Scott Nielsen, PhD, MSc, BSc
Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept
- (780) 492-1656
701 General Services Building
9007 - 116 St NWEdmonton ABT6G 2H1
Dr. Scott Nielsen is a Professor of Conservation Biology in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. In 2008 he founded the Applied Conservation Ecology Lab leading a research team that examines the responses of biodiversity to forestry and energy development and the effectiveness of mitigation/restoration actions. His interests are in terrestrial ecology (plant & animal) and its applications to the field of conservation biogeography that blends field studies of species with remote sensing, GIS, and statistical modeling/forecasting. using methods that blend field studies of species with remote sensing, GIS, and statistical modeling/forecasting. The geographic focus of his work is the boreal and hemi-boreal forests of western and central Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountain montane forests.
Dr. Nielsen is currently supervising ~15 graduate students and research staff. More details about his lab and research activities can be found at the Applied Conservation Ecology Lab website.
- 2005 PhD, Environmental Biology and Ecology, University of Alberta
- 1997 MSc, Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
- 1995 BSc, Biology (Ecology), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
- Eastern Scholar, China (2018-2021)
- Research and Innovation Award, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (2013)
- Teacher of the Year, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (2016/17, 2013/14, 2012/13, 2011/12, 2010/11)
- Award of Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students, Department of Renewable Resources (2012)
Major Responsibilities / Research Interests
Conservation biology; species distribution and habitat supply modelling; endangered species monitoring and management; conservation planning and reserve design; landscape ecology and biogeography; terrestrial ecology; habitat fragmentation; boreal & hemi-boreal forests.
To understand, map, manage, monitor and sustain biological diversity. My research interests are in conservation biology, ecology, biodiversity and biogeography of terrestrial plants and animals within temperate and boreal ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in understanding and applying ecological and conservation principles to support land management decisions and regional land use/conservation planning. I am, however, also interested in testing broader ecological questions, theory, and methods.
- RENR 496/796 - Conservation Planning (2011-present)
- RENR 364/765 - Principles of Managing Natural Diversity (2009-present)
- RENR 401 - Independent Study (2009-present)
- RENR 299 - Field School, Wildlife component (2010-present)
ENCS 299 - Special Topics in Field Skills and Their Application in the Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Focuses on specialized field skills, their application, and integration in different sub-disciplines of the environmental and conservation sciences. The course involves off-campus field experiences. A student is required to select a topic related to their major, but may take additional sections as part of their electives. Pre- or corequisite: REN R 290.
REN R 105 - Introduction to Environmental Sciences
This course introduces students to environmental sciences by exploring the relationship between humans and their environment; especially the issues and science on the biosphere, atmosphere, and its species. Emphasis is on understanding our natural environment, our human impacts, and approaches to sustaining, managing, and restoring our natural resources using real-world issues such as climate change and biodiversity conservation.
REN R 401 - Topics in Renewable Resources
Directed study in the multiple aspects of renewable resources. Open to third or fourth year students upon consent of instructor. Some sections require payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.
REN R 496 - Conservation Planning
Conservation Planning is a quantitative, inter-disciplinary applied science that prioritizes conservation actions in a spatially-explicit manner. It seeks to understand trade-offs between biological, social and economic factors associated with land use activities. The course is a combination of computing labs that demonstrate key principles and software, lectures to discuss key issues, and a student-led final project to apply key concepts and quantitative techniques. Special emphasis is given to Alberta's land use planning challenges, although North American examples and exercises are also used. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, or (REN R 364 or ENCS 364) and (REN R 201 or EAS 221) and (STATS 141 or SCI 151) and *81 university level credits.
REN R 596 - Conservation Planning
Conservation Planning is a quantitative, inter-disciplinary applied science that prioritizes conservation actions in a spatially-explicit manner. It seeks to understand trade-offs between biological, social and economic factors associated with land use activities. The course is a combination of computing labs that demonstrate key principles and software, lectures to discuss key issues, and a student-led final project to apply key concepts and quantitative techniques. Special emphasis is given to Alberta's land use planning challenges, although North American examples and exercises are also used. Not to be taken if credit received for REN R 496 or REN R 796.
Assessing the vulnerability of rare plants using climate change velocity, habitat connectivity, and dispersal ability: a case study in Alberta, Canada
Barber, Q.E., Nielsen, S.E. & Hamann, A.
Regional Environmental Change. 2016 January;
Boyce, M.S., Johnson, C.J., Merrill, E.H., Nielsen, S.E., Solberg, E.J. & van Moorter, B.
Journal of Animal Ecology. 2016 January; 85
Zhang, J., Nielsen, S.E., Mao, L., Chen, S. & Jens-Christian S.
Journal of Ecology. 2016 January; 104
Hamann A., Roberts D.R., Barber Q.E., Carroll C. & Nielsen S.E.
Global Change Biology. 2015 January; 21 (2):997-1004
Assessing nutritional parameters of brown bear diets among ecosystems gives insight into differences among populations
López-Alfaroa, C., Coogan, S.C.P., Robbins, C.T., Fortin, J.K. & Nielsen, S.E.
PLoS ONE. 2015 January; 10 (6):e0128088.
Proctor, M., Nielsen, S.E., Kasworm, W., Servheen, C., Radandt, T., MacHutchon, G. & Boyce, M.S.
Journal of Wildlife Management. 2015 January; 79
Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape
akahata C., Nielsen S.E., Takii A. & Izumiyama S.
