Marie Auger-Méthé


Marie has started a postdoc in August 2014 at Dalhousie University where she will be working with Dr. Joanna Mills Flemming  for the Ocean Tracking Network. She will be developing new methods to study the movement and behaviour of marine animals. To stay up-to-date with Marie’s work, visit her personal website.

PhD project

Movement is essential for species to survive. It allows individuals to disperse, find food, find mates, and escape predators. Although movement is important to individuals, it comes at a certain cost, and many species have evolved movement strategies that maximize the net benefits (benefits – costs).

My research focused on the movement strategies polar bears, and other northern species,
use to find food and to cope with the dynamic movement of the sea ice they live on. My
specific goals were to:

1) develop new ways to use movement data to identify what strategies animals used to
find prey and assess which strategies polar bears (as well as barren ground grizzly bear
and woodland caribou) use; and

2) investigate the impact for sea ice drift on polar bear home range size.

Most of my work was based on developing models that can be used to infer behavioural strategies using movement data collected through satellite telemetry.

For my PhD, I was co-supervised by Drs. Andrew Derocher  & Mark Lewis.

Previous work

For my MSc I have developed a photo-identification method for narwhals and wrote a  computer program to accelerate the identification process. I was supervised by Dr. Hal Whitehead at Dalhousie University and this  work was done in close collaboration with Marianne Marcoux  from McGill University.

For my BSc honour project I also worked on the photo-identification method, but with
long-finned pilot whales. I also had the opportunity to participate in a variety of research  projects, such as behavioural work on sperm whales and little-brown bats.


For an up-to-date list please see my Google scholar account

Auger-Méthé, M., M. J. Plank, and E. A. Codling (2014). Distinguishing between Lévy  walks and strong alternative models: comment. Ecology 95: 1104-1109


DeMars, C. A., M. Auger-Méthé, U. E. Schlägel, S. Boutin (2013). Inferring parturition and neonate survival from movement patterns of female ungulates: a case study using  woodland caribou. Ecology and Evolution 3: 4149-4160


Tancredi, A., M. Auger-Méthé, M. Marcoux, B. Liseo (2013). Accounting for matching
uncertainty in two stage capture-recapture experiments using photographic measurements of natural marks. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 20: 647-665


Fagan, W.F., M.A. Lewis,M. Auger-Méthé,T. Avgar,S. Benhamou, G. Breed, L.  LaDage, U. Schlägel, W.-w. Tang, Y. Papastamatiou, J. Forester, and T. Mueller (2013).  Spatial memory and animal movement. Ecology letters 16:1316-1329


Plank, M.J., M. Auger-Méthé, E.A, Codling. (2013) Lévy or not? Analysing positional  data from animal movement paths. In M. Lewis, P.K., Maini, and S.V. Petrovskii (eds.) Dispersal, Individual Movement and Spatial Ecology: a Mathematical Perspective.  Lecture Notes in Mathematics Vol 2071, Springer. p 33-52


Marcoux, M., M. Auger-Méthé, M.M. Humphries (2012). Variability and context- specificity of narwhal (Monodon monoceros) whistles and pulsed calls. Marine Mammal  Science 28: 649-665


Auger-Méthé, M., C.C. St. Clair, M.A. Lewis, A.E. Derocher (2011). Sampling rate and  misidentification of Lévy and non-Lévy movement paths: Comment. Ecology 92: 1699- 1701


Auger-Méthé, M., M. Marcoux, H. Whitehead (2011). Computer-assisted photo-identification of narwhals. Arctic 64: 342-352


Marcoux, M., M. Auger-Méthé, E. Chmelnitsky, S. Ferguson, M.M. Humphries (2011). Local passive acoustic monitoring of narwhal presence in the Canadian Arctic: a pilot project. Arctic 64:307-316


Marcoux, M., G. Larocque, M. Auger-Méthé, P. Dutilleul, M.M. Humphries (2010).
Statistical analysis of animal observations and associated marks distributed in time using
Ripley’s functions. Animal Behaviour 80: 329-337


Auger-Méthé, M., M. Marcoux, and H. Whitehead (2010). Nicks and notches of the
dorsal ridge: promising mark types for the photo-identification of narwhals. Marine
Mammal Science 26: 663-678


Marcoux, M., M. Auger-Méthé, and M.M. Humphries (2009). Encounter frequencies and
grouping patterns of narwhal in Koluktoo Bay, Baffin Island. Polar Biology 32: 1705-


Auger-Méthé, M. and H. Whitehead (2007). The use of natural markings in studies of
long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas). Marine Mammal Science 23: 77-93

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