Dr. Karen E. Hodges  Professor, Conservation Ecology

People and Projects

Supervision Philosophy

I enjoy working with people at BSc, MSc, PhD, and postdoctoral levels.  I value having a diverse lab group and I explicitly value mentoring people from groups that are under-represented in ecology.

In my lab, I cultivate an atmosphere in which people feel free to explore ideas and varied approaches to problems. I encourage students to develop their own projects as much as possible within the constraints of time, logistics, and funding. I expect graduate students to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals and to present work at national or international conferences. Undergraduate Honours’ students are also encouraged to undertake projects that may result in publications. I expect students in my lab to interact positively with each other, and I foster regular times to meet to discuss current research. I also value outreach beyond the scientific community, so students who wish to interact with the media, government agencies, non-profits, schools, industry, and land-owners are encouraged to do so. Indeed, many of our research projects require – and benefit from – such interactions. I also strongly encourage my students to apply for fellowships, grants-in-aid-of-research, and awards; many of my students have succeeded in these applications.

Current graduate students

Logan Volkmann, PhD student. Demography and movements of American marten in post-fire landscapes. Study areas: near Williams Lake, BC, and Okanogan National Forest, northern Washington.

Siobhan Darlington, PhD student (co-supervised).  Cougar ecology in southern British Columbia.  Study areas: south Okanagan, Boundary region.

Angelina Kelly, MSc student. Population ecology of small mammals in post-fire landscapes. Study area: near Williams Lake, BC.

Jennifer Meineke, MSc student. Population ecology of small mammals in relation to biosolids application. Study Area: OK Ranch, near Jesmond, BC.

Leah Rensel, MSc student. (Co-supervisor: Dr. C. Lausen, Wildlife Conservation Society). Dynamics of urban bats at maternity roosts. Study Area: Metro Vancouver, BC.

Thanks to our funders

None of this work would be possible without our funders. I and my students are very grateful to acknowledge NSERC, UBC Okanagan, the Upland Bird Society, SYLVIS, MITACS, Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada. We are glad to recognize the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and anglers, hunters, trappers and guides who contribute to the Trust, for making a significant financial contribution to support the fire-related marten and small mammal research in BC. We gratefully acknowledge the Forest Enhancement Society of BC for supporting the small mammal and marten research. We also gratefully acknowledge Seattle City Light for funding the Washington marten research.

Image result for hctf logo


Former associates

Emily Herdman, Postdoctoral Fellow. Emily worked on approaches to evaluating the conservation value of peripheral populations, and also on the demography and movements of a species of special concern, the Nuttall’s cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii).

Laura Prugh, Postdoctoral Fellow. Laura used meta-analytical approaches to determine causes and correlates of species endangerment in Canada and the effects of habitat fragmentation across taxa on a global scale.

Leanna Warman, Research Associate. Leanna has worked on several projects related to systematic reserve selection and biodiversity mapping in British Columbia. She completed her M.Sc. degree in Zoology at UBC on issues related to the application of a systematic reserve selection algorithm in the South Okanagan, BC.

Kristen Mancuso, PhD. 2020. (co-supervisor: Dr. C. Bishop, Environment and Climate Change Canada) Migration ecology of yellow-breasted chats. Study areas: south central BC, southern Oregon, Mexico.

Roberta Newbury, PhD. 2013. Behavioral ecology of the bobcat in a region with deep winter snows. Study area: Flathead National Forest, Montana.

Ellen Cheng, PhD. 2010 at the University of Montana (co-supervised with Dr. L.S. Mills). Large-scale patterns in gene flow and synchrony in snowshoe hares. Study area: Glacier National Park, Montana.

Kirstie Lawson, MSc. 2018. Habitat selection and diet of grouse on a biosolids-remediated ranch in British Columbia. Study Area: OK Ranch, near Jesmond, BC.

TJ Gooliaff, MSc. 2017. Spatiotemporal patterns and reliability of bobcat and Canada Lynx occurrence records in British Columbia.

Jenna Hutchen, MSc. 2017. Snowshoe hare responses post-fire. Study areas: various burned and unburned areas in southcentral British Columbia.

Carmen Vanbianchi, MSc. 2015. Landscape connectivity of Canada lynx in relation to recent forest fires in Washington. Study area: north-central Washington.

Melissa Tesche, MSc. 2014. Demographic responses of painted turtles to landscape patterns in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. Study area: Okanagan Valley, BC.

Tanis Gieselman, M.Sc. 2010 at UBC Vancouver (co-supervisor, Dr. Mark Vellend, Botany). Edge effects in southern Okanagan grasslands adjacent to human development. Study area: south Okanagan Valley, BC.

Natalie Melaschenko, MSc. 2010. Small mammals responding to cheatgrass at a range periphery: movement and population dynamics. Study area: south Okanagan Valley, BC.

Katy (White) Williams, MSc. 2008. (co-supervisor: Dr. C. Bishop, Environment Canada). Great Basin Gophersnake movement and habitat use in the Okanagan Valley, B.C. Study area: north and south Okanagan Valley, BC.

Carly (Walker) Lewis, MSc., University of Montana, 2005 (co-supervisor, Dr. L.S. Mills). Snowshoe hare population dynamics and movements in a fragmented landscape. Study area: Okanogan National Forest, Washington.