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Jacqueline Litzgus

Jacqueline Litzgus

Full Professor

School of Natural Sciences
Science, Engineering and Architecture
F-609A, Science Building Sudbury Campus


I have had the rare privilege to turn my childhood fascination into a career. I grew up catching snakes, turtles and toads in the forests and creeks near my house. As a professor, I have the opportunity to share my passion for these animals and their conservation with students in the classroom and in the field.

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph. There I met herpetologists Ron Brooks and Jim Bogart, and so began my formal training in herpetology. I did my MSc under Ron’s supervision at Guelph, studying the population ecology of Spotted Turtles at their northern range limit. In the summers, I taught biology to kids at a canoe-tripping camp, and so got to combine my interests in biology, teaching, and the outdoors.

Between my MSc and PhD, I worked as a Lab Coordinator in the Cryobiology Lab at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA. I worked with Rick Lee and Jon Costanzo, and their graduate and undergraduate students. I learned a whole new set of skills and gained an appreciation for physiological-ecology and the incredible adaptations that herps have for surviving winter.

After three years in the Cryo Lab, I decided it was time for me to return to graduate school, to answer the questions about latitudinal variation in turtle life histories that arose during my MSc research. So I left Ohio and moved to South Carolina to study the population ecology of Spotted Turtles at their southern range limit. I worked under the supervision of Tim Mousseau, an ex-pat Canadian, at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

After completion of my PhD, I moved to Long Island, New York to work as an Adjunct Professor at Long Island University and as a research associate at Applied Biomathematics.

Then, in spring 2004, I was offered the faculty position here at Laurentian University, and so I moved back home to Ontario after 8 years in the USA. I have been a professor at Laurentian since July 2004.

"I look at this turtle now in my hand and wonder what grace allows me to hold and ponder such a tangible piece of the history of life on earth..." David M. Carroll. 1991. The Year of the Turtle: A Natural History


  • BSc  1993  Wildlife Biology,  University of Guelph
  • MSc  1996  Ecology,  University of Guelph
  • PhD  2003  Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology,  University of South Carolina

Academic Appointments

2014-present     Full Professor, Laurentian University

2009-2014         Associate Professor, Laurentian University

2004-2009         Assistant Professor, Laurentian University

2004                  Adjunct Professor, Long Island University, New York

1996-1999         Research Lab Coordinator, Miami University, Ohio

Director, Vale Living With Lakes Centre & Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit

Adjunct Professor, Queen's University

​Past-Chair of the Board, Algonquin Wildlife Research Station

On The Web

Conservation Leadership Award from Ontario Nature:; 

Conservation Stories Canada interview:

Rebalancing Act podcast:

Canadian Geographic:

Science North Bluecoat Talks:

Laurentian University Research Excellence Award:;

CHS Blue Racer Award:

Pop Sci writing:

Pop Sci writing:

Research Affiliations:;

Research Gate:

VROC podcast about turtle evolution and conservation:


Research Program

My research program combines field and lab-based approaches, and basic and applied science. Projects in my lab address questions in the fields of population ecology and conservation biology of reptiles, and the application of ecological data to tests of mitigation and recovery actions. My work focuses on demography, maternal investment, road ecology, spatial ecology and habitat selection. Physiological research examines questions about bioenergetic, fitness, and thermoregulatory consequences of certain behaviours, particularly summer and winter dormancy, in reptiles.

Our research is funded primarily by NSERC, and previously by the Ontario government through the Species at Risk Research Fund (SARRF) and the Species at Risk Stewardship Fund (SARSF). We have also received support from Environment Canada's Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. We are grateful to our industry and government partners, especially Ontario Parks, for their financial and in-kind support. 

Team Litzgus Research News

22 March 2023: Congratulations to Jenna on the successful defense of her MSc studying the effectiveness of a new kind of mitigation strategy to deter female turtles from nesting on road shoulders. Huge thanks to Dr Chantel Markle for serving as the External Examiner, and to the research collaborators, Georgian Bay Biosphere and Shawanaga First Nation. This was the first MSc defense in a long time for which the entire examination committee, including the Chair, attended in person - it was wonderful!

March 2023: Congratulations to Tharusha on the publication of the first paper from her dissertation in PlosOne (!
And congratulations to lab alumnus Damien on the publication of his MSc paper in JWM, and thanks to LU for covering the Open Access fees (!  

February 2023: Congratulations to Jonathan on the publication of the first paper from his dissertation in Conservation Biology (!

January 2023: Happy New Year! The Litzgus Lab welcomes its newest member, Sabrina Lounsbury, who is starting her MSc as part of the lab's continued collaboration with the Georgian Bay Biosphere to investigate road mortality mitigation for SAR reptiles on the Bay. 

