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The CMU Scientist in Residence Lecture Series

2024 Scientist in Residence Public Lecture Poster

2024 Scientist in Residence | Dr. Allyson Menzies

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary

Honouring the Past, Safeguarding the Future: Prioritizing Indigenous Knowledge in Wildlife Conservation

In response to widespread concerns related to declining moose populations in Manitoba and Ontario, Dr. Allyson Menzies participated as part of a research team that developed a number of Indigenous-led moose monitoring programs. This initiative—in partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous environmental professionals—gathered information on moose in a way that weaves Indigenous Knowledge and Western science in a respectful manner.

In her presentation, Menzies will:

  1. describe values and teachings that guide Indigenous relationships to the natural world, and how they can be applied to environmental research,
  2. provide tangible example of a community-led moose monitoring program that uplifts Indigenous Knowledge and values to document change in moose populations over time.

Throughout, Menzies will emphasize the critical link between people and place, the need for cross-cultural understanding and relationship building, and how both of these lead to environmental practices that rooted in shared values like respect, reciprocity, and the desire for a healthy environment.

About Dr. Allyson Menzies

Dr. Allyson (Ally) Menzies is of mixed Red River Métis and Settler descent, from across Treaty 1 and 2 territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation. She studied hibernation physiology of cave-dwelling bats for her MSc, and winter physiology and behaviour of red squirrels, snowshoe hares, and Canada lynx in the Yukon for her PhD. Menzies’s postdoctoral work aimed to identify the Indigenous values that need to be better prioritized in wildlife monitoring and research, and to determine which methodologies and approaches are most effective at doing so. She is starting as an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary in March 2024, where she will continue to work on developing approaches to environmental research, monitoring, and management that truly respect Indigenous rights and knowledge systems to create a path forward for conservation science that is rooted in mutual respect, reciprocity, and reconciliation.

Student Forums

CMU Chapel (600 Shaftesbury Blvd.)

Wednesday, January 31
Dr. Menzies will narrate her journey from aspiring med student to a leader in integrating Indigenous Knowledge systems in wildlife conservation. This talk highlights personal growth and the value of authenticity in scientific careers. Bring your career path questions and be prepared to share your own stories.

Thursday, February 1
For this panel discussion Ally will be joined by her sister, lawyer, and CMU volleyball coach Jayme Menzies, as well as CMU student Katrina Lengsavath. They will reflect on the challenges and lessons learned in fostering diversity in higher education, law, and sport. Their stories offer insights and actionable steps for individuals and institutions to nurture truly inclusive environments.

Public Lecture

Wednesday, January 31
7:00–8:30 PM
Marpeck Commons (2299 Grant Ave.)

– watch the public lecture livestream here on January 31 –


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