Christina was Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Canada’s New Noah in 2007, and headed up our freshwater turtle program from 2008 to 2012.  Wildlife Preservation Canada congratulates Christina on being awarded the prestigious Liber Ero fellowship in July, 2013, and is proud to be her mentor institution. Davy will be exploring gene flow and disease susceptibility in bat populations and exploring the possibility of bat captive breeding. Read more here –

Her training in Jersey and Mauritius as a Canada’s New Noah inspired an interest in conservation genetics and a strong desire to contribute to the conservation of Canadian species as well as those living elsewhere.

Christina holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Guelph, a Master of Science in Zoology from the University of Western Ontario, and a Ph.D from University of Toronto.  Her first experience in conservation biology was in 2001, when she volunteered with ARCHELON (the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece), a non-profit organization that works to conserve the loggerhead sea turtle in Greece. Having fallen in love with both turtles and conservation biology, she completed her BSc and then returned to Greece to work as ARCHELON’s Monitoring Field Leader on the island of Zakynthos, where the main threat to turtles is from tourism and development.  She also worked for a short time at ARCHELON’s Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Athens, rehabilitating injured sea turtles for re-release into the wild.  In search of other turtle species, she next took a position as a Research Assistant at the Pacuare Nature Reserve in Costa Rica, where she had her first chance to work (and live) in a tropical forest.  While monitoring nesting green and leatherback sea turtles in Pacuare she saw first-hand the effects of poaching and began to learn methods to mitigate the effects of poaching on turtle populations.

For her Masters thesis Christina studied with Dr. Brock Fenton.  She returned to Zakynthos to study the habitat use of bats on the island, specifically the way in which various species use different wooded habitats such as native woodland and traditional olive groves, and the effects of agricultural management (organic vs. non-organic) on the quality of olive groves as habitat for threatened bat species.  She also worked with bats in Costa Rica and Taiwan, and conducted several bat surveys in Ontario and Quebec, including co-authoring a field guide to the bats of Ontario.

From 2008 – 2012, Christina conducted a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Bob Murphy at the University of Toronto, where she studied conservation genetics of spotted, snapping and softshell turtles in Ontario.  Her thesis investigated the effects of population fragmentation on Ontario turtles and the genetic impacts of population decline on these species.  With the support of WPC she developed new genetic markers for snapping and softshell turtles which are being used to test relatedness and paternity within Ontario populations, and to investigate the phenomenon of multiple paternities in Ontario turtles, and coordinated a turtle conservation and research project at a turtle diversity hotspot in southern Ontario.


Davy, C.M., T. Edwards, A. Lathrop, M. Bratton, M. Hagan, K. Nagy, J. Stone, L.S. Hillard and R.W. Murphy. (2011)Polyandry and multiple paternities in the threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii: conservation implications. Conservation Genetics 12: 1313 – 1322.

Davy, C.M., F.R. Mendez-de la Cruz, A. Lathrop & R.W. Murphy. (2011) Traditional knowledge and molecular biology agree: No express train for island-hopping spiny-tailed iguanas in the Sea of Cortés. Journal of Biogeography 38: 272 – 284.

Davy, C.M., S.M. Coombes, A.K. Whitear & A.S. Mackenzie. (2010) Visible Implant Elastomer: A simple, non-harmful method for marking hatchling turtles. Herpetological Review 41: 442 – 445

Coombes, S.M. and C.M. Davy. (2010)Chelydra serpentina – Deformity. Herpetological Review 41: 213.

Spironello, M., L. Rizvi, D. Currie, C. Davy and R. Murphy. (2009) Isolation and characterization of eleven microsatellite loci from the black fly, Simulium negativum (Diptera: Simuliidae). Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 969 – 971.

Davy, C.M. and R.W. Murphy. (2009) Explaining patterns of deformity in freshwater turtles using MacCulloch’s Hypothesis. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87: 433 – 439.

Murray, K., E.E. Fraser, C.M. Davy, T.H. Fleming and M.B. Fenton. (2009) Variation in the echolocation calls of bats from Exuma, Bahamas. Acta Chiropterologica 11: 514 – 524.

Davy, C.M., K.C. Shim and S.M. Coombes. (2009) Leech (Annelida: Hirudinea) infestations on Canadian turtles, including the first Canadian record of Helobdella modesta from freshwater turtles. Canadian Field Naturalist 123: 44 – 47.

Davy, C.M., D. Russo & M.B. Fenton. (2007) Use of native woodlands and traditional olive groves by foraging bats on a Mediterranean island: consequences for conservation. Journal of Zoology 273: 397 – 405.

Davy, C.M., E. Crispo & P.T.K. Woo. (2007) Use of a live Cryptobia vaccine to modulate Cryptobia salmositica infections in Salmo salar L. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 76: 45 – 48.

Zbinden J.A., C. Davy, D. Margaritoulis & R. Arlettaz. (2007) Large spatial variation and female-bias in the estimated sex ratio of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings of a Mediterranean rookery. Endangered Species Research 3: 305 – 312

Fraser, E.E., A. Mackenzie, & C.M. Davy. (2007) Photo field guide to the Bats of Ontario. St. Thomas Field Naturalist Club Inc. 40 pages. (ISBN 978-0-9733179-4-7)

Davy, C.M. & E.E. Fraser. (2007) Novel roosting behaviour in the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus). Canadian Field Naturalist 121: 420.

Liu, Y., C.M. Davy, H.T. Shi & R.W. Murphy (in press) Sex in the half-shell: a review of the history, signal-function, and evolution of courtship behavior in freshwater turtles. In press, Chelonian Conservation and Biology.

Davy, C.M. & M.B. Fenton. (2012). Side-scan sonar enables rapid detection of aquatic reptiles in turbid lotic systems. European Journal of Wildlife Research, DOI 10.1007/s10344-012-0680-9.

Blair, C., C.M. Davy, A. Ngo, N.L. Orlov, H. Shi, S. Lu, L. Gao, D. Rao & R.W. Murphy. (2012) Genealogy and demographic history of a widespread amphibian throughout Indochina. Journal of Heredity. doi:10.1093/jhered/ess079.

Davy, C.M., D.M.R. Storisteanu, I.M. Conflitti & R.W. Murphy (2012) Isolation and characterization of eleven novel polymorphic microsatellite loci in the spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera). Conservation Genetics Resources. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-012-9638-1.

Davy, C.M., A.E. Leifso, I.M. Conflitti & R.W. Murphy (2012) Characterization of 10 novel microsatellite loci and cross-amplification of two loci in the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Conservation Genetics Resources. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-012-9624-7.

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