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

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Nic McLellan

Research Biologist

Overseeing science in the Atlantic Region which includes projects associated with Beaubassin Research Station and beyond.

Nic McLellan grew up in Sackville, NB where he developed a keen interest in biology and the outdoors.

Prior to his current job at Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), Nic worked on several research projects with the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. These projects involved a variety of bird species including shorebirds, songbirds, seabirds, and waterfowl.

Nic has been working for DUC since 2007 and oversees the science program in Atlantic Canada. With this position he oversees DUC science in the Atlantic Region which includes projects associated with Beaubassin Research Station and beyond. These research projects focus on a wide range of topics including wetland restoration (both freshwater and salt), productivity in managed wetland systems, anadromous fish passage in watersheds with DUC fishways, and waterfowl ecology. They are delivered through partnerships with various universities, government, and other NGOs. Nic represents DUC on university student research committees, the Nova Scotia Eastern Habitat Joint Venture steering committee, the Atlantic Canada Wetland Working Group, and the Atlantic Migratory Gamebird Technical Committee. Nic also represents DUC and DUI on the Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) and chairs the SDJV Habitat Management and Conservation Subcommittee.

Nic currently resides in Sackville, NB with his wife Amanda, their children Elsa and Camden, and their black lab “Flash”.


  • M.Sc., Biology, Acadia University
  • B.Sc. (Honours), Biology, Mount Allison University

Nic’s Publications (organized by year)

Gutowsky, S.E., G.J. Robertson, M.L. Mallory, N.R. McLellan, S.G. Gilliland, J. Paquet, A.A. d’Entremont, and R.A. Ronconi. 2022. Increased abundance and range expansion of harlequin ducks Histrionicus histrionicus wintering in Eastern Canada. Endangered Species Research 49:187-198.

Spares, A.D., M.J. Dadswell, N.R. McLellan, and M.J.W. Stokesbury. 2022. Opening the door: Alosa pseudoharengus (Alewife) passage through tide gates in two adjacent rivers on the Chignecto Isthmus, Bay of Fundy, Canada. Northeastern Naturalist 29:239-261.

Bowman, T. D., J. L. Churchill, C. Lepage, S. S. Badzinski, S. G. Gilliland, N. McLellan, and E. Silverman. 2022. Atlas of sea duck key habitat sites in North America. Sea Duck Joint Venture, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

McGuire, H.E., D.W. Dunnington, A.L. Loder, I.S. Spooner, M.L. Mallory, N.R. McLellan, and C.-C. Su. 2021. Evaluating the multidecadal response of historic seawater incursion events and salinity-induced meromixis at Laytons Lake, Nova Scotia. Lake and Reservoir Management 37:378-390.

Giroux, J.-F., M. Patenaude-Monette, S.G. Gilliland, G.R. Milton, G.J. Parsons, M.L. Gloutney, K.R. Mehl, D.G. McAuley, E.T. Reed, and N.R. McLellan. 2021. Estimating population growth and recruitment rates across the range of American common eiders. Journal of Wildlife Management 85:1646-1655.

Noel, K., N. McLellan, S. Gilliland, K.A. Allard, B. Allen, S. Craik, A. Demagny, M.D. English, A. Diamond, J.-F. Giroux, A. Hanson, H.W. Heusmann, L.E. King, C. Lepage, H. Major, D. McAuley, D.E. Meattey, G.R. Milton, J. Osenkowski, A. Roberts, G.J. Robertson, M.-C. Roy, L. Savoy, K. Sullivan, and M.L. Mallory. 2021. Expert opinion on American common eiders in eastern North America: International information needs for future conservation. Socio-Ecological Practice Research 3:153-166.

Stewart, S.I.D., A.D. Spares, J.L. Varela, N.R. McLellan, and M.J.W. Stokesbury. 2021. Running on empty? Freshwater feeding by spawning anadromous alewife Alosa pseudoharengus. Journal of Fish Biology 99:1415-1429.

Mallory, M.L., R.A. Ronconi, R.B. Allen, C. Dwyer, S. Lair, C.D. Mallory, N.R. McLellan, G.R. Milton, G.J. Parsons, L. Savoy, and M.D. Tomlik. 2020. Annual movement patterns of American eiders Somateria mollissima dresseri. Wildlife Biology 2020:665.

Virgin, S.D.S., A.D. Beck, L.K. Boone, A.K. Dykstra, J. Ollerhead, M.A. Barbeau, and N.R. McLellan. 2020. A managed realignment in the upper Bay of Fundy: Community dynamics during salt marsh restoration over 8 years in a megatidal, ice-influenced environment. Ecological Engineering 149:105713.

