Kathy Martin (scientist)

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Mary Catherine Martin
Kathy Martin
Born (1949-03-28) March 28, 1949 (age 74)
Known forCavity Using Wildlife and Mountain Avifauna
Academic background
EducationB.Sc. Biology (1970), University of Prince Edward Island,
M.Sc. Zoology (1973) University of Alberta,
Ph.D. Biology (1985) Queen's University
ThesisThe utility of bi-parental care in Willow Ptarmigan: ecological and evolutionary considerations (1985)
Doctoral advisorFred Cooke
Academic work
DisciplineConservation biology/ornithology
InstitutionsUniversity of British Columbia
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Kathy Martin is a Canadian ornithologist who is an expert on arctic and alpine grouse and ptarmigan, and on tree cavity-nesting vertebrates.[1][2][3][4] She is a professor in the Faculty of Forestry[5] at the University of British Columbia and was a senior research scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.[6]

Martin, who trained in ornithology, is past President[7] (April 2020-August 2026) of the American Ornithological Society. Martin continues to be active in Canada's Conservation Biology research and higher education community.[8] In the 1990s she represented Canada on the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN Species Survival Commission for grouse (galliformes). During the 2000s, Martin served on the council of the American Ornithologists Union (2003–07), and chaired the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Ecology and Evolution Grant Committee.[8]

At the national level, Martin participated in early discussions about the formation of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution in 2006, and was a founding member of the organization, later serving on its Governing Council (2008-11[9]). In 1996, Martin and her colleagues received The Wildlife Society's Wildlife Publication award, for their paper "Impact of food and predation on the snowshoe hare cycle."[10][11] In 1992, when she was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough College, Martin developed and taught one of the earliest courses in Conservation Biology in Canada: C65S.

Martin founded and directed two primary, long-term research programs in the Americas. The first, on the life history variation and ecology of alpine birds, began in 1980 and has expanded to sites in Australia, while the second, examining the structure and function of cavity-nesting vertebrate communities,[12][13] commenced in 1995 and expanded to other sites across North and South America.[14] The edited volume, Ecology and Conservation of Mountain Birds ISBN 978-1-108-94042-9 will be published by Cambridge University Press in late summer 2023.[15]

Early life and education[edit]

Kathy Martin is a native of Prince Edward Island, Canada. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1970.[16] She then completed an MSc at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in 1973,[citation needed] and a PhD at Queen's University, Kingston 1985, with geneticist Fred Cooke.[citation needed]

Following the completion of her doctorate on Willow Ptarmigan ecology, Martin received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta (1985–1988).[6]

Kathy Martin holding a willow ptarmigan in 1983


Martin founded and edited the first 40 issues of the Prince Edward Island Natural History society's newsletter.[17] In 1977, she wrote the guide Island Woodland Plants.[18]

In 1981, Martin wrote the monograph Watershed Red,[19] about the natural history of the Dunk River Watershed.

Martin with a painting of the Dunk River at Lucy Maud Montgomery's Birthplace

Martin was as an assistant professor at the Université de Sherbrooke from 1988–89, then an NSERC University Research Fellow and assistant professor in life sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus from 1989–1992.[citation needed] In 1993, Martin assumed a joint appointment with the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia and Environment and Climate Change Canada. Martin retired from the Canadian Federal Government in December 2020, and remains an emeritus scientist.[citation needed]

Martin has published over 200 journal articles and book chapters.[20]

Service to Academia and Conservation Biology[edit]

  • International Ornithological Union, member of Scientific Program Committee, January 2015
  • North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, chair, 2012
  • Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, founding board member, 2008–2011
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Grant Selection Committee – Evolution and Ecology chair 2003–04
  • Society of Canadian Ornithologists, president, 2000–02



