Paige Bissonnette is an MSc student at University of Manitoba studying mammalian social behaviour. Specifically, she focuses on understanding the factors that influence the frequency and duration of social play among adult male polar bears in the Western Hudson Bay region. Paige uses photography as a non-invasive technique to measure the body condition of bears playing near Churchill, MB. She also observes polar bears at Assiniboine Park Zoo using thermal imagery to develop methods to measure heat dissipation and energetics during play.
Paige is passionate about public outreach and strives to encourage others to pursue careers in conservation and research, or to simply better understand the natural world. For the past two years Paige has been a leader of a citizen science project which evaluates the health and population size of polar bears near Churchill, MB, helping bridge the gap between ecotourism and scientific research.