I am a biogeographer with research specializing in seed dispersal and colonization, ecosystem fragmentation, and species migration in human dominated landscapes under changing climate. I have enjoyed learning about ecosystems through field research, beginning with my undergraduate thesis work in the Truelove Lowland, Devon Island, where I studied arctic plant populations in meadows and raised beach ridges of the lowland. I went on to work in temperate forest and savanna ecosystems in North America, in subalpine forests and alpine meadows of the Western and Central Karakoram-Himalaya, and most recently, southern BC. I aim to apply this research experience to assist with policy, management and to educate about these systems.

Select Publications:

Refereed Publications

Chardon, N.I., P. Stone, C. Hilbert, T. MacLachlan, A. Damude, B. Ragsdale, A. Zhao, K. Goodwin, C.G. Collins, N. Hewitt, C. Elphinstone. 2023. Species-specific responses to human trampling indicate alpine plant size is more sensitive than reproduction to disturbance. Plants. 2(17), 3040. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12173040

  • Special issue: “Arctic and Alpine Plants: Ecology, Adaptations and Conservation Biology”

Parlee, B., W. Pascal, A.A. Churchill, G. Desmarais, M. Dicker, E. Gavenus, M.S. Garces, and J. Guo, N. Hewitt (+10 other contributing authors). 2023. Chapter 4: Gifts of the Mountains, pp. 179-235. In: G. McDowell, M. Stevens S. Marshall et al., The Canadian Mountain Assessment: Walking together to enhance understanding of mountains in Canada. University of Calgary Press, Calgary. Pp. 370.
– I wrote section 4.3 “Gifts of Teaching and Pedagogy”, pp, 187-83. Chapter available online here

McDowell, G., M. Stevens S. Marshall et al. (+ numerous other contributing authors, alphabetized by last name, incl. N. Hewitt) 2023. The Canadian Mountain Assessment: Walking together to enhance understanding of mountains in Canada. University of Calgary Press, Calgary. Pp. 370. Available online here: https://ucp.manifoldapp.org/projects/9781773855103

Hewitt, N., S. Wood and B. Wilson. 2022. Ecosystem education with Augmented Reality: A flexible tool for in-field learning. Professional Geographer. https://doi.org/10.1080/00330124.2022.2134151

Ullah, R, N Khan, N. Hewitt, K. Ali, D.A. Jones, M.E.H. Khan. 2022. Invasive species as rivals: invasive potential and distribution pattern of X. strumarium L. Sustainability. 14:7141. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/12/7141

Hewitt, N., G. Larocque, D. Greene, M. Kellman. 2019. A model of hardwood tree colonization among fragments: predicting migration across human-dominated landscapes. Ecoscience 26: 35-51. https://doi.org/10.1080/11956860.2018.1515596

  • Our photo of tree colonization at a forest edge featured on the journal cover

Dinh, T., N. Hewitt and T.D. Drezner. 2015. Fire history reconstruction in the Black oak (Quercus velutina) savanna of High Park, Toronto. Natural Areas Journal. 35:468-475.

Smith, A.L., N. Klenk, S. Wood, N. Hewitt, I. Henriques, N. Yan, D.R. Bazely. 2013. Second generation biofuels and bio-invasions: an evaluation of invasive risks and policy responses in the United States and Canada. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 27:30-42.

Smith, A.L., N. Hewitt, N. Klenk, N. Yan, D.R. Bazely, I. Henriques, S. Wood, C. Lipsig-Mumme and J.I. MacLellan. 2012. The effects of climate change on the distribution of invasive alien species in Canada: a knowledge synthesis of range change projections in a warming world. Environmental Reviews 20:1-16.

  • Third most downloaded article in the history of the journal, ER as of winter 2014.

Hewitt, N., N. Klenk, A.L. Smith, D.R. Bazely, N. Yan, S. Wood, J.I. MacLellan, C. Lipsig-Mumme and I. Henriques. 2011. Taking stock of the assisted migration debate. Biological Conservation 144:2560-2572.

  • Most downloaded article from the journal, last quarter of 2011; Favourable blog review: “Hewitt et al. have done a great job of giving an authoritative overview of many relevant arguments. I highly recommend their paper!” Dr. Joern Fischer, http://ideas4sustainability.wordpress.com/2011/09/26

Hewitt, N. 2010. Forest fragmentation. In B. Warf (ed.) Encyclopedia of Geography, Sage,

  • Encyclopedia won “Outstanding Reference Source” award, American Library Association, 2011.

Richart, M. and N. Hewitt. 2008. Tree species diversity and size structure in the Backus Woods forest preserve and surrounding forest remnants, southern Ontario. Landscape and Urban Planning 86:25-37.

Hewitt, N. and M. Kellman. 2004. Factors influencing tree colonization in fragmented forests: an experimental study of introduced seeds and seedlings. Forest Ecology and Management 191:39-59.

Hewitt, N. and M. Kellman. 2002. Tree seed dispersal among forest fragments. I. Conifer plantations as seed traps. Journal of Biogeography 29:337-349.

Hewitt, N. and M. Kellman. 2002. Tree seed dispersal among forest fragments. II. Dispersal abilities and biogeographical controls. Journal of Biogeography 29:351-363.

Hewitt, N. 1998. Seed size and shade‑tolerance: a comparative analysis of north American temperate trees. Oecologia 114:432‑440.

  • Remains a key citation on the topic of phylogenetic analyses to examine character traits in temperate trees.

Hewitt, N. and K. Miyanishi. 1997. The role of mammals in maintaining plant species richness in a floating Typha marsh in southern Ontario. Biodiversity and Conservation 6:1085‑1102

  • Nominated for the Canadian Botanical Association’s J.S. Rowe Award.

Lab Manuals (Peer-reviewed)

MacKinnon, S., K. Burles F. T. Day, F. de Scally, N. Hewitt, C. Huscroft, G. Krezoski, A. Lutz, C. Nichol, A. Perkins, and T. Redding, I. Saunders, L. Tang, C. Welch.  (2021) Laboratory Manual for Introduction to Physical Geography, 2nd edition. Eds: S. MacKinnon and C. Welch. BC Campus Faculty Pressbooks.

Other Publications:

Hewitt, N., S. Mazabel, L. Lukes, B. Eaton, cnúk J. Bower. 2024. Fostering a sense of place and partnership in geoscience field education with Indigenous and other communities. In J. Wessel, Ed., Experiential Learning in Geography II: Experience, evaluation, and encounters, Springer (accepted and in progress for fall 2024).

Lyon, K. L., S. R. McPhee, N. Hewitt, B. Wilson. 2020. Real world classrooms at the University of British Columbia. In M. Brown, M. McCormack, J. Reeves, D.C. Brooks, and S. Grajek (Eds.) 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition (pp. 29). Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE.