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Celina Baines

Assistant Professor

PhD, University of Toronto Mississauga
MSc, University of Toronto
BSc, University of Toronto



I’m broadly interested in the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of movement, especially dispersal. In virtually all species, some proportion of individuals move away from their birthplace and travel to a new site to reproduce. This movement can have major consequences – impacting the spread of disease, the spatial distribution of genetic variance, and the maintenance of biodiversity, among others. A growing body of research is trying to understand what causes movement, which individuals in a population move, and how this individual movement behaviour scales up to influence the dynamics of populations and communities. In my research program, I use a variety of approaches including theoretical modeling, microcosm experiments in the lab, and large field studies to answer these questions. Current research topics include:

  • Understanding the role of dispersal in the dynamics of host-parasite systems
  • Determining how spatial characteristics of habitats influence the rate of population spread across space
  • Predicting how conditional dispersal (dispersal that depends on factors like population density) influences the rate of range expansion