Contributors   Leave a comment

This site is a place to learn and think about the reasons that our turtles in Ontario are at risk, and what we might be able to do about it. The site is maintained by Dr. Christina Davy and the posts are written by a group of turtle researchers and people who love turtles.

Assistance for this project was provided by the Government of Ontario.


Christina Davy is a wildlife conservation biologist who is totally fascinated by turtles and bats. Christina recently completed her PhD with Dr. Bob Murphy in the Herpetology lab at the Royal Ontario Museum, where she studied the conservation genetics of Spotted Turtles and 2 other turtle species in Ontario. She is interested in conservation of wild species and spaces, and thinks that the world and pretty much everything in it is mind-blowingly amazing.

Ashley Leifso holds a Masters in Biology from the University of Guelph. She is interested in conservation biology and in learning more about wildlife and how wildlife can be conserved. She has worked an intern with Wildlife Preservation Trust Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum, studying conservation of Ontario turtles, and is currently beginning to study veterninary medicine.

James Paterson works for Ontario Nature coordinating the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. After doing research on many of Ontario’s turtle species for his M.Sc. degree at Laurentian University, he is now excited to get other enthusiastic people involved in conservation and citizen science.

MattBioPicMatt Keevil is a PhD student in Jacqueline Litzgus’ lab at Laurentian University. He is working with Painted and Snapping Turtles at two long-term study sites in Algonquin Provincial Park. He is interested in questions of density dependence and dispersal in Snapping and Painted Turtles. Before starting his PhD, Matt assisted with a research project looking at the effects of habitat fragmentation in Northern Map Turtles and Stinkpots along the Trent Severn Waterway.

Brennan Caverhill is a biologist, photographer, and teacher. Check out to see some of his work with Parks Canada, and visit to learn more about his work with the Ontario Turtle Tally. Some of his photographs can be found at and you will find him teaching this summer with Fleming College at the Royal Ontario Museum and Seneca College in King City. If you know of a high school that needs an excellent biology teacher starting September 2012, you can reach him at or 647-382-9907 ; )

My name is Olivia Vandersanden and I am a Registered Veterinary Technician at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Center and the Riverview Park and Zoo. I graduated the Veterinary Technician program at Seneca College in 2011 and that summer I took the Advanced Wildlife Technician Course offered at Seneca. I am currently enrolled at Sir Sandford Fleming College in the Fish and Wildlife Technology Program. Following my completion of this program, I plan to apply to Vet School to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. I have been extremely fortunate with the career path I have chosen. I have developed a special interest in turtles and now that I have the “turtle bug” as we call in at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Center, I know I will never be going back! The work that we do at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Center is extremely rewarding. We may see only a tiny fraction of the turtles in the world, but to that tiny fraction we are making a tremendous difference, and that is enough to put a smile on my face every time I head into work. I feel that I am making a valuable contribution to the preservation of these creatures. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to work in this field and with all the amazing people that care so much about wildlife. The work that we do is desperately important, more now than ever; and what an honour to have to responsibility to care for the creatures that make up the world we live in. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Leif Einarson untitledholds a Ph.D. in literature and language from Western University (London, Ontario). He works in communications, editing and photography, and has taught at Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Trent University. His areas of speciality are medieval literature and culture, children’s literature, and Canadian literature. Leif has done field-work on wildlife conservation projects since 2005. He particularly enjoys thinking about how the words we use condition us to relate to animals and their habitats, whether those words are individual names or entire stories, like Beowulf, Charlotte’s Web or Silverwing.


Posted August 1, 2011 by thinkingturtles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: