Kirsten Wilcox

Degree: BSc (Hons), Queen’s University

Current Position: MSc Student



The annual migration of Pacific salmon represents an important cross-boundary delivery of marine-derived nutrients into not only freshwater systems, but also adjacent terrestrial ecosystems. There is increasing evidence of the profound influence of these marine inputs for plant and animal communities along spawning streams. The densities of some passerine species, including the Pacific Wren, have been positively correlated with salmon abundance along stream sites in Alaska and BC, but the mechanism maintaining these densities and its role in shaping intraspecific interactions remains poorly understood. I study Pacific Wren density, male territory size, and overall reproductive success as potential indicators of habitat quality among streams that vary in salmon biomass.

My study sites are along 13 salmon streams along BC’s Central Coast in Heiltsuk territory where I map territories, band birds, and search for nests of Pacific Wrens for 4 months of the year. The results of this study will contribute to our expanding knowledge of the far-reaching impacts of salmon on coastal ecosystem processes.