University of Alberta

Diane Haughland

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PhD Proposed Research 
Evaluating a taxonomically-broad, correlative biodiversity monitoring program: strengths, weaknesses, and remedies

Project Summary 
Management of biodiversity requires that we measure and monitor biodiversity surrogates, usually in the form of species or groups of species. However, there is debate about what surrogates should be monitored, and how monitoring should be implemented. The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Program (ABMP,
) is an example of one approach to monitoring. The ABMP is a taxonomically-diverse correlative biomonitoring program with the goal of assessing status and trends of multiple species across Alberta . The hypothesis is that with careful design, a correlative program can provide base-line data to document biodiversity changes over time, and evaluate status for many poorly-documented species. Terrestrial biomonitoring is a developing field; while opinions abound, there are few tests of the ability of programs like the ABMP to deliver results.

My first research goal is to evaluate the ability of the ABMP to monitor status and trends of multiple species from diverse taxa statistically, ecologically, and economically. My second, interlinked goal is to aid in developing accurate, efficient methods for monitoring species diversity and summarizing trends in species diversity, namely through quantification of species turnover (the differences in species composition evident when comparing sites).

I propose to address these objectives using species diversity of birds, lichens, bryophytes, and vascular plants. More specifically, I will

a) Compare two moss and lichen rapid biodiversity assessment protocols
b) Determine correlates of detectability in rare to common species captured by the ABMP
c) Look for consensus between different taxa in the biological classification of intact boreal forest
d) Compare species turnover at variable levels of human activity using the aforementioned classifications


2004 - Present   PhD Candidate, Ecology, University of Alberta
2000 - 2002       Master of Science in Biology, University of Victoria, British Columbia
1996 - 2000       Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Ecology, Thompson Rivers University (then University College of the Cariboo), Kamloops, British  Columbia 


Hiking, gardening, listening to stories about Dave and Morley on the Vinyl Cafe, coffee and conversation with labmates and other friends.

Haughland, D.L. and Larsen, K.W. 2004. Exploration correlates with settlement: red squirrel dispersal in contrasting habitats. Journal of Animal Ecology 73:1024-1034. (Elton Prize Winner 2004).

Haughland, D. and Larsen, K. 2004. Ecology of North American red squirrels across contrasting habitats: relating natal dispersal to habitat. Journal of Mammalogy 85:225-236.

Temple, N. F., Isaac, L.A. , Adams, B.A., Haughland, D., Engelstoft, C. and Garcia, P. 2002. Development of a Peer Based, Department-Specific Teaching Assistant Manual and Orientation.  Journal of Teaching Assistant Development 9(2):79-83.

Haughland, D. 2002. Natal dispersal and demography of North American red squirrels across contrasting habitats. Masters of Science Thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

Contact information
Diane Haughland, PhD Student
Phone: (780) 492-2539


Last Modified:2014-03-31