Paul Galpern
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary
Landscape ecology, spatial genetics, and environmental planning

I am a landscape ecologist and data scientist.  I work on ecological questions at broad spatial extents and their applications to environmental planning and conservation.

A major theme of my research examines how the spatial structure of landscapes may influence the movement of organisms, and how spatial genetic data can inform decisions.  Applications of this work are found in wildlife conservation, environmental impact assessment, agriculture, and in preventing the spread of pests, pathogens and invasive species.

A second focus is on ecological networks: how to assess and mitigate impacts on the connectivity of ecological processes, such as those created by natural and anthropogenic disturbances. I am also part of ongoing projects in global change ecology and pollinator decline, and am involved in software development to support both citizen science and the mining of large environmental  and spatial databases.

Join the lab

Potential graduate students who share any of the above interests should feel free to contact me about opportunities. Students who will be competitive for NSERC or other major awards and are interested in defining a project in pollinator decline or woodland caribou research should also get in touch. A potential opportunity for a student with some background in software and/or web development with an interest in data visualization is also available.

Peer-reviewed publications
  • 9. Galpern, P., Peres-Neto, P.R., Polfus, J, Manseau, M. 2014. MEMGENE: Spatial pattern detection in genetic distance data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. In Press
  • 8.  Harris, L.N., Moore, J-S., Galpern, P., Tallman, R.F., Taylor, E.B. 2014.  Geographic influences on fine-scale, hierarchical population structure in northern Canadian populations of anadromous Arctic Char (Salvelinus alpinus).  Environmental Biology of Fishes.
  • 7.  Galpern, P., and M. Manseau.  2013. Finding the functional grain:  comparing methods for scaling resistance surfaces. Landscape Ecology 28:1269-1281.
  • 6.  Galpern, P., and M. Manseau.  2013. Modelling the influence of landscape connectivity on animal distribution:  a functional grain approach. Ecography. 36:1001-1016.
  • 5.  Galpern, P., M. Manseau, P. J. Wilson.  2012.  Grains of connectivity:  analysis at multiple spatial scales in landscape genetics. Molecular Ecology 21:3996-4009.
  • 4.  Galpern, P., M. Manseau, P. Hettinga, K. Smith, P.J. Wilson.  2012. ALLELEMATCH: an R package for identifying unique multilocus genotypes where genotyping error and missing data may be present. Molecular Ecology Resources 12:771-778.
  • 3.  Galpern, P., M. Manseau, A. Fall. 2011.  Patch-based graphs of landscape connectivity: a guide to construction, analysis, and application for conservation. Biological Conservation 144:44-55.
  • 2.  Houle, D., J. Mezey, P. Galpern, and A. Carter. 2003. Automated measurement of Drosophila wings. BMC Evolutionary Biology 3:25.
  • 1.  Houle, D., J. Mezey, and P. Galpern. 2002. Interpretation of the results of common principal component analyses. Evolution 56:433-440.
Contact information

Faculty of Environmental Design
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, Canada
T2N 1N4
Faculty website



The Caribou Diversity Project

A web-based citizen science project to “crowdsource” the analysis of caribou photos is up and running.  We have a working prototype here.  Help us beta-test the site and the analysis.  All that is required is your innate human ability to assess the similarity of two objects.  It’s fun!

grainscape package for R

GRAINSCAPE software is now available for grains of connectivity and minimum planar graph analyses of landscape connectivity.  A detailed tutorial has now been written, and is available here.   The software appears in the Molecular Ecology paper (Galpern et al., 2012).  GRAINSCAPE is hosted at R-forge and thanks to Andrew Fall is distributed with SELES.  Instructions to download, install, as well as manuals and tutorials are available here.

allelematch package for R

We have released ALLELEMATCH, a new genetic analysis tool, implemented in R, for identifying unique multilocus genotypes in non-invasive sampling protocols.  It is available for download from CRAN.  A paper describing it is now published in Molecular Ecology Resources.  Additional information and tutorials are available here.

R for Landscape Ecology Workshop Series

I am offering a series of three workshops in using R for a landscape ecology course at the University of Manitoba.  The workshops begin by introducing the basics of R and proceed to developing skill in the sp and raster packages.  Together these can provide an R alternative to the Spatial Analyst extension in ArcGIS.  Materials for the R for Landscape Ecology Workshop Series can be downloaded here.