Alana Westwood

Assistant Professor

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:
  • Forest ecology and management
  • Boreal and Maritime forests
  • Impact assessment
  • Terrestrial species at risk
  • Protected areas planning
  • Knowledge exchange across the science-policy interface
  • Justice, reconciliation and reparations in science and research


  • BSc (Hon.), University of Winnipeg
  • PhD, Dalhousie University
  • Mitacs Science Policy Fellowship (PDF), Natural Resources Canada

Research interests

Dr. Westwood (she/her) is interested in sustainable natural resource management from a 'what works' lens. Her lab spans and synthesizes field ecology, spatial ecology, social science, and policy studies to supply evidence to inform management decisions and to improve legal and policy frameworks. Dr. Westwood’s research falls into three primary realms: (1) understanding impacts of resource extraction on terrestrial ecology & species at risk, (2) identifying effective approaches for knowledge exchange across the science-policy divide, and (3) using proven knowledge exchange approaches to inform forest management and impact assessment policies and laws (and measuring their outcomes). The lab’s work is deeply rooted in two ethics: application, and coproduction. All of Dr. Westwood’s work is tied to policy or practice outcomes, and strives to ensure that those who may be affected by research are jointly involved in designing, conducting, and benefitting from studies.

Selected publications

  • Westwood, A.R., Barker, N.K.S., Grant, S., Amos, A., Camfield, A., Cooper, K., Dénes, F.V., MacDonald, C., McBlane, L., Schmiegelow, F.K.A., Simpson, J.I., Slattery, S., Sleep, D., Wells, J., Whitaker, D. 2020. Towards actionable, coproduced research on boreal birds focused on building respectful partnerships. Avian Conservation and Ecology, 15: 26
  • Westwood, R., Westwood, A.R., Hooshmandi, M., Pearson, K., LaFrance, K., Murray, C. 2020. A field-validated species distribution model to support management of the critically endangered Poweshiek skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek) butterfly in Canada. Conservation Science & Practice: e163.
  • Westwood, A.R., Otto, S.P., Mooers, A., Darimont, C.T., Hodges, K.E., Johnson, C., Starzomski, B.M., Burton, C., Chan, K., Festa-Bianchet, M., Fluker, S., Gulati, S., Jacob, A.L., Kraus, D., Martin, T., Palen, W.J., Reynolds, J.D., Whitton, J. 2019. Protecting biodiversity in British Columbia: Recommendations for species at risk legislation. Facets 4: 136-160.
  • Westwood, A.R., Olszynski, M., Fox, C.H., Ford, A., Jacob., A.L., Moore, J.W., Palen, W.J. 2019. The role of science in contemporary Canadian environmental decision-making: The example of environmental assessment. UBC Law Review 52(1): 243-292.
  • Westwood, A.R., Reuchlin-Heugenholtz, E., Keith, D. 2014. Re-defining recovery: A generalized framework for assessing species recovery. Biological Conservation 172: 155-162.

Service & Activity

  • Society of Canadian Ornithologists Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
  • Dalhousie Queer Faculty & Staff Caucus

Teaching Responsibilities

  • ENVI5001: Environmental Assessment
  • Special Topics: Forest Ecology & Management