Sam Knight

Lab Manager (2017-present)

I completed my MSc in the Norris lab in 2017. For my thesis, I used tracking data from light-level geolocators attached to Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) originating from 12 sites across their breeding range to develop a range-wide migratory network and describe patterns of migratory connectivity. Such information about how populations are spatially connected between different periods of the annual cycle is essential for developing optimal conservation strategies for migratory species. I am now building on this work to investigate the factors that drive non-breeding season movements in this species.

As lab manager, I primarily manage two of the monarch butterfly projects in the lab. Previous research suggests that recovery of declining monarch butterflies (a species-at-risk in Ontario) depends on the availability (both quantity and quality) of milkweed plants, the only food plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars. The objective of the first project is to develop optimal management strategies for milkweed in right-of-ways for monarch butterflies. Evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides are a threat to many pollinator species has made it also important to understand the effects of these pesticides on monarchs. For the second project, I’m studying the effects neonicotinoids on monarch breeding and migration in an agricultural setting with milkweed growing alongside neonicotinoid treated corn.



Knight, SM, Bradley, DW, Clark, RG, Gow, EA, Belise, M, Berzins, L, Blake, T, Bridge, ES, Burke, L, Dawson, RD, Dunn, PO, Garant, D, Holroyd, G, Hussell, DJT, Lansdorp, O, Laughlin, AJ, Leonard, ML, Pelletier, F, Shutler, D, Siefferman, L, Taylor, CM, Trefry, H, Vleck, CM, Vleck, D, Winkler, DW, Whittingham, LA & Norris, DR. 2018. Constructing and evaluating a continent-wide migratory songbird network across the annual cycle. Ecological Monographs 88: 445-460.

Knight, SNorris, DR. 2016. Light-logging archival geolocators: opening the door to a new era of songbird migration science. Ontario Birds 34: 134-139.

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