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Environmental Studies (B.A.)

Environmental Studies (B.A.)

Kara Lefevre

Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for Environmental Studies BA
Phone: (239) 590-7159
Office: Wh 209


I am an ecologist and science educator with an interest in the consequences of human activity for biological diversity, including impacts on species distributions, community assembly, and ecosystem functioning. I have conducted such fieldwork in temperate, arctic and tropical ecosystems. My history as an environmental scientist includes experience within the government of Canada as a Biologist and as a Policy Advisor to the Minister of the Environment. Subjects that interest me include ornithology, behavioral ecology, seed dispersal, restoration ecology, wildlife management, biodiversity policy, and the interplay between science and politics.

My passion for ecology was sparked on the Toronto Islands, a natural gem in my hometown. An interest in exploring coastal environments has led me to studying birds in remote places such as Nunavut, Haida Gwaii, Manitoulin Island, and Newfoundland in Canada, the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and Madagascar and Trinidad and Tobago in the south. Pursuing my conservation biology research and teaching on Florida’s Gulf Coast is an ideal, exciting opportunity.

Positions held

  • Migratory Bird Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar, FIRST IV (Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching), Kellogg Biological Station / Michigan State University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow and Project Ecologist, Université Laval (Québec) and University of Alberta (Edmonton) / the Boreal Avian Modelling Project


  • PhD (2008) Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, joint degree in Environmental Studies, University of Toronto, Canada
  • MSc Biology (1996), Queen’s University, Canada
  • BSc Biological Science (1994), University of Guelph, Canada

Recent Publications

  • Cumming SG, D Stralberg, KL Lefevre, P Sólymos, EM Bayne, S Fang, T Fontaine, D Mazerolle, FKA Schmiegelow & SJ Song. 2014. Climate and vegetation hierarchically structure patterns of songbird distribution in Canadian boreal region. Ecography 37:137-151.
  • Lefevre, KL, S Sharma & FH Rodd. 2012. Moderate human disturbance alters composition of rainforest plant and bird communities. Biotropica, 44:427-436.
  • Cumming, SG, KL Lefevre, E Bayne, T Fontaine, FKA Schmiegelow & SJ Song. 2010. Toward conservation of Canada’s boreal forest avifauna: design and application of ecological models at continental extents. Avian Conservation and Ecology 5(2):8.
  • Lefevre, KL & FH Rodd. 2009. How human disturbance of tropical rainforest can influence avian fruit removal. Oikos 118:1405-1415.