Dr. Bill Freedman

PROFESSOR
BSc (Toronto) , MSc (Toronto)
PhD (Toronto)


  • Teaching & Research
  • Students' Research Topics
  • Graduates' occupations
  • Publications
  • Links   
  • Teaching & Research
    Ecological effects of pollution and disturbance

    D

    he major thrusts of my research are: urban biodiversity; the ecological effects of forestry; carbon and biodiversity credits, and the development of curricula for environmental education.


    Urban Biodiversity.

    Urban ecosystems are obviously dominated by humans and their activities. As such, urban habitats are highly anthropogenic (i.e., created by people) in their structure and function and mostly contain non-native species of plants and animals. For these and other reasons, urban habitats have low levels of ecological integrity. Some ecologists have proposed that the naturalization of urban ecosystems would improve their ability to provide ecological services in support of the human economy, while also supporting larger populations of native species. My research in urban ecology involves:

    • studies of the biodiversity values of different urban habitat types and their comparison with non-urban reference habitats
    • studies of the functional equivalencies of non-native and indigenous species, and of habitats dominated by such species, e.g., are they similar in their capacities to cool summertime environments through evapotranspiration, or to store organic carbon as an offset to emissions of greenhouse gases?

    • proposed management practices to naturalize urban habitats, with a view to obtaining ecological benefits in terms of native biodiversity and structural and functional qualities

    These studies are useful ways of examining fundamental questions in ecology (such as factors affecting ecosystem-level resilience and resistance). Moreover, because the research is carried out within ecosystems where most Canadians live and work, the results will be useful in enhancing broad-based environmental literacy and guiding public attitudes about important ecological and environmental issues.

    Ecological Effects of Forestry.

    This subject area has been the major focus of my research during the past three decades (although I am now moving more towards urban ecology). My most recent studies examined ecological implications of the conversion of natural forests into plantations near Fundy National Park in New Brunswick. The results of some of those studies were used to recommend a variety of changes to forest-management practices intended to avoid many of the ecological damages identified by our research. It would now be useful to investigate the effectiveness of the management recommendations in preventing biodiversity and carbon-storage problems associated with intensive forestry. Specific questions will address criteria proposed for maintaining cavity trees, large woody debris, buffers beside watercourses, and carbon storage in regenerating stands.

    Carbon and Biodiversity Credits: This work involves the quantification and valuation of environmental services related to carbon storage in ecosystems as an offset to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, and to the provision of habitat for indigenous biodiversity in wetlands and terrestrial areas.

    Curriculum Development: I have been deeply engaged in the development of curriculum materials in support of environmental education. I have worked on textbooks and supplementary materials in support of introductory classes in environmental science, environmental studies, and ecology. I also teach classes in those subject areas.

    Classes that Bill teaches:

    • Biology 3060 Environmental Ecology – this is his “specialty” class class dealing with the ecological effects of pollution and disturbances
    • Biology 3601 Nature Conservation –this class is highly interdisciplinary, and not just for biology students; it explored various dimensions of the relationships between people and the natural world
    Examples of Students' Research Topics
    Bill Freedman's Book
    Honors BSc Students
    • Kate Duinker. Plant communities of urban habitats.
    • David Fudge. Road-kill mortality on Nova Scotian highways.
    • Leah Lefler. Carbon storage in urban habitats.
    • Mary Youden, Autecology of several invasive alien plants
    Graduate Students
    • Paresh Lacoul, PhD. Factors influencing aquatic plants along a steep altitudinal gradient in the Himalayas of Nepal.
    • Greg Johnson, M.Sc. Breeding birds and their habitat in natural forest and plantations in the Greater Fundy Ecosystem, New Brunswick.
    • Richard Lapaix, M.Sc, Plant communities as indicators of ecological integrity in urban parks.
    • Annette Luttermann, PhD. Ecological effects of hydroelectric impoundments in the riparian zone.
    • Aimee Pelletier, MES. Environmental monitoring at the Kejimikujik Seaside Adjunct National Park.
    • Cam Veinotte, M.Sc. Plant communities in natural forest and plantations in the Greater Fundy Ecosystem, New Brunswick.
    • Graham Stinson, MES. Carbon storage in representative forests and agroecosystems in Canada.
    Some Graduates' Occupations
    • Annette Luttermann, consultant to First Nations
    • Paresh Lacoul, Lecturer, Saint Mary’s University
    • Richard LaPaix, ecologist at Jacques Whitford Environment Ltd. (a consulting firm)
    • Greg Henry, arctic ecologist, professor at University of British Columbia.
    • Greg Johnson, terrestrial ecologist, biologist at Jacques Whitford Environment Ltd. (a consulting firm)
    • Tracy Fleming, Habitat Advisor for Cowichan Tribes in Duncan, BC.

