Ducks Unlimited Canada
Institute for Wetland & Waterfowl Research
PO Box 1160
Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada
R0C 2Z0

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James Paterson, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Measuring and understanding how habitat change and conservation solutions affect wetland biodiversity.

James joined IWWR in 2021. A quantitative ecologist and conservation biologist, James’ past research has evaluated how conservation interventions, such as habitat creation, population reinforcements and wildlife rehabilitation can benefit wildlife. He is passionate about conservation, species-at-risk and collaborative science.

The goals of his current research are to 1) measure the biodiversity benefits and associated ecosystem services of DUC’s wetland conservation work, 2) test how components of wetland biodiversity are related to ecosystem services, and 3) understand how biodiversity responds to habitat change.


  • Ph.D., Biology, University of Ottawa
  • M.Sc., Biology, Laurentian University
  • B.Sc., Zoology, University of Guelph

James’ Publications (organized by year)

Paterson, J.E., L.E. Bortolotti, and L. Boychuk. 2023. A wetland permanence classification tool to support prairie wetland conservation and policy implementation. Conservation Science and Practice 5:e12954.

Dillon, R.M., J.E. Paterson, P. Manorome, K. Ritchie, L. Shirose, E. Slavik, and C.M. Davy. 2022. Seasonal and interspecific variation in the prevalence of Ophidiomyces ophhidiicola and Ophidiomycosis in a community of free-ranging snakes. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 58:791-802.

Hjort Toms, A., L.V.T. Browning, S.Y.J. Angoh, J.E. Paterson, and C.M. Davy. 2022. Night moves: Nocturnal movements of endangered spotted turtles and Blanding’s turtles. Journal of Zoology 316:40-48.

Angoh, S.Y.J., J. Freeland, J.E. Paterson, P.A. Rupasinghe, and C.M. Davy. 2021. Effects of invasive wetland macrophytes on habitat selection and movement by freshwater turtles. Biological Invasions 23:2271-2288.

Davy, C.M., L. Shirose, L. Sigler, D. Campbell, R. Dillion, C. Mackenzie, N.M. Nemeth, T. Braithwaite, H. Cai, T. Degazio, T. Dobbie, S. Egan, H. Fotherby, J. Litzgus, P. Manarome, S. Marks, J.E. Paterson, D. Slavic, E. Slavic, J. Urquhart, and C. Jardine. 2021. Revisiting ophidiomycosis (snake fungal disease) after a decade of targeted research. Frontiers in Veterinary Science: Zoological Medicine 8:448.

Hjort, A., L. Browning, S.Y.J. Angoh, J.E. Paterson, and C.M. Davy. 2022. Night moves: Nocturnal movements of endangered spotted turtles and Blanding’s turtles. Journal of Zoology 316:40-48.

Paterson, J.E., T. Pulfer, E. Horrigan, S. Sukumar, B.I. Vezina, R. Zimmerling, and C.M. Davy. 2021. Individual and synergistic effects of habitat loss and roads on reptile occupancy. Global Ecology and Conservation 31:e01865.

Paterson, J.E., S. Carstairs, and C.M. Davy. 2021. Population-level effects of wildlife rehabilitation and release vary with life-history strategy. Journal for Nature Conservation 61:125983.

Davy, C.M., M.E. Donaldson, H. Bandouchova, A.M. Breit, N.A.S. Dorville, Y.A. Dzal, V. Kovacova, E.L. Kunkel, N. Martínková, K.J.O. Norquay, J.E. Paterson, J. Zukal, J. Pikula, C.K.R. Willis and C.J. Kyle. 2020. Transcriptional host-pathogen responses of Pseudogymnoascus destructans and three species of bats with white-nose syndrome. Virulence 11:781-794.

Paterson, J.E. and G. Blouin-Demers. 2020. High tolerance of two parasites in ornate tree lizards reduces fitness costs of parasitism. Journal of Zoology 312:102-110.

