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CMU welcomes Dr. Allyson Menzies as the 2024 Scientist in Residence

CMU welcomes Dr. Allyson Menzies as the 2024 Scientist in Residence

What is responsible environmental monitoring? How do STEM research and curricula unitingly participate in colonial practices that further degrade the spaces they seek to protect?

How can we dignify the past as we look to care for the future?

These are some of the questions Dr. Allyson Menzies will address and examine as the Scientist in Residence at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) on January 31 and February 1, 2024.

Menzies' work prioritizes Indigenous values and teachings within the context of environmental monitoring. Addressing the growing worries about decreasing moose populations in Manitoba and Ontario, Menzies collaborated with a research team to create several moose monitoring programs led by Indigenous communities. This joint effort, involving both Indigenous and non-Indigenous environmental experts, collected data on moose by integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Western science in a culturally sensitive manner.

At the core of her research, Menzies emphasizes the critical link between people, place, and the need for cross-cultural understanding. Through valued relationship building, environmental practises rooted in values such as respect and reciprocity create space for a healthier environment and healthier people.

For her master's degree, she delved into the hibernation physiology of bats inhabiting caves, while her PhD research focused on the winter physiology and behaviour of red squirrels, snowshoe hares, and Canada lynx in the Yukon.

Her experience in the field has undoubtedly given her a unique perspective on how conservation sciences ought to be conducted and monitored.

"Dr. Menzies' work epitomizes the value of cross-cultural research in science, demonstrating how diverse perspectives not only enhance our understanding of the world but also lead to more inclusive and innovative approaches in conservation and research," says Dr. Tim Rogalsky, CMU Associate Professor of Mathematics and organizer of this year's Scientist in Residence events.

Menzies is of mixed Red River Métis and Settler descent, from across Treaty 1 and 2 territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation. In March, she will begin a new position as an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary.

2024 Scientist in Residence poster

Menzies will speak at the following events:

Student Forums
Wednesday, January 31 and Thursday, February 1
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
CMU Chapel (600 Shaftesbury Blvd.)

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

Rogalsky says, "We are looking forward to Dr. Menzies' unique perspective on integrating traditional and scientific knowledge. Science has often been an unwitting partner in colonialism—we have much to learn and to unlearn."

The Scientist in Residence program works to bolster CMU's Bachelor of Science and sustain the mission of CMU, says Rogalsky. "[This] event brings a scientist into conversation with the CMU community's commitment to service, reconciliation, and peace-justice, encouraging a deeper, more connected approach to learning."

Scientist in Residence events are free and open to the public. While the public lecture will be liverstreamed, the student forum events will recorded and available to watch online afterwards.

For more information, visit

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