Dr. Vern Peters

Chair of Biology Department, Associate Professor, Biology P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8127 F: 780-465-3534
  • PhD, University of Alberta, 2003
  • BSc, University of Manitoba, 1995


Vern graduated with a BSc from the University of Manitoba in 1995 and a PhD from the University of Alberta in 2003. His main research interests include fire ecology, using prescribed fire as a management tool for restoring certain pine populations, and the seed predator dynamics and restoration of the Limber Pine through community-based restoration initiatives. His other research projects include seedling establishment and growth restoration plantings, and greenhouse-based germination and survivorship experiments. 


  • Biol 211 – Organisms in their Environment
  • Biol 330 – Ecology
  • Biol 340 – Plant Diversity
  • Biol 395/495 – Biology Seminar
  • Biol 436 – Conservation Biology
  • Biol 438 – Plant Ecology

Research interests
Fire Ecology of Endangered 5 –Needle Pines
Using fire severity measurements, and microsite data for regenerating seedlings, we are investigating the use of prescribed fire as a management tool for restoring whitebark and limber pine populations in high elevation ecosystems.

Restoration Ecology of Limber Pine
We are engaged in implementing recovery plan actions using community-based restoration initiatives that use field and greenhouse approaches to involve university students, high schools, and church communities in tree-planting efforts.

Research projects

  • Fire severity and 5-needle pine regeneration
  • Reproductive ecology of limber pine and seed predator dynamics
  • Seedling establishment and growth in restoration plantings
  • Greenhouse-based germination and survivorship experiments

Peters, V.S.  2014.  Are Northern Limber Pine Populations Seed or Substrate Limited? Nutcracker Notes 26: 12-14.

Peters, V.S. 2012.  Limber pine seed mutualisms:  between the devil and the deep blue sea, Nutcracker Notes:  22:11–13. 

Peters, V.S., and Gelderman, M. 2011.  High cone years give limber pine “the edge,” Nutcracker Notes.  21:  12–13.

Peters, V.S., and Vandervalk, L.  2009.  Cone predation of limber pine by red squirrels. Nutcracker Notes.  17:10-12.

Professional affiliations
Associate Professor, The Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, MI, USA

Adjunct Professor, The University of Alberta     

Scientific Reviewer, Provincial and Federal Recovery Plans for Whitebark and Limber Pine