December 2022: Congratulations to Allie Gallon on the successful defense of her MSc thesis about the spatial ecology of hog-nosed snakes occupying an agricultual landscape. Big thanks to Dr Karl Larsen from Thompson Rivers University in BC for serving as the External Examiner! And congrats to Tharusha on the acceptance of the first paper from her PhD dissertation in PLOS One!

October 2022: Congratulations to Jenna Kentel for winning best in-person 5-minute talk at the CHS conference in Fredericton, NB! Way to go Jenna! The Litzgus Lab made 9 presentations at the conference -- WOW!

29 September 2022: Congratulations to Kyle Vincent on the successful defense of his MSc thesis about weaving knowledge systems to investigate the impacts of railways on wildlife. A huge thanks to Dr Jennifer Grenz (UBC) for serving as the External Examiner and for her thought-provoking questions about what it means to weave ways of knowing. 

September 2022: Welcome to new Litzgus Lab members Brooke Carroll (NSERC scholar) and Stephane Thibeault (OGS scholar)! Brooke is doing her MSc with the SAR team at Magnetawan First Nation and Steph is doing his MSc with the START team at Scales Nature Park; their projects are supported by Pattern Energy. Also welcome to new co-supervised PhD student Meg Britt, who will be in the Lougheed Lab at Queen's University, working on the conservation genomics of Massasaugas. Growing the Team!

26 August 2022: Congratulations to Stephanie Delay on the successful defense of her MSc about the impacts of windfarms and wildfire on turtle spatial ecology! Special thanks to Dr Jeff Lovich from the USGS for being the External Examiner -- his experience researching desert tortoises on California windfarms provided valuable insights.  

March 2022: Congratulations to Jess Lievesley of the Rollinson Lab at UofT for her paper accepted in Am Nat about sex ratio resilience! Yet another exciting chapter from the long-term turtle project at the AWRS. The Litzgus Lab is very excited to partner on this work!

February 2022: Congratulations to Cory T on the acceptance of his paper about the interactions of amphibains and windfarms in Herpetologica! This work was supported by an NSERC Engage grant in partnership with Evolugen (Brookfield Renewable). 

January 2022: Happy New Year! The Litzgus Lab welcomes its newest member, Aidan Maloney, who will be working with our research partner, Blazing Star Environmental, to assess the impacts of windfarm construction and wildfire on herp biodiversity in Eastern Georgian Bay; also in collaboration with Henvey Inlet First Nation. 

December 2021: Congratulations to Steven on the acceptance of his paper in CJZ about causes and benefits of high-density nesting in Painted Turtles - a special delivery from Santa!  Another exciting chapter in the series of papers from the long-term turtle project based out of the AWRS in Algonquin Park. 

September 2021: Litzgus Lab members gave three 5 minute talks and two 15 minute talks at the CHS online conference. Huge congratulations to Kyle for winning best 15 minute talk for his presentation entitled, "Weaving Indigenous knowledge and western science to investigate the impacts of railways on wildlife." Great job!

August 2021: Congratulations to Matt for winning best student talk at the TSA online conference! Congratulations to Steph D and Jenna for winning OGS scholarships! Go Team!

25 June 2021: Congrats to former PhD student, Sean Boyle, on the publication of his long-term road ecology study at Presquile Provincial Park. PhD student Matt Keevil is also an author on this study, now accepted in the journal, Biological Conservation.

30 April 2021: Today I am in mourning for my almost-200 colleagues who were terminated by Laurentian University in an inhumane and devastating CCAA restructuring process. Today is the last day of work for those colleagues and friends. They are paying the price for financial problems facilitated by administrators, board members, and insufficient funding from the province. This is brutal and unjust beyond words. 

March 2021: Congratulations to Kyle for winning best poster presentation at the Ontario & Canadian chapters of The Wildlife Society's online meeting! And congratulations to 4th year thesis student Amy Lemon for winning best 5-minute talk in the Ecology & Environment section (and for winning the Botany Trivia challenege) at the Ontario Biology Day online meeting hosted by McMaster University! And even more congratulations to Steph and Kyle for winning 2nd and 3rd place prizes, respectively, for their 1-minute sci-comm videos in the MSc thesis course! Litzgus Lab students making Laurentian shine during these cloudy times - Go Team!

February 5, 2021: Times are really tough at Laurentian at the moment. I want to send my sincere thanks to my research partners and collaborators who have been reaching out to say they've got my back. Your support is so greatly appreciated, and frankly, has brought me to tears on multiple occasions over this past difficult week. I am so fortunate to work with you. Chi-miigwech, merci, thank-you. 