Landsman, S.J., N.R. McLellan, J. Platts, and M.R. van den Heuvel. 2020. Fishway effectiveness and upstream residency of three species at four fishways in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Northeastern Naturalist 27:48-76.

Pearce, J.M., P.L. Flint, M.E. Whalen, S.A. Sonsthagen, J. Stiller, V.P. Patil, T. Bowman, S. Boyd, S.S. Badzinski, H.G. Gilchrist, S.G. Gillildand, C. Lepage, P. Loring, D. McAuley, N.R. McLellan, J.  Osenkowski, E.T. Reed, A.J. Roberts, M.O. Robertson, T. Rothe, D.E. Safine, E.D. Silverman, and K. Spragens. 2019. Visualizing populations of North American sea ducks: Maps to guide research and management planning. U.S. Geological Survey open-file report 2019-1142, Reston, Virginia, USA.

Loder, A.L., I.S. Spooner, N.R. McLellan, J. Kurek, and M.L. Mallory. 2019. Water chemistry of managed freshwater wetlands on marine-derived soils in coastal Bay of Fundy, Canada. Wetlands 39: 521-532.

Landsman, S.J., N.R. McLellan, J. Platts, and M.R. van den Heuval. 2018. Non-salmonid vs. salmonid passage at a nature-like and pool-and-weir fishway in Atlantic Canada with special attention to Rainbow Smelt Osmerus mordax. Transactions of American Fisheries Society. 147: 94-110.

Lieske, D.J., M. MacIntosh, L. Millet, S. Bondrup-Nielsen, J.B. Pollard, G. Parson, N.R. McLellan, G.R. Milton, F. MacKinnon, K. Connor, and L.K. Banks. 2018. Modelling the impacts of agriculture in mixed-use landscapes: A review and case study involving two species of dabbling ducks. Landscape Ecology 33:35-57.

Loder, A.L., M.L. Mallory, N.R. McLellan, C. White, and J.P. Smol. 2018. Do rural impoundments in coastal Bay of Fundy, Canada sustain adequate habitat for wildlife? Wetlands Ecology and Management 26:213-230.

Loder, A. L., M. L. Mallory, I. Spooner, M. Turner, and N.R. McLellan. 2018. Nutrient availability reduced in older rural impoundments in coastal Bay of Fundy, Canada. Hydrobiologia. 814: 175–189.

Boone, L.K., J. Ollerhead, M.A. Barbeau, A.D. Beck, B.G. Sanderson, and N.R. McLellan. 2017. Returning the tide to dikelands in a macrotidal and ice-influenced environment: Challenges and lessons learned. Pages 705-749 in C.W. Finkl and C. Makowski, editors, Coastal wetlands: Alteration and remediation. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland.

Dunnington, D.W., H. White, I.S. Spooner, M.L. Mallory, C. White, N.J. O’Driscoll, and N.R. McLellan. 2017. A paleolimnological archive of metal sequestration and release in the Cumberland Basin Marshes, Atlantic Canada. Facets 2:440-460.

Nau, G.S., Spares A.D., Andrews, S.N., Mallory, M.L., McLellan, N.R. and Stokesbury, M.J.W. 2017. Body size, experience, and sex do matter: Multiyear study shows improved passage rates for alewife (Alosapseudoharengus) through small‐scale Denil and pool‐and‐weir fishways. River Research and Applications 33: 1472-1483.

Loder, A. L., M. L. Mallory, I. Spooner, C. McLauchlan, P. O. Englehardt, N. R. McLellan, and C. White. 2016. Bioaccumulation of lead and arsenic in gastropods inhabiting coastal wetlands in Bay of Fundy, Canada. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 227:75.

Fairn, E. R., N. R. McLellan, and D. Shutler. 2012. Are lice associated with Ring-billed Gull chick immune responses? Waterbirds 35:164-169.

McLellan, N. R. and D. Shutler. 2009. Sources of food delivered to Ring-Billed, Herring, and Great Black-Backed Gull chicks in marine environments. Waterbirds 32:507-513.

Shutler, D., D. M. Weary, and N. McLellan. 2005. The clones need to return: a comment

on Archer et al. (2003). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 91:363-365.

McLellan, N. R. 2005. Feeding ecology and ectoparasites of ring-billed gull chicks in a marine environment on Prince Edward Island. Thesis, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.

McLellan, N. R. 2002. The behaviour of the semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) and its relation to human disturbance and environmental factors. Honours thesis, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.