Stephanie Penk

Stephanie Penk

Stephanie graduated from the University of Guelph in 2012 with a degree in wildlife biology. Following graduation, she worked with endangered cave bats, performing surveys after a disease epidemic devastated their populations. This was her first hands-on experience with a serious conservation issue, and it sparked her interest in and commitment to the field. In 2016, she began work on her PhD at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where her research focuses on developing methods to predict polar bear survival and reproduction based on their food intake. Seals are the major source of food for polar bears and their ability to capture seals depends on the availability of Arctic sea ice. By understanding how much energy polar bears use to survive and reproduce, then we can begin to predict how decreasing seal intake will impact their ability to perform vital functions like building fat stores or supplying milk to their young.