January 2021: The Litzgus Lab rang in the new year by welcoming its newest member, Jenna Kentel, who will be doing her MSc on road mortality mitigation for SAR turtles in partnership with Shawanaga First Nation and the Georgian Bay Biosphere. 
We also rang in the new year with the publication of three papers in early January! 
Donnell's paper about the Blanding's Turtle "murder mystery at Misery Bay" was accepted for publication in CJZ, Matt M's paper about Ratsnake road mortality mitigation was accepted in Global Ecology and Conservation, and Matt K's paper about seasonal variation in somatic growth was accepted in Ecological Modelling. What an amazing start to 2021! Go Team!

December 2020: Big congratulations to Carter on his successful MSc defense! The defense spanned 2 days, 4 time zones, and 3 continents - a truly global experience. Carter's thesis was co-supervised by Dr. Julia Riley who tuned in from Stellenbosch, South Africa, and committee member Dr. Njal Rollinson tuned in from Maritime Canada, while Jackie was in Ontario. Huge thanks to External Examiner Dr. Stephanie Godfrey who joined us from one day into the future at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The attendance at the defense was incredible (there are certainly some advantages to meeting via ZOOM) - so many folks interested in learning about Painted Turtle basking buddies!  

October 2020: October had been a big month for the Litzgus Lab!  Some great things to celebrate during tough times. 
Congratulations to Matt Macpherson on his successful MSc defense!  Matt was a student at Queen's University and was co-supervised by Steve Lougheed.  Thanks to Dr Amy Chabot who served as the examiner. 
Congratulations to alumnus Sean Boyle for the acceptance of his paper about the impacts of highway widening on large mammals in the European Journal of Wildlife Research!  This paper marks a big milestone - Jackie's 100th paper! 
​And congrats to alumnus Patrick Moldowan on the acceptance of his paper in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology - the capstone paper on his extensive MSc thesis work examining reproductive behaviour in Painted Turtles. 

September 2020: Welcome new Litzgus Lab members, Steph Delay and Kyle Vincent!  I am excited that their projects build on our collaborations with three First Nation communities along Eastern Georgian Bay.  Steph is working at Henvey Inlet First Nation, and Kyle is working at Magnetawan and Shawanaga First Nations.

June 2020: Congratulations to Cory T on the successful defense of his MSc!  Big thanks to Dr. Glenn Cunnington from RiverStone Environmental for serving as the External Examiner.  And sincere thanks to our industrial partner, Brookfield-Evolugen, for their amazing support on this project.  The whole defense was done using ZOOM (as is our new normal) and it worked without a hitch. 

June 2020: Wonderful news for incoming Litzgus labbers Stephanie Delay and Kyle Vincent.  Steph was awarded an NSERC CGS-M and Kyle was awarded an OGS.  Congratulations!  Both will be starting their MSc programs in Sept 2020.  

May 2020: Litzgus Lab grad students--past, present and future--have been gathering for virtual Happy Hour on some Friday afternoons. Our first ZOOM gathering included almost 30 people from 3 continents, including all 3 alumni from the very first lab cohort!  That's 15 years of academic family on one screen, including several F1s.  It is so great to connect with everyone during these usual times.

April 2020: Congrats to Tharusha and Jonathan for successfully passing their PhD comprehensive exams! Special thanks to external examiners, Dr. Russ Burke (NY) and Dr. Rich King (IL), for giving their time and expertise. 

March 2020: Congrats to Damien on the publication of his MSc work in Biological Conservation! This work was a collaborative effort among many people over a long time, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the work, and to see the results of the analyses come to light in a top-notch journal.

January 2020: Many of the lab members went to the World Congress of Herpetology in Dunedin, NZ!  We delivered 9 presentations.  Herps and Hobbits - what could be better?!

Current Graduate Students (10)

Meg Britt (Ph.D. candidate; co-supervised w/ S. Lougheed, Mitacs) - Using genomic tools to inform conservation recommendations for Massasauga Rattlesnake populations in Ontario.

Brooke Carroll (M.Sc. candidate; NSERC CGS-M and Weston Family Foundation scholar) - Impacts of highway and powerline development on turtles and plants of Indigenous significance.

Jonathan Choquette (Ph.D. candidate, part-time; co-supervised w/ T. Pitcher, NSERC CREATE ReNewZoo program) - Reintroduction of Massasauga Rattlesnakes into Ojibway Prairie.  

Matt Keevil (Ph.D. candidate, part-time) - Demographic processes and the role of dispersal in a long-lived turtle species after a local catastrophe.

Jenna Kentel (M.Sc. candidate; OGS scholar) - Testing the effectiveness of a new road mortality mitigation strategy, rip-rap and paved shoulders, for SAR turtles in the context of community ecology.

Sabrina Lounsbury (M.Sc. candidate) - Testing the effectiveness of a new style of exclusion fencing to prevent road mortality of Eastern Foxsnakes. 

