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David R. Roberts, PhD
Ecologist / Data Scientist


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Conservation Biology
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, 2007-2013
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography
    University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta, 2000-2004
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History
    University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta, 2000-2004)
  • Arts & Sciences Diploma (Honours)
    Mount Royal University (Calgary, Alberta, 1996-2000)


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary (Feb 2017 – Present)
    I am developing a variety of data sets from the Kluane Lake Region in the Yukon. Part of this research involves setting up new climate monitoring stations, as well as developing a variety of environmental analyses based on climate data, such as lake ice phenology and northern species habitat models. I am also undertaking a large scale data synthesis and public data access project for the Kluane Lake Research Station, to facilitate local community and researcher access to past metadata and field sampling sites in the region.
  • Environmental & Academic Consulting, Self-Employed (2012 – Present)
    I currently work full time (and have worked casually in the past) as an environmental and academic subcontractor. I perform data analysis, data presentation, and scientific writing for academic publications as well as environmental reports. I also have fieldwork experience in remote locations, including winter wildlife surveys (snow tracking).
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (Dec 2014 – Sep 2016)
    My research in Germany focused largely on statistical methodology and specifically on predictive model validation. I also investigated risks to natural and managed tree populations from climate change using growth data from genetic field trials of North American species planted in Europe.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta, Edmonton (May 2013 – Nov 2014)
    My postdoctoral research at the UofA involved a breadth of research in the area of climate change and forest ecology for management and conservation, particularly in relation to forest genetic resources. I also developed landscape-level climate and climate change risk assessment algorithms.
  • Land Survey & Drafting, Crape Geomatics Corp., Calgary (2004 – 2007)
    Between my undergraduate and graduate programs, I worked professionally at a resource development subcontractor, spending six months in the field performing land surveys, then over two years drafting well site and pipeline plans as well as project mapping for corporate clients.


Course Instruction:

  • Waldwachstum und Inventuren [Forest Growth & Inventories] (2015 upcoming)
    Responsible for the forest inventory module of this course, in collaboration with German forestry officials.
  • Biometrics & experimental design for the environmental sciences (2011)
    An intensive statistics course, delivered mostly to graduate students, covering data management and analysis in R and SAS. For this course, I was nominated for a university-wide Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Teaching Assistance:

  • Advanced multivariate statistical methods (2011)
  • Biometrics & experimental design for the environmental sciences (2010 & 2012)
    Three-time nominee and twice winner of a faculty-wide Student Teaching Assistance Award.


  • 2015/16 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (64,000€)
    Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, German Federal Ministry for Education and Research
  • 2011/12 NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (CAD$42,000)
    National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • 2011/12 Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship (CAD$20,000)
    Government of Alberta
  • 2011/12 President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction (CAD$15,700)
    University of Alberta, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research
  • 2010 Graduate Citizenship Award (Non-monetary)
    University of Alberta Graduate Students Association
  • 2008 Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship (CAD$10,000)
    University of Alberta, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research
  • 2008 Advanced Education and Technology Graduate Scholarship (CAD$3,000)
    Government of Alberta


  • 2016: Research supervision at the University of Freiburg, supervising Bachelor’s Thesis research.
  • 2012: Data analysis for NatureServe species risk assessments, preparing GIS and remote sensing data for online presentation, via the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI).
  • 2010-2011: Conference planning committee chair for the CONFOR West 2011 Conference
  • 2010-2011: Steering committee member for the 2011 Japan/Canada Consortium, through the Prince Takamado Japan Centre, Faculty of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta
  • 2010: Field research assistant for Dr. Shawn Marshall (University of Calgary) performing weather station maintenance and snow profiles at the Kwadacha Glacier, British Columbia
  • Regular peer reviewer for a wide breadth of academic journals, including Climatic Change, Ecology & Evolution, Global Ecology & Biogeography, Molecular Ecology, PLOS One, etc.


  • Roberts el al. (2019) “Assessments of downscaled climate data with a high-resolution weather station network reveal consistent but predictable bias.” International Journal of Climatology, in press.
  • Roberts et al. (2018) “Accelerated seed dispersal along linear disturbances in the Canadian oil sands region.” Scientific Reports, 8(1), 4828.
  • Roberts et al. (2017) “Cross-validation strategies for data with temporal, spatial, hierarchical, or phylogenetic structure.” Ecography, in press.
  • Roberts & Hamann (2016) “Climate refugia and migration requirement in complex landscapes.” Ecography, 39: 1238-1246.
  • Carroll et al. (2015) “Biotic and climatic velocity identify contrasting areas of vulnerability to climate change.” PLoS One, 10(10): e0140486.
  • Roberts & Hamann (2015) “Glacial refugia and modern genetic diversity of western North American tree species.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 282: 1804.
  • Hamann et al. (2015) “Velocity of climate change algorithms for guiding conservation and management.” Global Change Biology, 21: 997-1004.
  • Isaac-Renton et al. (2014) “Douglas-fir plantations in Europe: a retrospective test of assisted migration to address climate change.” Global Change Biology, 20: 2607-2617.
  • Roberts & Hamann (2012) “Predicting potential climate change impacts with bioclimate envelope models: a palaeoecological perspective.” Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21(2): 121-133.
  • Roberts & Hamann (2012) “Method selection for species distribution modelling: are temporally or spatially independent evaluations necessary?” Ecography, 35: 792-802.

For a complete list of publications, see my Contributions page or Google Scholar.