May Meeting Topic – Lyme Disease

Join us at Nature PEI’s monthly meeting where Kami Harris will introduce us to the 5 Ws of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that is transmitted to people and animals through a tick bite.  “The risk of Lyme disease is rapidly increasing in Canada as the climate changes and tick populations expand” notes Ms. Harris, adding that “due to the many waterways in our region, which are favorite haunts of tick-carrying birds, the Maritimes have an increasing density of ticks”. Her presentation will provide an overview of what Lyme disease is, how it can be contracted and diagnosed, and ways to prevent the infection.  Ms. Harris will also describe the current research underway including the spread of ticks and infection among people and animals of New Brunswick, as well as problems with effective diagnosis and treatment.

Kami Harris completed both her BSc Honours and MSc in Biology at Mount Allison University and is currently a PhD candidate at the Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI, under the supervision of Dr. Vett Lloyd (MTA) and Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust (AVC). Her research focuses on the genetic diversity of the Lyme-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi in our region, the prevalence of this diversity among ticks, animals and people, and the impact this diversity may be having on serological response.

All are welcome to join us Tuesday May 2, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown to learn more about Lyme disease and how to prevent it.

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April Meeting Topic – Atlantic Halibut

Join us at Nature PEI’s monthly meeting for a glimpse into the world of the elusive Atlantic Halibut with biologist Travis James, an MSc student attending the University of Prince Edward Island. “Despite considerable interest in groundfish over the decades, Atlantic Halibut are poorly studied within the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The information available about halibut movement in our region is limited” says Travis. Winter weather and limited fishing opportunities in recent decades have curtailed the abilities of scientists to uncover the seasonal distribution of halibut. However, advances in tagging have provided greater insight into their seasonal movements and spawning behavior. This new information has significant value for management and conservation efforts for this charismatic species.


Originally coming from a farming background, Travis became involved in aquatic research early on in his academic career, working on projects stretching from headwater streams to the ocean. His presentation will reveal new information about the Atlantic Halibut and its fascinating lifestyle in the Southern Gulf.

All are welcome to join us Tuesday April 4, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown to meet Travis and learn more about the amazingly large and eminently edible Atlantic Halibut.

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March 24, 2017 – PEI Invasive Species Council

“This week we are excited to announce details for our 2nd Annual Meeting coming up next Friday, March 24th from 1-4pm. We have a great list of speakers discussing a range of topics including: the PEI Invasive Species Spotter’s Network, invasive species in natural areas, rainbow trout, impacts of invasive spiders, and more! Plus, there will be displays from a number of Island groups that work to address the issue of invasive species on PEI.

The meeting will take place at the Farm Centre (420 University Avenue) and all are welcome to attend! Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served.”


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The Owls and Hawks of the Hillsborough

Poster Owls and Hawks of the Hillsborough 2017 sPoster – The Owls and Hawks of the Hillsborough

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Celebrating the Hillsborough


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March Meeting – “Water Bears”

Water bear, SEMJoin us at Nature PEI’s monthly meeting to explore the little known world of the Tardigrade, fondly known as water bears, with marine biologist Emma Perry of Unity College, Maine.  “Despite their wide distribution and their importance within ecosystems, we do not know much about Tardigrades or where they might be found, especially the marine species” notes Dr. Perry.   She recently recorded the first marine Tardigrades from Prince Edward Island but her fascination with these tiny creatures began several years ago.  Impressed by the Tardigrades “ability to survive anything”, Dr. Perry and her students went on a hunt for them on a snowy day in February.   “As soon as I found my first tardigrade, I was hooked!” says Dr. Perry. Soon she was studying marine tardigrades and found a new species Echiniscoides wyethi on her first expedition to small Allen Island, Maine.  Noticing that there are no records from the eastern coast of Canada, Dr. Perry turned her attention to Prince Edward Island as an ideal location to pilot a systematic study of the intertidal tardigrades that live in the sand. In total fourteen tardigrades were found in the lower intertidal area of two beaches, the first marine tardigrades recorded from Prince Edward Island.

Dr. Perry has been a professor at Unity College in Maine for twenty years where she teaches Marine Biology and Invertebrate Zoology.  She was inspired to become a biologist after watching “Life on Earth” as a child in Britain. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Exeter, UK with a senior thesis on the sediment preferences of a burrowing brittle star. She later moved to Florida to complete a Ph.D. on the skeletal formation in sand dollars.

All are welcome to join us Tuesday March 7, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown to learn more about the little known Tardigrade and Dr. Perry’s studies on PEI beaches.

For additional information contact

Connie Gaudet

Program Director

Nature PEI

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Members Night

The February 7 meeting of Nature PEI is Members’ Night and we are inviting all members to submit any nature photos, poetry or stories they would like to share. Please send your contributions to  Gerald MacDougall at

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, at 7:30PM  -The Carriage House at Beaconsfield – Corner of West and Kent Streets in Charlottetown Admission is free and all are welcome.


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