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Jean Polfus - University of Manitoba. Tulita, NT, CA

Jean Polfus Jean Polfus

Postdoctoral Fellow | University of Manitoba

Tulita, NT, CANADA

Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow working on caribou conservation in the NWT using non-invasive methods, traditional knowledge & sciart.

Media

Publications:

Jean Polfus Publication Jean Polfus Publication Jean Polfus Publication Jean Polfus Publication Jean Polfus Publication

Documents:

Photos:

Videos:

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Describing Biological Diversity - PhD Dissertation Summary 2015 - A Year in Photographs Caribou Scat Collection Skijoring the Ice Road BB98 - Here Comes Caribou -bou with Jean Polfus

Audio:

Social

Biography

Jean Polfus is a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Manitoba conducting genetic and traditional knowledge studies on caribou populations in partnership with the Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı (Sahtú Renewable Resources Board) and five Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę (Renewable Resources Council) in the Sahtú Region, Northwest Territories, Canada. Her project built a comprehensive understanding of the identities and relationships among caribou populations and Dene people in order to inform and prioritize management efforts. She is committed to an approach to conservation that respects the lives and experiences of people that depend on natural resources for their livelihood, facilitates cooperative long-term problem solving, improves the performance of ongoing research, and affirms the value of community caribou stewardship.

Areas of Expertise (26)

Ecology

Ecology - Animal Movement and Space Use

Conservation Biology

Conservation Genetics

Environmental Science

Wildlife Conservation

Wildlife Ecology

Wildlife Management

Wildlife Photography

Illustration

Photography and Image Making

Field Work

Environmental Policy

Biodiversity

Natural Resource Management

Population Genetics

Environmental Issues

Subarctic Ecology

Sciart

Non-invasive Conservation Methods

Caribou Recovery

Community-based Indigenous research

Traditional Knowledge

Community Based Participatory Research

Community Based Research

Indigenous communities

Accomplishments (2)

Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow (professional)

2016-05-05

This fellowship seeks to support early-career scientists to conduct and communicate world-class research that informs conservation and management issues relevant to Canada. Conservation science includes natural, social, and interdisciplinary research pursuits.

Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science (professional)

2015-05-01

In 2015 Jean was one of 20 conservation professionals to received the Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science. The newly established one-year fellowship included training workshops focused on enhancing science communication skills.

Education (3)

Dartmouth College: BA, Environmental and Evolutionary Biology 2006

University of Montana: MS, Wildlife Biology 2010

University of Manitoba: PhD, Natural Resources and Environmental Management 2016

Affiliations (1)

  • Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellowship

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (20)

The Art and Science of Studying Caribou

Arctic Deeply  online

2017-02-02

Profile as part of the "Emerging Leaders in Arctic Research" series.

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Jean Polfus live on Denendeh Sunrise - Caribou Research Interview

CKLB Radio Yellowknife  radio

2017-01-20

Live morning radio interview.

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Reindeer riddle: How do you tell caribou apart?

New Scientist  print

2016-12-14

Studying indigenous names for the animals may help us clear up a decades-long mix-up over caribou classification and reverse population decline.

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Sixteen Young Leaders Who Will Influence the Future of the Arctic

Arctic Deeply  online

2016-12-08

Meet the people who stand apart when it comes to improving education, fighting climate change, boosting international collaboration and revitalizing Indigenous culture in the Arctic. They are the ones we’ll be watching in the years to come.

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There may be a type of caribou that science never noticed

BBCEarth  online

2016-11-16

In the Sahtú region of Canada, science has identified three distinct groups of caribou – but the local people believe there is a secret fourth caribou.

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How to Name a Caribou

Last Word on Nothing  online

2016-07-29

Few species are more frustrating to taxonomists than the North American caribou. Ranging from the Canadian Arctic to the Great Lakes, caribou vary enormously in size, color, antler shape, habitat, and behavior. For more than two centuries, scientists have argued over the identities and distributions of caribou subspecies and populations, and while they now generally agree on the existence of four North American subspecies, naming criteria remains controversial and, in some places, wildly inconsistent.

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Researchers around the world are learning from indigenous communities. Here's why that's a good thing.

Ensia.com  online

2016-05-31

From Canada’s Far North to Australia, pursuing a more respectful relationship between science and traditional knowledge.

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What indigenous communities are teaching scientists about nature

VOX  

2016-06-05

In the rugged Sahtú region of Canada’s Northwest Territories, a district so remote that in winter only a single treacherous ice road connects it to the outside world, life revolves around caribou. For millennia, the Dene people lived as nomads, tracking vast herds across the Sahtú and harvesting the itinerant animals for their meat, skin, and bones.

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A Lesson From Indigenous Communities

Arctic Deeply  online

2016-06-10

From Canada’s Far North to Australia, researchers around the world are pursuing a more respectful relationship between science and traditional knowledge. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

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Caribou Study Merges DNA and Traditional Knowledge

Arctic Deeply  online

2016-05-24

The integration of Dene traditional knowledge into a genetic study of the different types of caribou in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories winds up providing some surprising results.

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Rooting the Caribou Family Tree

Edge North  print

2016-05-13

A revealing new caribou study shows how science and traditional knowledge can come together with fascinating results.

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BB98 – Here Comes Caribou -bou with Jean Polfus

Breaking Bio  online

2016-02-15

Jean Polfus is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba, and joins us from the edge of the Arctic to talk about her research on caribou ecology and evolution. We also discuss the role of traditional knowledge and native peoples in studying northern ecology, and how science needs more art.