Aidan Maloney (M.Sc. candidate; Mitacs and QEII scholar) - Impacts of windfarm construction and wildfire on amphibian and reptile biodiversity in central Ontario.

Stephane Thibeault (M.Sc. candidate; OGS scholar) - Spatial ecology and demography of central Ontario populations of Spotted Turtles.

Heather VanDenDiepstraten (M.Sc. candidate, part-time) - Effects of changing lake levels on turtle spatial ecology, nest site selection, and population viability.

Tharusha Wijewardena (Ph.D. candidate; co-supervised w/ N. Mandrak, NSERC CREATE ReNewZoo program) - Evaluation of the Blanding's Turtle reintroduction program into the Rouge National Urban Park, Toronto.

Graduate Student and Postdoc Alumni (30)

James Baxter-Gilbert (M.Sc. 2014; co-supervised w/ D. Lesbarrères) – The long road ahead: Understanding road-related threats to reptiles and testing if current mitigation measures are effective at minimizing impacts.

Amanda Bennett (M.Sc. 2009) – Effects of habitat fragmentation on the spatial ecology and genetics of Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica).

Sean Boyle (Ph.D. 2019: co-supervised w/ D. Lesbarreres) - A road to conservation: Understanding the dynamics of road-effects and road-effects mitigation.

Michael Colley (M.Sc. 2015; co-supervised w/ S. Lougheed) - Evaluating population-level effectiveness of road mortality mitigation for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Christina Davy (Post doc; 2016) – Detection rates of SAR reptiles in Ontario: Using meta-analyses to produce evidence-based guidelines.

Stephanie Delay (M.Sc. 2022; OGS and NSERC CGS-M scholar) - Impacts of a windfarm and wildfire on the spatial ecology and habitat selection of an endangered freshwater turtle (Clemmys guttata).

Christopher Edge (M.Sc. 2008; co-supervised w/ R.J. Brooks) – Multiple scale habitat selection in Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii).

Katie Ellsworth (G. Dip. Science Comm. 2019) - Assessing people's knowledge and opinions about turtle road mortality mitigation.

Jean Enneson (M.Sc. 2007) – Population viability analysis and response to habitat change in Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata).

Donnell Gasbarrini (M.Sc. 2016; co-supervised w/ D. Lesbarreres) - Investigation into the cause of a mass mortality of a long-lived species in a Provincial Park and an evaluation of recovery strategies. 

Alexandria Gallon (M.Sc. 2022) - Spatial ecology and potential variables influencing fitness of a snake species inhabiting an anthropogenic landscape. 

William Greaves (M.Sc. 2007; OGS scholar) – A cold and harsh environment: Demography and spatial ecology of a northern population of Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta).

Geoffrey Hughes (M.Sc. 2016) - Navigating the thermal landscape: Spatial-thermal ecology of Wood Turtles in the north.

Steven Kell (M.Sc. 2018) - Nesting in close quarters: Causes and benefits of high-density nesting in Painted Turtles.

Jolene Laverty (M.Sc. 2010) – Measuring the effects of water-based recreation on turtle populations in an Ontario Park.

Matt Macpherson (M.Sc. 2020; co-supervised w/ S. Lougheed) - Evaluating conservation strategies for a threatened population of Gray Ratsnakes. 

Michelle Martin (M.Sc. 2011; co-supervised w/ J. Hamr) – Spatial behaviour and habitat use by Elk (Cervus elaphus) in response to highway construction and interprovincial relocation.

Hannah McCurdy-Adams (M.Sc. 2016; OGS scholar) - Anthropogenic influences on chronic stress and patterns of nest predation in freshwater turtles.

Patrick Moldowan (M.Sc. 2014) - Sexual dimorphism and alternative reproductive tactics in the Midland Painted Turtle.

Damien Mullin (M.Sc. 2019; NSERC CREATE ReNewZoo program) - Evaluating the effectiveness of headstarting for Wood Turtle population recovery.

James Paterson (M.Sc. 2011; NSERC CGS-M scholar) – Mitigating human impacts through residence creation and assessment of critical habitat for turtle species at risk.

Megan Rasmussen (M.Sc. 2009) – Habitat selection, foraging ecology, and maternal investment in a Lake Huron population of Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata): Implications for conservation and management.

Dan Reeves (M.Sc. 2007) – Modeling critical breeding habitat and body size variation in the federally endangered Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata).

Julia Riley (M.Sc. 2012; NSERC CGS-M scholar) – The importance of nest micro-environment for turtle conservation, hatchling overwintering strategy, and fitness.

Carter Rouleau (M.Sc. 2020; co-supervised w/ J. Riley - Socioecology of the Midland Painted Turtle in Algonquin Park. 