    Selected Publications

    Freedman, B., L. Rodger, P. Ewins, and D.M. Green. 2001 . Species at risk in Canada. for: Politics of the Wild, ed. R. Boardman and K. Beazley. Oxford Press Canada. (in press) .

    Beacham, W., F.V. Castronova, B. Freedman, and S. Sessine (editors). 2001. Beacham's Guide to International Endangered Species; Non-Mammals Listed Prior to 2000. Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA.

    Stinson, G. and B. Freedman. 2000. Potential for carbon sequestration in Canadian forests and agroecosystems. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. (in press).

    Freedman, B. 2000. Environmental Science. A Canadian Perspective. Second Edition Prentice Hall,  Toronto, Ont. 668 pp.

    Waldick, R., B. Freedman, and R. Wassersug 1999. The consequences for amphibians of the conversion of natural mixed-species forests to conifer plantations in southern New Brunswick, Canada Canadian Field-Naturalist 113: 408-418.

    Freedman, B. (editor) 1998.  Encyclopedia of Endangered Species, 2nd ed. Gale Research Inc., Detroit, MI.

    Fleming, T.L. and B. Freedman. 1998. Conversion of natural, mixed-species forests to conifer plantations: Implications for dead organic matter and carbon storage. Ecoscience  5: 213-221

    Freedman, B., V. Zelazny, D. Beaudette, T. Fleming, S. Flemming, G. Forbes, G. Johnson, and S. Woodley. 1996. Biodiversity implications of changes in the quantity of dead organic matter in managed forests. Environmental Reviews 4: 238-265.

    Freedman, B. and Keith, T. 1996. Planting trees for carbon credits. A discussion of context, issues, feasibility, and environmental benefits, with particular attention to Canada. Environmental Reviews  4: 100-111

    Freedman, B. 1995. Environmental Ecology. Academic Press,  San Diego, CA.

    Svoboda, J. and B. Freedman. (editors). 1994. Ecology of a Polar Oasis. Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Captus Press. Toronto.

    Books
    Freedman, B., J. Hutchings, D. Gwynne, J. Smol, R. Suffling, R. Turkington, and R. Walker. 2011. Ecology: A Canadian Context. Nelson Canada, Toronto, ON. 648 pp.

    Freedman, B. 2010. Environmental Science. A Canadian Perspective. Fifth Edition. Pearson Education Canada, Toronto, ON. 552 pp.

    Bortman, M., P. Brimblecombe, B. Freedman, M.A. Cunningham, and W.P. Cunningham (editors). 2003. Environmental Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. Thomson/Gale, Farmington Hills, MI.

    Beacham, W., F.V. Castronova, B. Freedman, and S. Sessine (editors). 2001. Beacham's Guide to International Endangered Species; Non-Mammals Listed Prior to 2000. Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA.

    Freedman, B. (editor).  1998.  Encyclopedia of Endangered Species, 2nd ed.  Gale Research Inc., Detroit, MI.

    Freedman, B.  1995.  Environmental Ecology. The Impacts of Pollution and Other Stresses on Ecosystem Structure and Function. Second Edition.  Academic Press.  San Diego, CA.  606 pp.

    Svoboda, J. and B. Freedman. (editors).  1994.  Ecology of a Polar Oasis. Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada.  Captus Press.  Toronto.

    Refereed Journals

    Freedman, B. 2012. Biodiversity conservation. Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research. (ed. Alex C. Michalos). Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. (in press)

    Freedman, B. 2012. Population growth and global change. Global Environmental Change, Volume 1 of the Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution. (ed. B. Freedman). Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. (in press)

    Freedman, B., P.M. Catling, and Z. Lucas. 2012. Effects of feral horses on vegetation of Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Canadian Field-Naturalist (in press)

    Freedman, B., G. Stinson, and P. Lacoul. 2012. Maintaining and Enhancing Ecological Carbon Sequestration. Global Environmental Change, Volume 1 of the Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution. (ed. B. Freedman). Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. (in press)

    LaPaix, R., K. Harper, and B. Freedman. 2012. Patterns of exotic plants in relation to anthropogenic edges within urban forest remnants in Halifax, Canada. Applied Vegetation Science (accepted for publication)

    Lucas, Z., A. Horn, and B. Freedman. 2012. Beached bird surveys on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, 1993 to 2009, show a recent decline in the incidence of oiling. (accepted for pubslication)

    Lacoul, P. B. Freedman, and T. Clair. 2011. Effects of acidification on aquatic biota in Atlantic Canada. Environmental Reviews, 19:429-460.

