Samantha 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 also built on this work to investigate the factors that drive non-breeding season movements of this species.

I began my position as lab manager by running two of the monarch butterfly projects in the lab. (1) The 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 was to develop optimal management strategies for milkweed in right-of-ways for monarch butterflies. (2) Evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides are a threat to many pollinator species has made it important to understand the effects of these pesticides on monarchs. For the second project, I studied how milkweed growing alongside a neonicotinoid-treated corn crop affects monarch butterfly breeding and migration.

In 2019 I began a position with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as the Weston Family Science Program Manager, though I continue to work with the Norris lab.

Publications

Gow, EA, Knight, SM, Bradley, DW, Clark, RG, Winkler, DW, 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, Whittingham, LA, & Norris, DR. 2019. Effects of spring migration distance on tree swallow reproductive success within and between flyways. Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution 7: 380.

Knight, SM, Pitman, GM, Flockhart, DTT & Norris, DR. 2019. Radio-tracking reveals how wind and temperature influence the pace of insect migration. Biology Letters 15: 20190327.


Knight, SM, Norris, DR, Derbyshire, R, Flockhart, DTT. 2019. Strategic mowing of roadside milkweeds increases monarch butterfly oviposition. Global Ecology & Conservation 19: e00678.

Knight, SM, Gow, EA, Bradley, DW, Clark, RG, 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, Whittingham, LA, Winkler, DW & Norris, DR. 2019. Non-breeding season movements of a migratory songbird are related to declines in resource availability. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 136(3): ukz028.

Gow, EA, Burke, L, Winkler, DW, Knight, SM, Bradley, DW, Clark, RG, Belise, M, Berzins, L, Blake, T, Bridge, ES, 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, Whittingham, LA & Norris, DR. 2019. A range-wide domino effect and resetting of the annual cycle in a migratory songbird. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London: Biological Sciences 286: 20181916.

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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