Njal Rollinson joins the School of the Environment in July 2016: Assistant Professor studies ecological, life-historical, and political factors involved in the decline of reptiles, amphibians, and fishes

Monday, May 16, 2016 5:30:00 PM


Njal Rollinson turtle
Njal Rollinson is conducting a long-term life-history study of turtles in Algonquin Park. Right is turtle "A33" basking at Wolf Howl Pond in Algonquin Park (Photos courtesy of www.eeb.utoronto.ca and www.njalrollinson.com.)

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Njal Rollinson will be joining the School of the Environment as an Assistant Professor on July 1, 2016.  This is a joint position with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Dr. Rollinson’s current research explores the evolutionary ecology and life-history of reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. He has a strong background in field ecology and an interest in the ecological and political factors involved in population declines, including the impact of road networks and climate change on population persistence. He is taking over responsibility for maintaining a long-term turtle life-history study based in Algonquin Park, which is the one of the world’s longest-running studies on any reptile.

Njal completed his PhD in Biology at Dalhousie University in 2013, with a dissertation on the ecology and evolution of offspring size in Atlantic salmon.  He has an MSc in integrative biology from the University of Guelph, and a Bachelor of Applied Technology in environmental biology from Nipissing University.  He is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at U of T.   Njal has an impressive publication record, with numerous papers in leading ecological journals.  He will be a terrific addition to the School, particularly for our new Environmental Science program.

Congratulations to Dr. Rollinson for recently being awarded the 
2016 Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution Early Career Award. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology and evolution by scientists early in their careers.

He also recently received a 
NSERC Discovery Grant for his project on “Life-history trade-offs, seasonal time constraints, and the optimization of body size”.  The Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing long-term programs of research.  His research program aims to understand how life histories are influenced by the environment, and to apply this understanding to the conservation of exploited populations and species at risk.  Life-history traits have a direct and context-specific effect on fitness, and understanding the trade-offs and ecological context under which life-histories have evolved is central to understanding local adaptation, demographic rates, and extinction risk. Body size is central to many models of life-history evolution, yet there is no consensus on how body size itself is optimized. His goal in the next few years is to develop a better understanding of how size is optimized, and to explore how optimization is influenced by the physical environment.

Njal Rollison’s homepage
.  Email: njal.rollinson@utoronto.ca