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. See my research page for more details on current and past projects.

I am based at the National Wildlife Research Centre located on Carleton University campus.

I look forward to hearing from potential collaborators and students. I can be reached at ilona.naujokaitis-lewis [at] canada.ca.

Research themes

  1. Understanding and improving predictions of species and community responses to climate change and land-use change.
    • Climate change vulnerability assessments for terrestrial wildlife
    • Drivers of native pollinator declines: role of landscape and climate change in agroecosystems
    •  Pollination potential modeling: national assessment
  2. Climate change adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation
    • Importance of timing of conservation actions under climate change
    • Systematic conservation planning
  3. Accounting for uncertainties in biodiversity conservation




The title says it all.

Work from a recent collaboration is out in the journal Ecology titled Latitudinal gradients in herbivory on Oenothera biennis vary according to herbivore guild and specialization. This research was led by PhD student Daniel Anstett and Prof. Marc Johnson from the University of Toronto-Mississauga, who set out to test the latitudinal herbivory-defense hypothesis (LHDH) using Oenothera biennis L. (Onagraceae) as a study species. The running hypothesis is that herbivory and plant defenses increase toward lower latitudes. They did a lot of work sampling and quantifying herbivory at sites located across the entire species’ range. The results show that latitudinal patterns vary dramatically among herbivore species, highlighting the lack of generality of the LHDH. This work points to the need to better understand the mechanisms driving such diverse patterns. Looking forward, understanding the influence of  climate-mediated changes on biotic interactions is an especially interesting area of research from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Enjoy the read!

By User:Kilom691 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Botanical llustration of Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose)

Photo contest: Toronto Chapter Society for Conservation Biology

Just under 2 weeks left!

I am the President of the Toronto Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB-TO) and we do a lot of neat conservation science and outreach work in the Greater Toronto Area. SCB is an international professional society, you can check out their site here.  As a local chapter, we are pretty busy: we are finishing up a two-year long project, SCB-TO goes rouge where we initiated a Citizen Science project that is developing a pollinator diversity baseline for Rouge Urban National Park. We are also currently hosting a photo contest with amazing prizes to be won:

Have a great photo? Why not share it for a chance to win a digital camera! Today the SCB-TO Nature & Wildlife Photography Contest, sponsored by Downtown Camera & Olympus, opens for submissions. Residents from across the GTA are encouraged to get outside and explore with their camera. Contestants can submit photos in three categories, Flora, Fauna and Landscape, until May 14th.

To enter just visit www.scbtorontophotos.com and create an account, then upload up to five (5) of your original photos, and finally order display prints for judging & exhibition. Prints that you provide will help SCB-TO raise funds for local conservation projects through our Silent Auction. We’re also excited to announce that the highest ranked photos will be publicly exhibited at the stylish Baka Gallery Café from May 26th to 30th.

In addition to our grand prize, we have many amazing prizes available including camera equipment, outdoor gear and more! These great items have been generously donated byDowntown CameraOlympusMECPatagoniaRipley’s Aquarium of CanadaGrassroots Environmental ProductsToronto Field NaturalistsBloor Hot Docs Cinema, and Sheridan Nurseries.

Even if you’re not a shutterbug you can vote and share your favourite entries with friends online. Our goal is to get communities around our city thinking about conservation issues and more engaged with the natural world around them.