists examines the role of the endocannabinoid system in development



Professor Profiles

Viktoria Wagner crouching in a grassy field collecting samples

Assistant Professor Viktoria Wagner

Meet Viktoria Wagner, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences who studies grasslands and non-native plants.


Colleen Cassady St. Clair wearing a navy top and red skirt, posed in front of a tree in the woods

Professor Colleen Cassady St. Clair

Professor Colleen Cassady St. Clair is a resident expert on human-wildlife conflict. Read about the work Colleen, the City of Edmonton, and the Urban Wildlife Information Network are doing to help discover ways for humans and wildlife to co-exist in urban areas.


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Info for Students


Wily Coyotes in Edmonton

Coyotes in urban spaces like Edmonton are a growing concern for many ecologists.

In this clip, Maureen Murray (UAlberta PhD graduate from Biological Sciences) discusses her research with the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project to help prevent conflicts between coyotes and humans living in the capital city.


How Our Rapid Environmental Changes Affect Songbirds

Many ecologists are concerned with how our rapid industrialization is affecting the world’s songbird population.

In this clip from the documentary, The Messenger, Erin Bayne (U of A biologist) discusses a widely held fear that we are changing the environment too quickly for birds to adapt.


Alberta Wolverine Observation and Conservation

Biologists and wildlife filmmakers work hard to observe and film animals in their natural habitat to better understand how they live and interact in their environment.

In this clip from CBC’s Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest, Andrew Manske and Mark Boyce (U of A Professor of Ecology) talk about how observing wolverines to learn about their behaviour can help conservation efforts to protect these animals.