Kiyoshi Sasaki (Post doc; 2014) - Impact assessment and development of ecological restoration strategies for reptiles and amphibians inhabiting mining-disturbed environments.

Cory Trowbridge (M.Sc. 2020) - Herps in the wind: The ecology of herpetofauna in windfarms.

Kyle Vincent (M.Sc. 2022: OGS and NSERC-CGS-M scholar; co-supervised w/ J. Popp) - Weaving Indigenous knowledge and western science to investigate the impacts of railways on wildlife.

Katharine Yagi (M.Sc. 2010) – The effects of flooding on the spatial ecology and thermoregulation of Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata) in a southern Ontario population.

Gabriella Zagorski (M.Sc. 2019; co-supervised w/ D. Boreham) - Using spatial ecology data to inform development and mitigaiton of a trap rock quarry in Blanding's Turtle habitat.


  • Conservation Leadership Award, Ontario Nature, June 2022
  • Johnson Service Award, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), July 2021
  • Distinguished Herpetologist Award, Herpetologists League (HL), July 2020
  • Research Excellence Award, Laurentian University, March 2018
  • Mentorship Award, Magnetawan First Nation Lands Department, in recognition of long-term contributions to their Species At Risk program, March 2018
  • Blue Racer Award, Canadian Herpetological Society (CHS), in recognition of HQP training and long-standing contributions to research and conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Canada, September 2016 ​​
  • Community Builders Award of Excellence, Environment category (with Baxter-Gilbert, Riley, and Lesbarreres), City of Greater Sudbury, March 2015
  • Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Laurentian University, 2013

Professional Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Queen's University, Kingston, ON
  • Board Chair, Algonquin Wildlife Research Station (
  • Associate Editor, Ichthyology & Herpetology (formerly Copeia), American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH)
  • Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Zoology
  • Past-president, Canadian Herpetological Society (
  • Member, Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Subcommittee of IUCN
  • Board of Governors, ASIH
  • Board of Governors, SSAR


BIOL 1507 Introductory Biology II (winter term, 3 cr)

BIOL 3726 Animal Histology (winter term, even years, 3 cr)

BIOL 3746 Animal Ecology (fall term, even years, 3 cr)

BIOL 4017 Literature Review (fall term, 3 cr)

BIOL 4035 Research and Seminar 4th year thesis (fall and/or winter terms, 6 cr)

BIOL 4747 Herpetology (fall term, odd years, 3 cr)


2014-present only (* HQP/student author)

  • Choquette, J.*, J. Litzgus, J. Gui, and T. Pitcher. 2023. A systematic review of snake translocations to identify potential tactics for reducing post-release effects. Conservation Biology .

  • Mullin, D.I.*, R.C. White, J.L. Mullen, A.M. Lentini, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2023. Headstarting turtles to larger body sizes for multiple years increases survivorship but with diminishing returns. Journal of Wildlife Management (in press). 

  • Delay, S.J.*and J.D. Litzgus. 2022. Clemmys guttata (Spotted Turtle). Nest predation. Herpetological Review 53(3): 484-485.

  • Keevil, M.G.*, N. Noble*, S. Boyle*, D. Lesbarreres, and J. Litzgus. 2022. Lost reproductive value reveals a high burden of juvenile road mortality in a long-lived species. Ecological Applications (in press).

  • Kell, S.J.*, N. Rollinson, R.J. Brooks and J.D. Litzgus. 2022. Nesting in close quarters: Causes and benefits of high-density nesting behaviour in Painted Turtles. Canadian Journal of Zoology 100: 208-218 (

  • Lievesley, J.A.*, E.G. Nancekivell, R.J. Brooks, J.D. Litzgus and N. Rollinson. 2022. Long-term resilience of primary sex ratios in a species with temperature-dependent sex determination after decades of climate warming. American Naturalist 200(4): 532-543. 

  • Trowbridge, C.M.* and J.D. Litzgus. 2022. Windfarms alter amphibian community diversity and chorusing behavior. Herpetologica 78(2): 75-85.

  • Vincent, K.D.*, J. Popp, S.J. Kell, A. Belleau, and J.D. Litzgus. 2022. Chrysemys picta marginata (Midland Painted Turtle) Novel railway mortality. Herpetological Review 53(2): 308-309.

  • Wijewardena, T.*, M.G. Keevil*, N.E. Mandrak, A. Lentini, and J.D. Litzgus. 2022. Evaluation of headstarting as a conservation tool to recover Blanding's Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in a highly fragmented urban landscape. PLoS One (accepted for publication 15 December 2022).

  • Boyle, S.*, M.G. Keevil*, J.D. Litzgus, D. Tyerman, and D. Lesbarreres. 2021. Road-effect mitigation promotes connectivity and reduces mortality at the population level. Biological Conservation 261: 109230.

