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Kellina L Higgins

Kellina L Higgins
Société Québecoise de la Bryologie



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I work as an independent consultant: doing vegetation surveys and wetland characterization during the field season and statistical analysis in the off-season as well as a course lecturer at McGill University. I am very interested in the contributions of citizen science observations to collect botanical data on a large-scale for researchers. I pursue my botanical interests on the boards of my regional botany (FloraQuebeca) and bryology (Societe Québécoise de la Bryologie) associations.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - present
KLHiggins Consultante
  • Consultant
  • I work for researchers on their projects, mostly on the data analysis and literature review aspects. I enjoy being involved others' research and making meaningful contributions to the analysis.
January 2018 - October 2020
Natural Resources Canada
  • Analyst
  • I have been working on a forest fire and habitat availability model with the impacts of increasing wildfires with climate change.
January 2013 - September 2015
Université de Montréal
Field of study
  • Biométéorologie
September 2008 - April 2011
Quest University Canada, Canada
Field of study
  • Vegetation Ecology and Mathematics


Publications (6)
The Canadian province of Alberta is densely dissected by seismic lines - linear disturbances used for oil and gas exploration. Natural recovery of seismic lines to pre-disturbance treed conditions in boreal ecosystems is generally slow, and persistence of seismic lines is particularly notable in peatlands, including treed bogs. A functional trait a...
Boreal peatlands of Alberta (Canada) are heavily dissected by a large network of linear disturbances, including seismic lines used for Oil and Gas exploration. Edge effects resulting from these linear disturbances can increase their footprint and affect wildlife habitat, including the quality and quantity of plant and lichen forage. In 2012, seismi...
The influence of vegetation and microtopography on fine-scale variability of thaw depth is largely unknown but potentially important for improving modeling of ecosystem–permafrost interactions. To elucidate their influence, we measured tree density, shrub cover and cryptogam presence (lichen and bryophyte) on forested permafrost peat plateaus in th...
Full-text available
We present the first survey of the vascular flora of Scotty Creek, a peatland-dominated watershed with discontinuous permafrost about 60 km south of Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories (NWT). Of the 140 vascular plant taxa found at Scotty Creek, two are additions to the boreal flora of NWT: Arethusa bulbosa (Dragon's-mouth, Orchidaceae) and Carex p...
Full-text available
In the coastal temperate rainforest of British Columbia (BC) in western Canada, government policies stipulate that foresters leave unlogged hydroriparian buffer strips up to 25 m on each side of streams to protect wildlife habitat. At present, studies on the effectiveness of these buffers focus on mammals, birds, and amphibians while there is compa...
Conference Paper
Background / Purpose: While hydroriparian buffers are required in some regions, it is unclear whether they effectively conserve biodiversity. In particular, little information exists on their effectiveness regarding small organisms and those sensitive to changes in microclimate such as liverworts. Main conclusion: Liverwort communities in hydr...


Question (1)
In a peatland landscape, defining the "surface" (which is essential to physical measures such as microtopography, water table and thaw depth) can be problematic. The ground at my field site is entirely covered by different cryptogam species--Sphagnum, feather mosses and lichens (mostly Cladonia spp)--without any reference "bare ground" surface. There seems to be some consensus that the top of "dense" bryophyte cover, ie sphagnum, should be considered the "surface". For other bryophytes, some papers take the top of living and others take the bottom. For lichens, when it comes to deciding whether the tip of the Cladonia or the base of the Cladonia (the transition into "dead" portions of the plant), it becomes even less clear where to draw the line about the ground surface.


Cited By


Project (1)