Dennis Jelinski

Dennis Jelinski
Landscape and wildlife ecology

On leave

Office: DTB B212

PhD (Simon Fraser)

Area of expertise

Landscape and wildlife ecology

My formal academic training includes a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and Resource Geography (Brandon), MSc in Animal Ecology (Calgary), and PhD in Biogeography/Landscape Ecology (Simon Fraser). 

Following completion of my PhD in 1990 at SFU I ventured south for six years to the US academy.  I was recruited to the National Science Foundation-funded National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at SUNY-Buffalo, and then joined the faculty in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  I returned to Canada in 1996  to Queen’s University with a joint appointment in the School of Environmental Studies and Department of Geography.  I joined UVic’s Department of Geography in 2004.


Our current research focuses on wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, and conservation biology. Over the last 20 years or so, we have worked on a range of ecological processes ranging from wildlife habitat use to wildlife nutrition to biogeochemical exchanges across ecosystems, among others.  We strive to match taxa with the questions/hypotheses of interest, recognizing we have a fondness for certain species or processes.  

From a species-perspective, our work has dealt with coyotes, the cervid taxonomic family (including caribou, elk and mule deer), grizzly bears, a number of avian species and a few invertebrates. We have worked in the Mackenzie Delta (NWT), the Eastern Front Range of the Rockies and adjacent Purcell Mountains, northern Manitoba, the Great Plains of the US, and the west coast of Vancouver Island.  

Currently underway is a major collaborative  research effort with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and BC Ministry of Environment on the South Purcells Mountain Caribou Recovery project (see Lab website).  Another major research effort concerns the effects of post-fire environments on habitat use and reproductive success of woodpeckers, and a project examining the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem and its implications for ecology.


While our lab is research-focussed, I enjoy teaching and consider it an equally important part of my appointment at UVic.  Below are the courses I commonly teach, and their UVic calendar descriptions.  

GEOGRAPHY 101A - Environment, Society and Sustainability

Introduction to the functioning of the biosphere, the ways in which humans alter natural processes, environmental consequences of these alterations and the implications for sustainability. 

GEOGRAPHY 358 - Landscape Ecology

Emphasizes the interaction between spatial pattern and ecological processes.  Focus is on the role of spatial heterogeneity in affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms, mass and energy transfers, and alterations of this structure by natural or anthropogenic forces.

GEOGRAPHY 456 - Wildlife Conservation

Examination of conservation policies, programs, and management plans for wildlife.  Reviews historical foundations and social aspects of wildlife use, endangerment, range reduction and extinction, importance of species life-history, and critical biological issues involved in conservation.  Focus is on North America.

GEOGRAPHY 499 - Honour’s Thesis

Involves research and the writing and defense of an Honour’s Thesis.  Topics restricted to ecology, wildlife biology, biogeography and conservation.

Offered as qualified students and projects arise - See Research Opportunities

GEOGRAPHY 590 - Directed Studies (Graduate course)

Involves research and the writing and writing of a major paper, publication quality.  Topics restricted to ecology, wildlife biology, biogeography and conservation.