Dr. Shelley M. Alexander

Shelley M. Alexander is a Full Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary. She has 25 years of experience studying wild canids and is an expert in geospatial analysis and spatial ecology. She founded of the Canid Conservation Science Lab, which employs mixed-methods and promotes Compassionate Conservation. She has led international research collaborations on carnivore conservation in Belize, Canada, Mexico, the USA and Zimbabwe.

Listen to her interview with Nature Labs

Critical Thinking Questions

  • Should we ask questions that can demand better, so long as we take into account the complexities that go hand-in-hand with every issue. Economics. Cultural and social values. Environmental consequences? Or do you disagree?
  • If science is clear, should that be the answer alone? Is it wrong to bring economics and social and cultural values into an equation?
  • Is it possible not bring these factors into account when science moves from a lab or research process and into the policy realm that impacts lives of people and animals, environments and economies?
  • If some people connect to nature through consumption, through hunting, is it wrong to make areas off-limits to people?
  • Will we ultimately shrink the number of people who will advocate for nature; who will support spending money conserving or restoring nature?
  • Is our impact on animals, on individuals, a problem we can’t afford to worry about? Or are ethics changing, is our research basis changing?
  • Is our current model of wildlife management curbing extinction or speeding it up?
  • Is the answer as simple as yes or no? Or are do we need to be more creative, carving our spaces for both compassionate conservation and the traditional North American Wildlife Management Model – for the sake of politics and for the sake of scientific testing?

More on Shelley

Watch an interview on Shelley's work with coyotes: Questioning Coyote Conversations

Listen to a podcast with Shelley: Urban Coyotes and pet safety + the new Sleep Rover Doggie Hotel & Daycare

Watch Shelley talk about her work at University of Calgary: Human and coyote conflict: Urban vs Rural

Favourite BookThe Joy of Living by Yongey Mingur Rinpoche