  • Davy, C., L. Shirose, D. Campbell, R. Dillon*, C. Mackenzie, N. Nemeth, T. Braithwaite, H. Cai, T. Degazio, T. Dobbie, S. Egan, H. Fotherby, J. Litzgus, P. Manorome, S. Marks, J. Paterson*, L. Sigler, D. Slavic, E. Slavik, J. Urquhart, and C. Jardine. 2021. Revisiting ophidiomycosis (snake fungal disease) after a decade of targeted research. Frontiers in Veterinary Science (doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.665805).

  • Gasbarrini, D.M.L.*, D. Lesbarreres, A. Sheppard, and J.D. Litzgus. 2021. An enigmatic mass mortality event of Blanding's turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in a protected area. Canadian Journal of Zoology 99(6): 470-479 (doi: 10.1139/cjz-2020-0204).

  • Keevil, M.G.*, D.P. Armstrong, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2021. A model of seasonal variation in somatic growth rates applied to two temperate turtle species. Ecological Modelling 443: 109454 (doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2021.109454). 

  • Macpherson, M.R.*, J.D. Litzgus, P.J. Weatherhead, and S.C Lougheed. 2021. Barriers for big snakes: Incorporating animal behaviour and morphology into road mortality mitigation design. Global Ecology and Conservation (

  • Boyle, S.P.*, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarreres. 2020. Limited evidence for negative effects of highway widneing on North American large mammals. European Journal of Wildlife Research 66(90) (doi: 10.1007/s10344-020-01428-4).

  • Connoy, J.W.H.*, J.A. Leivesley*, R.J. Brooks, J.D. Litzgus, and N. Rollinson. 2020. Body size of ectotherms constrains thermal requirements for reproductive activity in seasonal environments. Canadian Journal of Zoology 98(10): 651-659 (doi: 10.1139/cjz-2019-0254).

  • Dillon, R.M.*, S.P. Boyle*, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarreres. 2020. Built it and some will use it: A test of road ecopassages for Eastern Gartersnakes. Journal of Herpetology 54(1): 19-23 (doi: 10.1670/18-163).

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2020. Sex, shells, and weaponry: Coercive reproductive tactics in the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 74: 142 (doi: 10.1007/s00265-020-02926-w). 

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2020. Demographics of injuries indicate sexual coercion in a population of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). Canadian Journal of Zoology 98(4): 269-278 (doi: 10.1139/cjz-2019-0238).

  • Mullin, D.I.*, R.C. White, A.M. Lentini, R.J. Brooks, K.R. Beriault, and J.D. Litzgus. 2020. Predation and disease limit population recovery following 15 years of headstarting an endangered freshwater turtle. Biological Conservation 245: 108496 (doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108496).

  • Boyle, S.P.*, R. Dillon*, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarreres. 2019. Desiccation of herpetofauna on roadway exclusion fencing. Canadian Field-Naturalist 133(1): 43-48 (doi: 10.22621/cfn.v133i1.2076).

  • ​Hawkshaw, D.M.*, P.D. Moldowan*, J.D. Litzgus, R.J. Brooks, and N. Rollinson. 2019. Discovery and description of a novel sexual weapon in the world's most widely-studied freshwater turtle. Evolutionary Ecology 33(6): 889-900 (doi: 10.1007/s10682-019-10014-3).

  • Heaven, P.C., J.D. Litzgus, and M.T. Tinker. 2019. A unique barrier wall and underpass to reduce road mortality of three freshwater turtle species. Copeia 107(1): 92-99.

  • Hughes, G.N.* and J.D. Litzgus. 2019. Impact of natural resource extraction on thermal properties of wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) habitat. Journal of Thermal Biology 84: 469-478 (doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2019.07.031). 

  • Hughes, G.H.*, M.Q. Kennedy*, and J.D. Litzgus. 2019. Preliminary assessment of the success of rehabilitation in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) through post-release measures of spatial behavior and body condition. Herpetological Review 50(1): 58-62. 

  • Paterson, J.E., J. Baxter-Gilbert, F. Beaudry, S. Carstairs, P. Chow-Fraser, C.B. Edge, A.M. Lentini, J.D. Litzgus, C.E. Markle, K. McKeown, J.A. Moore, J.M. Refsnider, J.L. Riley, J.D. Rouse, D.C. Seburn, J.R. Zimmerling, and C.M. Davy. 2019. Road avoidance and its energetic consequences for reptiles. Ecology and Evolution 9(17): 9794-9803 (doi: 10.1002/ece3.5515).

