At our Gala Dinner next month, HAT is pleased to have Dr. Chris Darimont speaking. Chris is a Conservation Biologist and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California (Santa Cruz). Much of Chris’ research has focused on ecological and niche variation, particularly among predators – such as the unique behavioural adaptations of the wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest. While the ecosystems of the Central Coast and those of southern Vancouver Island are quite different, the unique relationship between wolves, bears, salmon and people have played an important role in both.
Chris' research has helped us understand how wolves and salmon interact with other wildlife, and even plants, to help shape BC’s coastal forests into some of the richest, most productive forests on the planet. Dr Darimont’s work, combined with his passion and spectacular photography, has led him to be featured in the National Geographic documentary Last Stand of the Great Bear, and to co-author of the award-winning book The Last Wild Wolves; Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest. His research has been recognized as well – in 2009 Discover magazine cited a paper Chris was the lead author of as number 30 on their list of the top 100 science stories. Our understanding of the role of apex predators, particularly wolves and bears, in coastal forests as expanded greatly in the past decade as Chris and other conservation biologists use technology, and a great deal of patience, to reveal the hidden lives of these charismatic creatures.
Twyla Roscovich posted this short documentary entitled Last of Wild Wolves, featuring Chris and his colleagues at the Raincoast Conservation Society.