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Renowned Trent Ecologist to be Honoured with 2019 Distinguished Research Award

May 8, 2019

Dr. Erica Nol, an expert in the field of bird conservation, to be recognized during Convocation ceremonies in June

Dr. Erica Nol

Dr. Erica Nol – an internationally recognized expert in the conservation of endangered and threatened birds whose research has been widely published in the highest-profile journals of her field – is this year’s recipient of Trent University’s prestigious Distinguished Research Award. 

The honour is awarded annually at Trent’s Convocation to a deserving faculty member in recognition of outstanding achievements in research and scholarship.

“My esteemed colleague Dr. Erica Nol is a most deserving recipient of the Distinguished Research Award this year,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice president research and innovation at Trent University. “As an international expert, Dr. Nol’s ornithology research has resounding importance in the fundamental, ecological knowledge about shorebirds and forest birds and their conservation. Moreover her dedication to Trent graduate and undergraduate supervision is a consummate example to others. I offer wholehearted congratulations on behalf of the University to Dr. Nol for her superior dedication and far-reaching career research to date.  

“Erica is an incredibly well-rounded and highly accomplished scientist who brings passion and commitment to her research and to the training of the next generation of researchers,” added Dr. Marcel Dorken, director of the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program at Trent, who nominated Professor Nol for the award.

Over her career, Prof. Nol has frequently been consulted as an expert in the conservation of threatened and endangered birds and she has published 123 papers in refereed journals; 30 in the past five years. Prof. Nol has published in high-profile journals including Nature, Science, the Journal of Animal Ecology, and Animal Behaviour.

Her 2010 publication in the journal Science is particularly noteworthy, as it answers a long-standing question of why birds migrate northward. In addition to refereed publications, Prof. Nol has numerous other research contributions including book chapters, contract reports and international conference presentations include keynote speaking engagements.

Speaking of the honour, Prof. Nol said, “I have been very fortunate to have had many wonderful, enthusiastic and committed graduate students. And together I hope that we have been able to deepen our understanding of the natural world, as well as find solutions to some of the pressing issues, particularly in bird conservation.”

Prof. Nol has presented research across Canada, the United States and Europe and is a frequent reviewer for international journals. She also provides reviews for consultants, NGOs, government biologists and national granting councils.

Her research has been well supported financially by organizations including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

The quality of Prof. Nol’s research has gone hand-in-hand with a deep commitment to the education of graduate students. Over the course of her career, she has supervised 57 graduate students and the vast majority have secured positions in their field of research. Her lab is consistently one of the largest and most active in the Environmental and Life Sciences (EnLS) graduate program and she currently supervises 14 graduate students.

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

For more information or for a high-resolution image of Dr. Erica Nol, please contact:
Kathryn Verhulst-Rogers, manager, Marketing & Communications, Trent University, 705-748-1011 x6182 or

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