  • Valenzuela, N., R. Literman, J. Neuwald, B. Mizoguchi, J. Iverson, J.L. Riley, and J. Litzgus. 2019. Extreme thermal fluctuations from climate change to unexpectedly accelerate demographic collapse of vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination. Scientific Reports 9: 4254 (doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40597-4). 

  • Zagorski, G.Z.*, D.J. Boreham, J.D. Litzgus. 2019. Endangered species protection and evidence-based decision-making: Case study of a quarry proposal in endangered turtle habitat. Global Ecology and Conservation (

  • Zagorski, G.*, D. Boreham, and J.D. Litzgus. 2019. Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding’s Turtle). Feeding. Herpetological Review 50(1): 121.

  • Janzen, F.J. L. Hoekstra, R.J. Brooks, D. Carroll, J.W. Gibbons, J. Greene, J. Iverson, J.D. Litzgus, E. Michael, S. Parren, W. Roosenburg, G. Strain, J. Tucker, and G. Ultsch. 2018. Altered spring phenology of North American freshwater turtles and the importance of representative populations. Ecology and Evolution 8: 5815-5827 (doi: 10.1002/ece3.4120).

  • Keevil, M.G.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2018. Post-catastrophe patterns of abundance and survival reveal no evidence of population recovery in a long-lived animal. Ecosphere (doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2396).

  • Marchand, K.A.*, G.N. Hughes*, and J.D. Litzgus. 2018. Geographic variation in somatic growth rate of Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta). Copeia 106(3): 477-484.

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2018. Sex-biased seasonal capture rates in the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Canadian Field-Naturalist 132(1): 20-24.

  • Mullin, D.I.*, R.C. White, J.L. Mullen, J.K. Walton*, and J.D. Litzgus. 2018. Glyptemys insculpta (Wood Turtle). Predation. Herpetological Review 49(1): 106-107.

  • Zagorski, G.*, D. Boreham, and J. Litzgus. 2018. Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding’s Turtle). Aggression. Herpetological Review 49(1): 106.

  • Baxter-Gilbert, J.H.*, J.L. Riley*, S.P. Boyle, D. Lesbarreres, and J.D. Litzgus. 2017. Turning the threat into a solution: Using roadways to survey cryptic species and to identify locations for conservation. Australian Journal of Zoology (doi: 10.1071/ZO17047).

  • Boyle, S.*, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarreres. 2017. Road surveys vs. circuit theory to predict hotspot locations: benefits and challenges for implementing road-effect mitigation. Biodiversity and Conservation 26(14): 3445-3463 (doi: 10.1007/s10531-017-1414-9).

  • Colley, M.*, S. Lougheed, K. Otterbein, and J.D. Litzgus. 2017. Mitigation reduces road mortality of a threatened rattlesnake. Wildlife Research 44(1): 48-59 (doi: 10.1071/WR16130).

  • Edge, C., N. Rollinson, R. Brooks, J. Congdon, J. Iverson, F. Janzen, and J. Litzgus. 2017. Phenotypic plasticity of nest timing in a post-glacial landscape: How do reptiles adapt to seasonal time constraints? Ecology 98(2): 512-524.

  • Keevil, M.G.*, B.S. Hewitt*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2017. Patterns of intraspecific aggression inferred from injuries in an aquatic turtle with male-biased size dimorphism. Canadian Journal of Zoology 95: 393-403 (doi: 10.1139/cjz-2016-0182.

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2017. Assessing cranial dimorphism in the midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) using a photographic questionnaire. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 16(1): 76-82 (doi: 10.2744/CCB-1235.1). 

  • Riley, J.L.*, J.H. Baxter-Gilbert*, and J.D. Litzgus. 2017. A comparison of three external transmitter attachment methods for snakes. Wildlife Society Bulletin 4(1): 132-139 (doi: 10.1002/wsb.748). 

  • Colley, M.*, S. Lougheed, K. Otterbein, and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. Nerodia sipedon sipedon (Northern Watersnake). Reproduction / Arboreal mating. Herpetological Review 47(1): 149-150.

  • Hughes, G.H.*, L. Monck-Whipp, and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. Glyptemys insculpta (Wood Turtle). Potential anting behavior. Herpetological Review 47(3): 445-446.

  • Laverty, J.F.*, B. Korol, and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. Measuring the effects of water-based recreation on the spatial ecology of Eastern Musk Turtles (Sternotherus odoratus) in a Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Copeia 104(2): 440-447 (doi: 10.1643/CE-15-284). 

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. Quantification of cranial and tomiodont dimorphism in Testudines using the Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata). Zoomorphology (doi: 10.1007/s00435-016-0320-0).

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. Turtles with “teeth”: Beak morphology of Testudines with a focus on the tomiodonts of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys spp.). Zoomorphology 135: 121-135 (doi: 10.1007/s00435-015-0288-1).

