Paul Smith, a PhD candidate at Carleton University
in the National Wildlife Research Centre, is the recipient of the 2006–2007
J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship.
The fellowship is given annually by CAUT to a student with high academic standing
registered in a doctoral program at a Canadian university.
Smith, an arctic ecologist, has spent the past seven years working on projects throughout
the north, from the Central Barrens of Canada to the Siberian High Arctic. His current
research focuses on the breeding ecology of arctic shorebirds.
“Up to 80 per cent of shorebird populations are declining, but the cause for
these widespread declines is unknown,” Smith said of his research. “By
studying the factors that influence shorebird breeding success, I hope to contribute
to the conservation of these important and declining populations.”
Smith received a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science from
and a master’s degree in zoology from the University of British Columbia.
His research is funded by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Canada’s bird conservation
authority, and it is through this affiliation that he arrived at the CWS National
Wildlife Research Centre at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Smith, a recipient of more than 25 scholarships for his research, including an NSERC
Canada Graduate Scholarship for 2004–2006, says he’s “passionate”
about the conservation of arctic wildlife and plays an active role in a number of
national and international technical committees.
Smith said he wants to instill learning and spark interest in conservation and change
the way the public perceives the arctic environment. He is a firm believer in the
value of science outreach and regularly delivers public lectures on arctic ecology
The fellowship, a $5,000 grant awarded over
one year, is given by CAUT to honour the life and work of the association’s
first executive secretary. A three-member panel of trustees selected this year’s
winner from a competitive field of applicants from across the country.