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Drawn to Caribou

American Scientist  print

2016-01-16

In Canada’s Northwest Territories, an ecologist is replacing lab notes with sketches that blend genetic research with traditional ecological knowledge.

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Genetic research meets Dene knowledge

Inuvik Drum  print

2015-11-26

Story on a public presentation on caribou research given in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.

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A Novel Approach to Caribou Research

Wildlife Professional  print

2015-09-08

An article published in the Wildlife Professional (Fall 2015 Vol 9 No. 3: 28-32) on collaborative caribou research in the Northwest Territories.

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Caribou poo 'important baseline' for DNA research

CBC North  tv

2014-03-29

Researchers hope caribou samples will help explain relationship between different herds.

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New species at risk book comes out in Dene languages

Northern Journal  online

2014-03-24

Aboriginal language is being recognized in a big way in the Sahtu this month with the final touches going on a brand new book written in multiple Dene languages about species at risk in the region.

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Caribou poo sought by research team

CBC North  online

2013-10-27

A new research study is aiming to learn about caribou herds by analyzing their droppings.

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Sahtu caribou study looks for genetic links

Northern Journal  online

2013-06-10

Scientists are one step closer to unlocking answers surrounding the mysterious genetic pool of woodland and barren ground caribou in the Sahtu region following a large community effort to collect and submit scat samples over the winter.

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The Northern Living Series: Jean Polfus // Tulı́t'a, Northwest Territories

Wild Fir Tree  online

2017-02-15

In our forth interview for the Northern Living Series we hear from Jean Polfus, a postdoctoral fellow, who studies caribou while living in Tulı́t'a, Northwest Territories along with her husband Joe and their newborn son Tristan. Here she shares her experience of living in a small, fly-in community in the heart of Canada's true north, touching on life with 3 hours of daylight, northern childbirth, and Dene celebrations...

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Event Appearances (1)

Ɂełexé Eghálets’eda (Learning Together): Advancing sustainable strategies for caribou research through cross-cultural collaboration

Public Presentation hosted by UAlberta North and Faculty of Native Studies  University of Alberta

2016-10-06

Articles (10)

Creative convergence: exploring biocultural diversity through art Ecology and Society

2017-02-28

Polfus, J. L., D. Simmons, M. Neyelle, W. Bayha, F. Andrew, L. Andrew, B. G. Merkle, K. Rice, and M. Manseau. accepted. Creative convergence: exploring biocultural diversity through art. Ecology and Society.

Ancient diversification in glacial refugia leads to intraspecific diversity in a Holarctic mammal Journal of Biogeography

2016-12-16

Polfus, J. L., M. Manseau, C. F. C. Klütsch, D. Simmons, and P. J. Wilson. 2016. Ancient diversification in glacial refugia leads to intraspecific diversity in a Holarctic mammal. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.12918.

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Łeghágots'enetę (learning together): the importance of indigenous perspectives in the identification of biological variation Ecology and Society

2016-05-05

Polfus, J. L., M. Manseau, D. Simmons, M. Neyelle, W. Bayha, F. Andrew, L. Andrew, C. F. C. Klütsch, K. Rice, and P. Wilson. 2016. Łeghágots'enetę (learning together): the importance of indigenous perspectives in the identification of biological variation. Ecology and Society. 21(2):18

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The eastern migratory caribou: the role of genetic introgression in ecotype evolution Royal Society Open Science

2016-02-03

Klütsch, C. F. C., M. Manseau, V. Trim, J. L. Polfus, and P. J. Wilson. 2016. The eastern migratory caribou: the role of genetic introgression in ecotype evolution. Royal Society Open Science 3:150469.

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A novel approach to caribou research: incorporating indigenous perspectives on biodiversity The Wildlife Professional

2015-09-08

Polfus, J. L. 2015. A novel approach to caribou research: incorporating indigenous perspectives on biodiversity. The Wildlife Professional Vol. 9 No. 3:28-32

Experimentally derived δ13C and δ15N discrimination factors for gray wolves and the impact of prior information in bayesian mixing models PloS one 10

2015-03-24

Derbridge, J. J., J. A. Merkle, M. E. Bucci, P. Callahan, J. L. Koprowski, J. L. Polfus, and P. R. Krausman. 2015. Experimentally derived δ13C and δ15N discrimination factors for gray wolves and the impact of prior information in bayesian mixing models. PloS one 10: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119940.

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MEMGENE: Spatial pattern detection in genetic distance data Methods in Ecology and Evolution

2014-08-27

Galpern, P., P. Peres-Neto, J. Polfus, and M. Manseau. 2014. MEMGENE: Spatial pattern detection in genetic distance data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5:1116-1120

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Comparing traditional ecological knowledge and western science woodland caribou habitat models Journal of Wildlife Management

2013-12-05

Polfus, J. L., K. Heinemeyer, M. Hebblewhite and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. 2014. Comparing traditional ecological knowledge and western science woodland caribou habitat models. Journal of Wildlife Management 78:112–121.

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Impacts of residential development on ungulates in the Rocky Mountain West Wildlife Society Bulletin

2012-08-28

Polfus, J. L. and P. R. Krausman. 2012. Impacts of residential development on ungulates in the Rocky Mountain West. Wildlife Society Bulletin 36:647–657.

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Identifying indirect habitat loss and avoidance of human infrastructure by northern mountain woodland caribou Biological Conservation

2011-08-10

Polfus, J. L., M. Hebblewhite, and K. Heinemeyer. 2011 Identifying indirect habitat loss and avoidance of human infrastructure by northern mountain woodland caribou. Biological Conservation 144:2637-2646.

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