  • Mui, A.B.*, C.B. Edge*, J.E. Paterson*, B. Caverhill, B. Johnson, J.D. Litzgus, and Y. He. 2016. Nesting sites in agricultural landscapes are a potential sink for turtle populations. Canadian Journal of Zoology 94: 61-67 (doi: 10.1139/cjz-2015-0154).

  • Riley, J.L.*, J.H. Baxter-Gilbert*, C. Guglielmo, and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. A novel approach for measuring body condition of snakes using quantitative magnetic resonance. Journal of Herpetology 50(4): 627-632 (doi: 10.1670/15-113).

  • Sasaki, K.*, D. Lesbarrères, C. Tremblay Beaulieu*, G. Watson and J.D. Litzgus. 2016. Effects of a mining-altered environment on individual fitness of amphibians and reptiles. Ecosphere 7(6): e01360 .


    Baxter-Gilbert*, J.H., J.L. Riley*, D. Lesbarrères, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Mitigating reptile road mortality: Fence failures compromise ecopassage effectiveness. PLoS ONE (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120537).

  • Baxter-Gilbert*, J.H., J.L. Riley*, C.J.H. Neufeld*, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarrères. 2015. Road mortality responsible for billions of pollinating insect deaths annually. Journal of Insect Conservation 19(5): 1029-1035 (doi: 10.1007/s10841-015-9808-z).

  • Baxter-Gilbert*, J.H., J.L. Riley*, P. Moldowan*, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Sistrurus catenatus catenatus (Eastern Massasauga) and Nerodia sipedon sipedon (Northern Watersnake). Diet and foreign object. Herpetological Review 46(1): 107.

  • Bennett, A.M.*, M.G. Keevil*, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Sternotherus odoratus (Eastern Musk Turtle). Home range. Herpetological Review 46(2): 245-246.

  • Boyle, S.*, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarrères. 2015. Chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle). Injury. Herpetological Review 46(2): 240-241.

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, M.G. Keevil*, P.B. Mills, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Diet and feeding behaviour of Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and Midland Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist 129(4): 403-408.

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, M.G. Keevil*, S. Kell*, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Anti-predator defenses of Brown Bullheads (Ameiurus nebulosus) and interactions with Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Canadian Field-Naturalist 129(2): 189-193. [journal cover photo by P.D. Moldowan]

  • Moldowan, P.D.*, M.G. Keevil*, N. Koper, R.J. Brooks, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Growth, sexual maturity, and reproduction of a female Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) afflicted with kyphosis. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 14(2): 157-160.

  • Sasaki, K.*, D. Lesbarrères, G. Watson, and J.D. Litzgus. 2015. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution. Ecological Applications 25(8): 2240-2254 (


    Baxter-Gilbert*, J.H., J.L. Riley*, G. Mastromonaco, J.D. Litzgus, and D. Lesbarrères. 2014. Using a novel technique to measure chronic levels of corticosterone in turtles living around a major roadway. Conservation Physiology 2 doi: 10.1093/conphys/cou036.  

  • Bennett, A.M.* and J.D. Litzgus. 2014. Injury rates of species at risk turtles on a recreational waterway in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Herpetology 48(2): 262-266.

  • Lesbarrères, D., S.L. Ashpole, C.A. Bishop, G. Blouin-Demers, R.J. Brooks, P. Echaubard, P. Govindarajulu, D.M. Green, S.J. Hecnar, T. Herman, J. Houlahan, J.D. Litzgus, M.J. Mazerolle, C.A. Paszkowski, P. Rutherford, D.M. Schock, K.B. Storey, and S.C. Lougheed. 2014. Conservation of herpetofauna in northern landscapes: Threats and challenges from a Canadian perspective. Biological Conservation 170: 48-55.

  • Paterson, J.E.*, B.D. Steinberg, and J.D. Litzgus. 2014. Effects of body size, habitat selection, and exposure on hatchling turtle survival. Journal of Zoology 294(4): 278-285 (doi: 10.1111/jzo.12176).

  • Riley, J.L.* and J.D. Litzgus. 2014. Cues used by predators to detect freshwater turtle nests may persist late into incubation. Canadian Field-Naturalist 128(2): 179-188. 

  • Riley, J.L.*, S. Freedberg, and J.D. Litzgus. 2014. Incubation temperature influences hatchling phenotype of two freshwater turtle species in the wild. Evolutionary Ecology Research 16: 397-416. 

  • Riley, J.L.*, G.J. Tattersall, and J.D. Litzgus. 2014. Potential sources of intra-population variation in painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) hatchling overwintering strategy. Journal of Experimental Biology 217(23): 4174-4183. [journal cover photo by J.L. Riley]