Julia Shonfield


Before I got into my current project on owls, I did a lot of work with small mammals. My first field job involved live-trapping small mammals near Kapuskasing in northern Ontario. I discovered then that I really enjoyed doing field work, and have since worked for numerous projects including one on chipmunks in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, and the Kluane Red Squirrel Project in the Yukon.

I did my Master’s degree at the University of Guelph, where I studied the territorial behaviour of red squirrels with the Kluane Red Squirrel Project. The study site in the southwest Yukon is stunningly beautiful and red squirrels are a great species to work with. Afterwards, I worked for the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) for a summer doing biodiversity surveys. Since my sites were all remote, I got flown to all of them by helicopter and got to see some really cool places in northeastern Alberta including Wood Buffalo National Park and the Canadian Shield. I then moved to Edmonton and worked as a wildlife biologist for an environmental consulting company. The highlight of the wildlife surveys I did was the nocturnal surveys: owl playback surveys and mist netting for bats.

When I’m not working, I enjoy doing a variety of outdoor pursuits including biking, canoeing, hiking, and skiing. Since moving to Alberta from Ontario I have done a lot more hiking and skiing, but fewer canoe trips. I also love to travel, and I’m always thinking about my next destination…


Visit Julia’s Research Page