PLoS ONE. 2014 January; 9 (1):e86181
Shafer A.B.A., Nielsen S.E., Northrup J.M. & Stenhouse G.B.
Evolutionary Applications. 2014 January; 7 (2):301-312
Teichman K.J., Nielsen S.E. & Roland J
Journal of Animal Ecology. 2013 January; 82
Environmental, biological and anthropogenic effects on grizzly bear body size: temporal and spatial considerations
Nielsen S.E., Cattet M.R.L., Boulanger J., Cranston J., McDermid G.J., Shafer A.B.A., Stenhouse G.B.
BMC Ecology. 2013 January; 13
Serrouya, R., McLellan, B.N., Boutin, S., Seip, D.R., & Nielsen, S.E.
Journal of Applied Ecology. 2011 January; 48
Relationships between grizzly bear source-sink habitats and prioritized biodiversity sites in Central British Columbia
BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management. 2011 January; 12:
Using digital time-lapse cameras to monitor species-specific understorey and overstorey phenology in support of wildlife habitat assessment
Bater, C.W., Coops, N.C., Wulder, M.A., Hilker, T., Nielsen, S.E., McDermid, G., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Environmental Monitoring & Assessment. 2011 January; 180
Dynamic wildlife habitat models: Seasonal foods and mortality risk predict occupancy-abundance and habitat selection in grizzly bears
Nielsen, S.E., McDermid G., Stenhouse, G.B., & Boyce, M.S.
Biological Conservation. 2010 January; 143
Smulders, M., Nelson, T.A., Jelinski, D.E., Nielsen, S.E., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Diversity and Distributions. 2010 January; 16
Detecting trends in species occurrence for a large-scale, long-term biodiversity monitoring programme
Nielsen, SE; Haughland, D; Bayne, E; Schieck, J.
Biodiversity and Conservation. 2009 January; 18
Noss, R; Nielsen, SE; Vance-Borland, K
Spatial Conservation Prioritization: Quantitative Methods and Computational Tools. 2009 January;
Nielsen, SE; Cranston, J; Stenhouse, GB.
Journal of Conservation Planning. 2009 January; 5
Aldridge, C.L., Nielsen, S.E., Beyer, H.L., Boyce, M.S., Connelly, J.W., Knick, S.T., Schroeder, M.A.
Diversity and Distributions. 2008 January; 14
Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., Beyer, H., Huettmann, F., & Stenhouse, G.S.
Biological Conservation. 2008 January; 141
A new method to estimate species and biodiversity intactness using empirically derived reference conditions
Nielsen, S.E., Bayne, E., Scheick, J., Herbers, J., & Boutin, S.A.
Biological Conservation. 2007 January; 137
Resource selection functions based on use-availability data: theoretical motivation and evaluation methods
Johnson, C.J., Nielsen, S.E., McDonald, T.L., Merrill, E., & Boyce, M.S.
Journal of Wildlife Management. 2006 January; 70
Munro, R.H.M., Nielsen, S.E., Price, M.H., Stenhouse, G.B., & Boyce, M.S
Journal of Mammalogy. 2006 January; 87
Gillies, C.S., Hebblewhite, M., Nielsen, S.E., Krawchuk, M.A., Aldridge, C.L., Frair, J.L., Saher, D.J., Stevens, C.E., & Jerde, C.L.
Journal of Animal Ecology. 2006 January; 75
Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Biological Conservation. 2006 January; 130
Can models of presence-absence be used to scale abundances? Two case studies considering extremes in life history
Nielsen, S.E., Johnson, C., Heard, D.C., & Boyce, M.S.
Ecography. 2005 January; 28
Grizzly bears and forestry II: distribution of grizzly bear foods in clearcuts of west-central Alberta, Canada
Nielsen, S.E., Munro, R.H.M., Bainbridge, E., Boyce, M.S., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Forest Ecology and Management. 2004 January; 199
Modelling the spatial distribution of human-caused grizzly bear mortalities in the Central Rockies Ecosystem of Canada
Nielsen, S.E., Herrero, S., Boyce, M.S., Benn, B., Mace, R.D., Gibeau, M.L., & Jevons, S.
Biological Conservation. 2004 January; 120
Grizzly bears and forestry I: selection of clearcuts by grizzly bears in west-central Alberta, Canada
Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., & Stenhouse, G.B.
Forest Ecology and Management. 2004 January; 199
Frair, J.L., Nielsen, S.E., Merrill, E.H., Lele, S., Boyce, M.S., Munro, R.H.M., Stenhouse, G.B., & Beyer, H.L.
Journal of Applied Ecology. 2004 January; 41
Nielsen, S.E., Boyce, M.S., Stenhouse, G.B., & Munro, R.H.M.
Ecoscience. 2003 January; 10
Nielsen, S.E., Kirschbaum, C.D., & Haney, A.
Conservation Ecology. 2003 January; 7 (2):10
Boyce, M.S., Vernier, P.R., Nielsen, S.E., & Schmiegelow, F.K.A.
Ecological Modelling. 2002 January; 157
Gradient responses for understory species in a bracken-grassland and northern-dry forest ecosystem of Northeast Wisconsin
Nielsen, S.E., & Haney, A.
Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. 1998 January; 86
Macrorefugia for North American trees and songbirds: Climatic limiting factors and multi-scale topographic influences.
Stralberg, D., Carroll, C., Pedlar, J.H., Wilsey, C.B., McKenney, D.W. & Nielsen, S.E.
Global Ecology and Biogeography.