Darren Bender is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary where he is a faculty member in the Departments of Geography and Biological Sciences.  He has a PhD in Biology from Carleton University and completed post-doctoral training in the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University prior to being hired at the University of Calgary in 2001. He describes himself as a habitat ecologist with particular interest in sand dunes on the Canadian prairies and the species that inhabit them, especially the critically endangered Ord’s kangaroo rat.  Darren first worked on the Ord’s kangaroo rat in Canada in 1995 as a summer student. Darren began collaborating on kangaroo rat research with government researchers in 2003 and has taken the lead on research about the species since 2006. Recent projects include identification of the habitat requirements of the species, identification of critical habitat in Alberta, identification of natural and human threats to the species in Canada, population viability assessment, assessment of sand dune habitat declines on the Canadian prairies since 1948, and sand dune habitat restoration in the Middle Sand Hills of Alberta.  Darren’s newest project is assessing the feasibility of using kangaroo rat translocations as a conservation tool to mitigate habitat fragmentation and human impacts, which has been generously supported by Wildlife Preservation Canada.