Shelley M. Alexander

Shelley M. Alexander


Contact information


Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy Geography, University of Calgary, 2001

M.S. Geography, University of Calgary, 1997

B. Commerce University of Alberta, 1989


Shelley is one of Canada's few international experts in wild canid ecology, specializing in coyotes and wolves. She also was a pioneer in the use of geospatial analysis in wildlife conservation and road ecology. Shelley is a Full Professor in the Department of Geography at UofC, and currently holds the inaugural Applied Ethics Fellowship with the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH).

Shelley leads the Canid Conservation Science Lab (@canid_lab), which practices non-invasive field methods and promotes the principles of Compassionate Conservation. After leading the Calgary Coyote Project (2005-2012), Shelley spearheaded the Foothills Coyote Initiative, FCI, (2015-present).  Funded by SSHRC, the FCI employs mixed methods (interviews, field ecology, geospatial analysis) to explore landowners situational knowledge about coyotes, wildlife and ecosystem conservation. Her other research collaborations include: Swift fox habitat analysis (Calgary Zoo), large carnivores and road effects in the Yucatan, MX (University de Campeche), hurricane effects on howler monkeys in Belize (UofC), and painted wolf conservation in Zimbabwe (Painted Dog Trust). Shelley teaches Animal Geography, Biogeography, Conservation GIS, Philosophy of Science in Geography, and Worldviews in Geography.

In her professional volunteer work, Shelley currently is an elected community member of UofC Senate. She serves on the Executive Council for the CIH, and previously was a member of the Board of Directors for the Society of Conservation Biology (N. America) and the Miistakis Institute of the Rockies (MRU), volunteered with the IUCN-Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, and enjoyed 7 years on the Calgary Foundation Environment and Recreation Grants committee. Shelley mobilizes science by engagement with media , UCalgary Living with Wildlife outreach (see website), public presentations, and volunteer guided hikes.

Shelley thrives on time in nature observing wildlife, monitoring coyotes, walking with her dogs, and riding her horse in the Alberta Foothills. 


Participation in university strategic initiatives