Heather Cray



Email: hcray@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7100
Fax: 902-494-3728
Mailing Address: 
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building Dalhousie University 6100 University Ave, Room 5026 PO Box 15000 Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Restoration ecology
  • Translation ecology
  • Ecological education
  • Learning and science communication
  • Ecosystem adaptation
  • Biogeomorphology
  • Plant-insect interactions


  • BA (Jt. Hons.), McGill University
  • MSc, McGill University
  • PhD, University of Waterloo

Research interests

Dr. Cray’s (she/her) research interests focus on the interconnections between living things and their feedbacks, both large and small. How decisions are made, who makes them, and what factors influence these decisions as they pertain to biotic systems is a primary area of interest. Dr. Cray’s research also examines the current knowns and unknowns in ecosystem planning and restoration, and how these elements influence our ability to conserve and manage natural systems. How we can effectively communicate, learn, teach, and create science and environmental sustainability is also a key area of Dr. Cray’s ongoing research. Previous topics of study have included tallgrass prairie restoration, translational ecology, arctic biogeomorphology, neotropical bat conservation, and pollination ecology.

Selected publications

  • Cray H. The why and how of curiosity in science education: How can instructors spark curiosity to improve student success? Teaching Innovation Projects. In review.
  • Cray H. 2019. Observations on Blackhorned Tree Cricket, Oecanthus nigricornis, floral tissue herbivory and pollen transfer of New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae. Journal of the Ontario Entomological Society. 149: 21-26.
  • Cray H. 2019. Utilization of stabilized thaw slumps by Arctic Birds and Mammals: Evidence from Herschel Island, Yukon. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 132: 3.
  • Murphy S, Cray H, and McTavish M (lead authors). 2019. Sustainable management of grassland soils. In Soils and Landscape Restoration, Eds. Staturf JA and Callaham MA. In press.
  • Murphy S, McTavish M, and Cray H. 2017. The principles of restoration ecology at population scales. In Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration. Chapter 3.
  • Cray H and Pollard W. 2015. Vegetation recovery patterns following permafrost disturbance in a low arctic setting: Case study of Herschel Island, Yukon, Canada. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. 47(1): 99-113.
  • Cray H, Pollard W, and Murphy S. 2015. Succession in tundra landscapes and its implications for polar restoration efforts: case study of Herschel Island, YT, Canada. Proceedings. 68th Canadian Geotechnical Conference.
  • Cray H, Drescher M, and Van Hemessen W. 2015. Effects of urban development on vegetation communities at the edges of regional woodlands. Region of Waterloo.

Selected awards and honours

  • Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Vanier Scholar

Teaching Responsibilities

  • MGMT1301: Interdisciplinary Management 1
  • MGMT1302: Interdisciplinary Management 2
  • SUST/MGMT3701: The Community as a Living Lab
  • MGMT 4041/ENVI5041: Environmental Education
  • SUST/ENVS3502: The Campus as a Living Lab