University of Calgary

Sheila Holmes

  • Sessional Instructor (starts on Jan 1, 2018)

Research Interests

Since 2010, I have managed data collection on black-and-white ruffed lemurs in the area surrounding the village of Kianjavato, Madagascar.  The monitoring project is co-run by the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership and Steig Johnson’s lab at the University of Calgary, with the assistance of exceptional local technicians and international volunteers. 

The small patches of remnant forest remaining in our study area are among the last vestiges of historically plentiful lowland forest.  As many lemurs are threatened with extinction, research in this fragmented, formerly prime habitat is essential.  My main body of research focuses on the behavioural ecology and conservation of black-and-white ruffed lemurs, as well as how they share the remaining limited space and resources with sympatric red-fronted and red-bellied lemurs.  Specifically, I study interspecific interactions, shared resource use, and spatiotemporal range overlap.  I am also interested in the potential impact of habitat loss and human land use practices on lemur density and species diversity, as well as on the genetic connectivity of individuals and populations.  I prefer multi-scale and multi-taxa studies for a more complete look at the complexity of changing ecosystems, and I continually strive to increase the ability of my research to inform conservation action. 

Current Research Areas: behavioural ecology, landscape genomics

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