Conservation issues connect students with community
Research focused on the biological diversity found in Eastern Ontario creates lasting bonds between Queen’s faculty and students and the wider community.
“The Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) is a research site as well as a source of education for the public,” says Mark Conboy, the operations and research assistant at QUBS. “The research that takes place here doesn’t stay in the academic realm. We work hard to make sure the species in the area are preserved and promote conservation issues in the community.”
Mr. Conboy came to Queen’s to study two local species of small songbirds in order to understand broader evolutionary ecology questions about how patterns of diversity evolve, why they exist, and where we find diverse species living with one another. He conducted much of his fieldwork at QUBS, which has one of the last stable populations of Cerulean warblers on the continent.
Mr. Conboy now supports the research that occurs at QUBS and plays an important role in the station’s public education activities. He will give an interactive, kid-friendly presentation on species at risk and bird diversity in the Kingston region this weekend at Biodiversity Day, hosted by the local chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology. Current Queen’s biology students will also present the research they’ve done for their classes at the event that highlights local conservation issues and biological diversity.
“Biodiversity Day allows students to organize a public event and showcase their passion for conservation, ecology and public awareness,” says Stephen Lougheed, an associate professor in the Department of Biology and the School of Environmental Studies and the director of QUBS.