  2. ^ Desk, Atlantic Briefs. "Dr. Heather Morrison among four receiving honorary degrees at UPEI convocation ceremonies | SaltWire". www.saltwire.com. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  3. ^ Findlay, A. Looking Up and Ahead: Kathy Martin's pursuit of the cryptic white-tailed ptarmigan (among other species) led her to many peaks over the years including to the very top of her profession. March-April 2022. Canadian Wildlife Magazine pp. 24-28. Canadian Wildlife Federation, Kanata, Ontario, Canada.
  4. ^ a b c Yarr, Kevin (26 October 2021). "Studies on resilience of birds earn P.E.I. ornithologist prestigious awards". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  5. ^ "Kathy Martin | UBC Forestry Profiles". profiles.forestry.ubc.ca. 14 April 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Branch, Government of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Science and Technology. "Environment and Climate Change Canada - Science and Technology - Environment Canada S & T Expert Profile". www.ec.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2017-09-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Faces of AOS: Kathy Martin Bio". AOS News. 2017-07-17. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  8. ^ a b "Government of Canada: Kathy M. Martin". 18 September 2017. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  9. ^ "Past Councils | CSEE – Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution".
  10. ^ Krebs, Charles J.; Boutin, Stan; Boonstra, Rudy; Sinclair, A. R. E.; Smith, J. N. M.; Dale, Mark R. T.; Martin, K.; Turkington, R. (1995). "Impact of Food and Predation on the Snowshoe Hare Cycle". Science. 269 (5227): 1112–1115. Bibcode:1995Sci...269.1112K. doi:10.1126/science.269.5227.1112. hdl:1807/488. JSTOR 2888056. PMID 17755536. S2CID 17661939.
  11. ^ "Wildlife Publication Awards | THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY". wildlife.org. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  12. ^ "UBC researcher roughing it in the bush to save endangered woodpeckers". The Globe and Mail. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  13. ^ "UBC researchers work to save endangered woodpeckers". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  14. ^ "Kathy Martin - Canadian Mountain Network". Canadian Mountain Network. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  15. ^ Chamberlain, Dan; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Martin, Kathy, eds. (2023). Ecology and Conservation of Mountain Birds. Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108938570. ISBN 978-1-108-83719-4.
  16. ^ a b "UPEI to confer four honorary degrees during Convocation 2023". UPEI. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  17. ^ "History". Nature PEI. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  18. ^ Martin, Kathy (2008). Island Woodland Plants (PDF). Canada: Prince Edward Island.
  19. ^ Martin, Kathy. Watershed red : the life of the Dunk River, Prince Edward Island.
  20. ^ "Kathy Martin - Google Scholar Citations". scholar.google.ca. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  21. ^ "PEI Forestry Commission". www.princeedwardisland.ca. 2023-01-20. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  22. ^ "Post-AOS18AZ Recap & First Official Letter from Newly Inaugurated AOS President, Kathy Martin". www.americanornithology.org. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  23. ^ "AOS Governance | American Ornithology". www.americanornithology.org. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  24. ^ "Bird Studies Canada". www.birdscanada.org. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  25. ^ "The Doris Huestis Speirs Award for Outstanding Contributions to Canadian Ornithology" (PDF).
  26. ^ "Congratulations to Kathy Martin on being awarded the Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award | UBC Faculty of Forestry". www.forestry.ubc.ca.
  27. ^ Krebs, Elsie A. (2018). "British Ornithologists' Union Godman Salvin Prize". Ibis. 160 (4): 943–944. doi:10.1111/ibi.12655.
  28. ^ Forestry, U. B. C. (2020-08-06). "Kathy Martin Receives Nancy B. Cutler Citation of Excellence". UBC Faculty of Forestry. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  29. ^ "Smith Award". sco-soc. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  30. ^ Elliott, Kyle; Cockle, Kristina (December 2021). "2021 Jamie Smith Memorial Award Recipient – Kathy Martin" (PDF). Picoides Newsletter. Society of Canadian Ornithologists. pp. vol 34, iss 3 p 9. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  31. ^ AOS (2021-10-06). "2021 William Brewster Memorial Award Winner: Kathy Martin". American Ornithological Society. Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  32. ^ "Distinguished Alumni | University of Prince Edward Island". UPEI. Retrieved 2023-05-26.

Major Publications[edit]

  • Boyle WA, Martin K. 2015. The conservation value of high elevation habitats to North American migrant birds. Biol Conserv. 192: 461–476. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.10.008
  • Cockle, KL, Martin K, Wesolowski, T. 2011. Woodpeckers, decay and the future of cavity-nesting vertebrate communities worldwide. Front Ecol Environ. 9: 377–382. doi:10.1890/110013
  • Jackson MM, Gergel SE, Martin K. 2015. Citizen science and field survey observations provide comparable results for mapping Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis) distributions. Biol Conserv. 181: 162–172. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.010
  • Martin K. 1977. Island woodland plants. Charlottetown (PEI): Dept. Environment. 74 p. [reprinted 1983 and 2008 available at: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/publications/pei_woodland_plants.pdf].
  • Martin K. 1981. Watershed Red: The life of the Dunk River, Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown (PEI): Ragweed Press. 155p.
  • Martin K, Aitken KEH, Wiebe KL. 2004. Nest sites and nest webs for cavity-nesting communities in interior British Columbia, Canada: nest characteristics and niche partitioning. Condor. 106: 5-19. doi:10.1650/7482
  • Martin K, Wiebe KL. 2004. Coping mechanisms of alpine and arctic breeding birds: extreme weather and limitations to reproductive resilience. Integr Comp Biol. 44: 177–185. doi:10.1093/icb/44.2.177
  • Sandercock BK, Martin K, Segelbacher G, editors. 2011. Ecology, conservation and management of grouse. Studies in Avian Biology. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press. 378 p.
  • Van der Hoek Y, Gaona, GV, Martin K. 2017. The diversity, distribution and conservation status of the tree-cavity nesting birds of the world. Divers Distrib. 23: 1120–1131. doi:10.1111/ddi.12601