Vernon Thomas

Associate Professor Emeritus
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x52738
SSC 2475


  • B.Sc. - Oxford 1966
  • M.Sc. - Guelph 1971
  • Ph.D. - Guelph 1975


After years of researching the ecological energetics of migratory waterfowl and resident arctic birds and mammals, my research interests have shifted towards the use of science in producing revised policies for wild life management. Much of the world's wild life occurs in areas under intense agriculture, forestry, or other forms of human use, and most of the pressing problems of management relate to reconciling conflicting uses and priorities for wild life habitat. My principal interest is the application of science to such situations and the revision of policies.

My students and I are currently researching the problem of lead toxicity to wild life, specifically as it affects waterfowl and loons. We are investigating non-toxic substitutes and how provincial and federal policy and legislation on this topic needs to be revised to achieve a common North American reform.

My other area of research involves the application of ecological principles to agriculture so that extensification of land uses may retain habitat features conducive to wild life diversity as well as produce commodities profitably.

Select Publications

  • Thomas, V.G. and R. Guitart. 2016. Lead use in hunting and fishing – consequences to birdlife, humans, and the environment. In: Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene. Elsevier. In Press. DOI: org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9-09982-6
  • Thomas, V.G. 2016. Design of non-lead bullets to allow instant identification. European Journal of Wildlife Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-016-1045-6. In Press.
  • Thomas, V.G., Gremse, C. and N. Kanstrup. 2016. Non-lead rifle hunting ammunition: issues of availability and performance in Europe. European Journal of Wildlife Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-016-1044-7. In Press.
  • Arnemo, J.M., Andersen, O., Stokke, S., Thomas, V.G., Krone, O., Pain, D.J. and R. Mateo. 2016. Health and environmental risks from lead-based ammunition: science versus socio-politics. EcoHealth. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-016-1177-x. In Press.
  • Thomas, V.G., Hanner, R.H. and A.V. Borisenko. 2016. DNA-based identification of invasive alien species in relation to Canadian federal policy and law, and the basis of rapid response management. Genome. DOI: 10.1139/gen-2016-0022. In Press.
  • Thomas, V.G., Guitart, R. 2016. Exposure to lead through ammunition, - need to revise strategies. Environmental Policy and Law 46(2): 127-131.
  • Kanstrup, N., Thomas, V.G., Krone, O. and C. Gremse. 2016. Response to “Consumption of wild-harvested meat from New Zealand feral animals provides a unique opportunity to study the health effects of lead exposure in hunters” by Buenz et al. AMBIO 45(5): 632-633. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0803-8
  • Kanstrup, N., Thomas, V.G., Krone, O. and C. Gremse. 2016. The transition to non-lead rifle ammunition in Denmark: national obligations and policy considerations. AMBIO 45(5): 621-628. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0780-y
  • Kanstrup, N., Balsby, T.J.S. and V.G. Thomas. 2016. Efficacy of non-lead rifle ammunition for hunting in Denmark. European Journal of Wildlife Research 62(3): 333-340. DOI; 10.1007/s10344-016-1006-0
  • Thomas, V.G. Kanstrup, N. and C. Gremse. 2015. Key questions and responses regarding the transition to use of lead-free ammunition. pp 125-135, In: Delahay, R.J., Spray, C.J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Oxford Lead Symposium. The University of Oxford, Edward Grey Institute.
  • Thomas, V.G. 2015. Availability and use of lead-free shotgun and rifle cartridges in the UK, with reference to regulations in other jurisdictions. pp 85-97, In: Delahay, R.J., Spray, C.J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Oxford Lead Symposium. The University of Oxford, Edward Grey Institute.
  • Thomas, V.G. 2015. Elemental tungsten, tungsten-nickel alloys and shotgun ammunition: resolving issues of their relative toxicity. European Journal of Wildlife Research 62(1): 1-9. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-015-0979-4
  • Lumsden H.G., Thomas, V.G. and B.W. Robinson 2015. Response of wild Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinators) to wetland drawdown and changes in food abundance. Can. Field Naturalist 129(4): 374-378.
  • Roussy, A-M, Kevan, P.G. and V.G. Thomas. 2015. Norway maple: policy options to deal with an invasive species. Ontario Arborist. Sept-Oct Issue: 18-20.
  • Thomas, V.G., Scheuhammer, A.M. and Bond, D. 2009. Bone lead levels and lead isotope ratios in red grouse from Scottish and Yorkshire moors. Science of the Total Environment 407: 3494-3502.
  • Thomas, V.G., Vásárhelyi, C, and Niimi A.J. 2009. Legislation and the capacity for rapid response management of nonindigenous species of fish in contiguous waters of Canada and the USA. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 19: 354-364.
  • Thomas, V.G., Roberts, M.J. and Harrison, P.T.C. 2009. Assessment of the environmental toxicity and carcinogenicity of tungsten-based shot. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 72: 1031-1037.


  • ZOO*1500 Humans in the Natural World - a Zoological Perspective
  • ZOO*4050 Natural Resources Policy
  • ZOO*4090 Ornithology
  • ZOO*4110 Principles of Fish And Wild Life Management