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Dawn is a professor of Biology in the Faculty of Science at York University in Toronto, where she has taught since 1990. She was Director of IRIS, the university-wide Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (2006-11 and 2012-13). At IRIS, Dawn’s mission was to develop, lead and support interdisciplinary research on diverse fronts. The Globe and Mail's 2013 Canadian University Report singled her out as York University's HotShot Professor. Dawn trained as an ecologist in the field of plant-herbivore interactions, and has carried out extensive field research in grasslands and forests, from temperate to Arctic regions. She holds a B.Sc. in Biogeography and Environmental Studies and an M.Sc. in Botany from the University of Toronto. Her D.Phil. in Zoology, from Oxford University’s Edward Grey Institute in Field Ornithology, looked at sheep grazing behaviour.