Ilona Naujokaitis-Lewis

I am a Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. My research program is focused on understanding how global changes, primarily climate and land-use & land-cover change, affect wildlife species and communities. A second emphasis is on developing solutions and using science-based evidence to help solve pressing conservation problems. My research typically takes a macroecological lens but I use data from multiple spatial and temporal scales, often addressing how species range dynamics are affected by processes and changes occurring across scales.


Previously, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Ben Zuckerberg in his Climate Change Ecology Lab > Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology > University of Wisconsin-Madison. In collaboration with the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative I am developing climate change vulnerability assessments for a number of priority wildlife species using demographically informed approaches. One of the goals is to provide managers with information that can be used to inform decisions to achieve conservation and management objectives. This research will advance our understanding of the relative importance of different drivers (e.g., climate change, habitat loss, species interactions) on the spatio-temporal dynamics of species’ distributions. Check out my research page for an overview of my research program.

I completed my PhD with Dr. Marie-Josee Fortin in her Spatial Ecology Lab >  Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of Toronto. My dissertation examined the influence of climatic and non-climatic factors on seasonal range dynamics of member of the New World wood Warblers (Parulidae). They are a stunning group from an ecological, behavioural, and evolutionary perspective. Lucky for me data on their whereabouts have been collected over time through a diversity of Citizen Science initiatives from longitudinal studies such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey to observations submitted by enthusiast backyard birdwatchers.


Current students

Adam Blasl, Honours student, 2018-2019
Carleton University (Joe Bennett)
AdamBlasl_pic2_webAdam is interested in the effect of land-cover and land-use types on the diversity of microclimates. His study is located in South-Eastern Ontario where he spent the last two summers setting up temperature data sensor arrays across a number of  agro-ecological landscapes. His research will help us understand the availability of microclimate habitats for pollinator species (native bees and butterflies). His research feeds into a larger project that aims to improve our ability to predict species responses to climate change.



Miriam Grenon, Honours student, 2017–18
University of Ottawa (Jessica Forrest)
Miriam is interested in conservation biology and animal sciences. She is curious about the factors that influence pollinators’ and other animals’ distributions, and ways to maintain or improve their biodiversity. She will be studying pollinator communities in eastern Ontario agroecosystems.