Much of what modern ecology knows about the Serengeti is due to research initiated by one man, ARE (Tony) Sinclair FRSC FRS. Tony grew up in Tanzania, where the Serengeti National Park is located. Although he left Tanzania at age 10 for boarding schools and then university in England, he continued to return for vacations. He started living fulltime in the Serengeti during his PhD research on African buffalo, supervised by Oxford behaviourist Dr. Nikolaas Tinbergen. After obtaining his PhD in 1970 he married, and returned with his wife Anne to the Serengeti on a three year NATO Postdoc Fellowship. Altogether, Tony lived in Serengeti for about 8 years. He left in the early 1970’s when Tanzania became unstable politically, moving to Darwin, Australia to study water buffalo as a CSIRO Research Scientist.
The researcher and his research:
Roy got his scientific start at Ulster University, in his native Northern Island, where he completed a Bachelor of Science. Just a short time later he moved on to Bangor University in Wales, where he finished a PhD, before crossing the Atlantic and accepting a post-doctoral position with the University of Western Ontario. He joined faculty at the University of British Columbia in 1977, where he was based for the next 37 years until his retirement in 2015. Roy is foremost a plant ecologist who has conducted field research in a wide variety of ecosystems such as the Kluane region of the Arctic, the Garry Oak meadows on Vancouver Island and the grasslands of interior British Columbia, but also stretching further abroad to the Negev Desert in Israel and the forests of Southern China (Fraser et al. 2016). His many years of research have been in pursuit of ecology’s fundamental question: What determines which species we find in certain locations, and how do the communities they produce function? To answer this and related questions, he has combined surveys with manipulations in field plots (some as large as 1 km2) to test the main determinants of community structure such as competition, stress and disturbance.
The Data Rescue Intern: YueYu
The Canadian forest has been heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides in the past, and the negative effects of these applied pesticides continue to persist until today. My internship project partnered with Dr. Christopher Edge and Shane Heartz (Natural Resources Canada), and we aimed to systematically digitize and summarize historical spray information in New Brunswick, Canada. An existing geodatabase was digitized in the early 2000s, containing spray block shapefiles and spray information for New Brunswick from the year 1952 to 1993.