    Macdonald, M. and B. Freedman. 2011. Two vascular plants new to Nova Scotia: Yellow Glandweed (Parentucellia viscosa (L.) Caruel) and Whorled Loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia L.) Canadian Field-Naturalist (in press, June, 2011).

    LaPaix, R. and B. Freedman. 2010. Vegetation structure and composition within urban parks of Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. Landscape and Urban Planning, 98: 124-135

    Trefry, S.A., B. Freedman, J.M.G. Hudson, and G.H.R. Henry. 2010. Breeding bird surveys at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (1980-2008). Arctic, 63: 308-314.

    Catling, P.M., Z. Lucas, and B. Freedman. 2009. Plants and animals new to Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 123: 141-145.

    LaPaix, R. B. Freedman and D. Patriquin. 2009. Ground vegetation as an indicator of ecological integrity. Environmental Reviews, 17: 249-265.

    Freedman, B., G. Stinson, and P. Lacoul. 2009. Carbon credits and the conservation of natural areas. Environmental Reviews, 17: 1-19.

    Fudge, D., B. Freedman, M. Crowell, T. Nette, and V. Power. 2008. Road-kill of mammals in Nova Scotia. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 121(3): 265-273

    Lacoul, P. and B. Freedman. 2007. Recent observation of a proliferation of Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix. in high-altitude lakes of the Mount Everest region: Response. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 39 (2): 242.

    Fan, Shuyang, B. Freedman, and Gao, Jixi. 2007. Potential environmental benefits of an increased utilization of bio-energy in China. Environmental Management, 40: 504-515.

    Lacoul, P. and B. Freedman. 2006. Recent proliferation of Ranunculus trichophyllus in high-alpine lakes (to 4,760 m) in Nepal. Arctic, Alpine and Antarctic Research, 38: 304-398.

    Lacoul, P. and B. Freedman. 2006. Environmental influences on aquatic plants in freshwater ecosystems. Environmental Reviews, 14: 89-136.

    Lacoul, P. and B. Freedman. 2006. Changes in aquatic plants, their communities, and environmental characteristics of lakes along a steep altitudinal gradient in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. Aquatic Botany, 84: 3-16

    Woodley, S.J., G. Johnson, B. Freedman, and D.A. Kirk. 2006. Effects of timber harvesting and plantation development on cavity-nesting birds in New Brunswick. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 120: 298-306.

    Turner, K. and B. Freedman. 2005. Nature as a theme in Canadian literature. Environmental Reviews, 13: 169-197

    Lacoul, P. and B. Freedman. 2005. Physical and chemical limnology of 34 lentic waterbodies along a tropical-to-alpine altitudinal gradient in Nepal. International Review of Hydrobiology, 90: 254-276

    Turner, K., L. Lefler, and B. Freedman. 2005. Plant communities of selected urbanized areas of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Landscape and Urban Planning, 71: 191-206.

    Fan, Shu-Yang, F., B. Freedman, and R. Cote. 2004. Principles and practice of ecological design. Environmental Reviews, 12: 97-112.

    Turner, K. and B. Freedman. 2004. Music and environmental studies. The Journal of Environmental Education, 36: 45-52.

    Veinotte, C., B. Freedman, W. Maass, and F. Kirstein.  2003.  Comparison of the ground vegetation in spruce plantations and natural forest in the Greater Fundy Ecosystem, New Brunswick, Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 117: 531-540.

    Johnson, G.A.M. and B. Freedman. 2002. Breeding birds in forestry plantations and natural forest in the vicinity of Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. Canadian Field-Naturalist, 116: 475-487

    McRae, D.J., L.C. Duchesne, B. Freedman, T.J. Lynham, and  S. Woodley. 2001. Differences between wildfire and clear-cutting and their implications in forest management. Environmental Reviews, 9: 223-260.

    Stinson, G. and B. Freedman. 2001. Potential for carbon sequestration in Canadian forests and agroecosystems. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change (6): 1-23.

    Links

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