Jackie Litzgus, PhD

Board of Directors

Jackie Litzgus received her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology from the University of South Carolina (USA) in 2003. She received both her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Guelph (Canada). Between obtaining her M.Sc. and Ph.D., Jackie worked as a Research Lab Coordinator at Miami University (USA), investigating the physiological-ecology of overwintering by turtles and frogs. She is currently a Full Professor of Biology at Laurentian University (Canada). Jackie has had the rare privilege to turn her childhood fascination into a career; she grew up catching snakes, turtles and toads in the forests and creeks near her house. Now as a professor, she has the opportunity to share her passion for these animals and their conservation with students in the classroom and in the field.

Jackie’s research program investigates geographic variation in the life history and behavior of freshwater turtles and snakes, and provides opportunities to train the next generation of conservation professionals in collaboration with numerous partners, including government agencies, NGOs, and First Nations. Much of her career has included studies of spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) from two populations at opposite extremes of the species’ distribution, Ontario and South Carolina, to test hypotheses related to adaptive variation in body size and reproductive output. Jackie is also interested in variation in seasonal activity patterns, habitat and temperature selection, and home range size as they relate to management plans designed to conserve populations of at-risk turtles. Her research findings have been incorporated into policy and recovery documents for turtles in Canada.