Carstairs, S., J.E. Paterson, K.L. Jager, D. Gasbarrini, A.B. Mui, and C.M. Davy. 2019. Population reinforcement accelerates subadult recruitment rates in an endangered freshwater turtle. Animal Conservation 22:589-599.

Paterson, J.E., J. Baxter-Gilbert, F. Beaudry, S. Carstairs, P. Chow-Fraser, C.B. Edge, A.M.Lentini, J.D. Litzgus, C.E. Markle, K. McKeown, J.A. Moore, J.M. Refsnider, J.L. Riley, J.D. Rouse, D.C. Seburn, J.R. Zimmerling, and C.M. Davy. 2019. Road avoidance and its energetic consequences for reptiles. Ecology and Evolution 9:9794-9803.

Paterson, J.E. and G. Blouin-Demers. 2018. Tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) growth decreases with population density, but increases with habitat quality. JEZ-A Ecological and Integrative Physiology 329:527-535.

Paterson, J.E. and G. Blouin-Demers. 2018. Male throat colour polymorphism is related to difference in space use and in habitat selection in tree lizards. Journal of Zoology 306:101-109.

Paterson, J.E. and G. Blouin-Demers. 2018. Density-dependent habitat selection predicts fitness and abundance in a small lizard. Oikos 127:448-459.

Paterson, J.E., S.L. Weiss, and G. Blouin-Demers. 2018. Experimental removal reveals only weak interspecific competition between two coexisting lizards. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96:888-896.

Paterson, J.E. and G. Blouin-Demers. 2017. Distinguishing discrete polymorphism from continuous variation in throat colour of tree lizards, Urosaurus ornatus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 121:72-81.

Paterson, J.E. and G. Blouin-Demers. 2017. Do ecotherms partition thermal resources? We still do not know. Oecologia 183:337-345.

Lennox, R., K. Choi, P.M. Harrison, J.E. Paterson, T.B. Peat, T.D. Ward, and S.J. Cooke. 2015. Improving science-based invasive species management with physiological knowledge, concepts, and tools. Biological Invasions 17:2213-2227.

Mui, A.B., C.B. Edge, J.E. Paterson, B. Caverhill, B. Johnson, J.D. Litzgus, and Y. He. 2015. Nesting sites in agricultural landscapes may reduce the reproductive success of populations of Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii). Canadian Journal of Zoology 94:61-67.

Davy, C.M., J.E. Paterson, and A.E. Leifso. 2014. When righting is wrong: Performance measures require rank repeatability for estimates of individual fitness. Animal Behaviour 93:15-23.

Halliday, W.D., J.E. Paterson, L.D. Patterson, S.J. Cooke, and G. Blouin-Demers. 2014. Testosterone, body size, and sexual signals predict parasite load in Yarrow’s spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovii). Canadian Journal of Zoology 92:1075-1082.

Paterson, J.E. B.D. Steinberg, and J.D. Litzgus. 2014. Effects of body size, habitat selection and exposure on hatchling turtle survival. Journal of Zoology 294:278-285.

Paterson, J.E., B.D. Steinberg, and J.D. Litzgus. 2013. Not just any old pile of dirt: Evaluating the use of artificial nesting mounds as conservation tools for freshwater turtles. Oryx 47:607-615.

Paterson, J.E., B.D. Steinberg, and J.D. Litzgus. 2012. Generally specialized or especially general? Habitat selection by snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in central Ontario. Canadian Journal of Zoology 90:139-149.

Paterson, J.E., B.D. Steinberg, and J.D. Litzgus. 2012. Revealing a cryptic life-history stage: Differences in habitat selection and survivorship between hatchlings of two turtle species at risk (Glyptemys insculpta and Emydoidea blandingii). Wildlife Research 39:408-418.

Rasmussen, M.L., J.E. Paterson, and J.D. Litzgus. 2009. Foraging ecology of spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) in Ontario. Herpetological Review 40:286-288.