Our Team

Dr. Julia Riley

Julia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Mount Allison University where she is active in both teaching and research. She is an ecologist captivated with the wonders of nature. This passion for the natural world drives her research on the natural history, behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. By integrating theories and techniques across these fields to design and carry-out quantitative research her lab tackles both novel and long-held questions in animal ecology. You can contact her anytime at:


       Email:  jriley@mta.ca  |  Phone:  +1 (506) 364-2506

  Address:  Department of Biology, Mount Allison University, 63B York Street,

                     Sackville, New Brunswick, E4L 1G7, Canada

       Office: Flemington Rm. 11  | Lab: Flemington Rm. 13

Adjunct at Dalhousie University, Trent University, & Laurentian University

Current Lab Members

Issac Acker

Undergraduate Student (Hons) - Mount Allison University - 2022/23

Issac is testing for the presence and prevalence of snake fungal disease across native snake species in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This work will continue during the academic year as an Independent Study project at Mount Allison University wherein Issac will conduct the lab analysis and summary of his findings.

Sara Leslie

Undergraduate Student (Hons) - Mount Allison University - 2022/23

Sara is studying the health of salamander populations in New Brunswick across a series of managed forests. As salamanders are notable bioindicators that reflect the general health of an ecosystem, she will be using them to understand whether particular forest management regimes impact these creatures. This work will form the basis of her Honours thesis at Mount Allison University.

Alexia McCormick

Undergraduate Student (Hons) - Mount Allison University - 2022/23

Alexia is studying the mating behaviour of Eastern Red-backed Salamanders and whether/how it is affected by their colour polymorphism and environmental conditions. This work will form the basis of her Honours thesis at Mount Allison University.


Cameron Bell

Research Assistant - Mount Allison University  - 2020 to current

Cameron undertook his Independent Undergraduate Research Project at Dalhousie University with Dr. Riley. His research focused on examining the effect of moisture during incubation on the developmental plasticity of oviparous reptiles. His work expanded on the RepDevo database and he continues to move this work towards publication after graduation from his BSc. 


Dundee Riley-Baxter-Gilbert

Postdog - International Dog of Mystery - 2014 to current

Dundee's journey with the Riley Lab started in Australia, took him to South Africa, and continues in Canada at Mount Allison University. Throughout, his research interest in sleep ethology has never wavered. He has also expanded his behavioural observation skills in the field from echidnas to tortoises, and he hopes to continue to develop his technique with Canadian fauna.

Lab Alumni

Carter Rouleau | 2018 to 2020 | Socioecology of Midland Painted Turtles

MSc Student, Laurentian University  co-supervised with Dr. Jackie Litzgus

Georgina Binns (@georgtweet) | 2017 to 2018 | Colour variation in Amata Moths

MRes Student, Macquarie University, Australia co-supervised with Dr. Mariella Herberstein & Dr. Kate Umbers

Rebecca Raynal (@bec_raynal) | 2017 | Heritability of colouration in Jacky Dragons

BSc Honours Student, University of NSW, Australia co-supervised with Dr. Lisa Schwanz & Dr. Kate Umbers

Anna Küchler | 2016 | Tree Skink social learning

DAAD Rise Program Internship, Macquarie University, Australia

Caroline Fryns (@caroline_fryns) | 2016| Impacts of developmental environment on social plasticity of a reptile

MSc student, Université de Strasbourg, France

Côme Guidou | 2015 | Tree Skink social behaviour

Internship, Macquarie University, Australia

Marie Favre | 2014 | Tree Skink sociality

Internship, Macquarie University, Australia

Chris Neufeld | 2013 to 2014 | Road ecology of pollinators

BSc Honours student, Laurentian University co-supervised with Dr. James Baxter-Gilbert & Dr. Jackie Litzgus

Jennifer Baxter-Gilbert | 2012 to 2013| Conservation of at-risk reptiles

Field Technician, Magnetawan First Nation


Live Monck-Whipp (@field_daze) | 2011 & 2013 | Reptile road and hatchling turtle overwintering ecology 

Field Technician, Laurentian University and the artist behind the Riley Lab logo

Sean Boyle (@pqpturtles) | 2012 | Road ecology and conservation

Field Technician, Laurentian University

Beth McClaren | 2011 | Hatchling turtle overwintering ecology

Field Technician, Laurentian University

Patrick Moldowan (@algonquinwrs) | 2010 to 2011 | Turtle ecology and conservation

Field Technician, Laurentian University

Kassandra Hall | 2010 | Freshwater turtle ecology and behaviour

Field Technician, Laurentian University