Why study scent marking in grizzly bears?

I am often asked why I chose to research chemical signalling (aka scent marking behaviour) in grizzly bears. Well, one of the main reasons is that we still know so very little about how bears use odours to communicate! There have only been a handful of published studies which have looked at the behaviour in detail, and therefore we understand very little on the importance of this behaviour to bears. The implications of this lack in knowledge then has implications for the conservation and management of bears. If we don’t fully understand the ecological and social pressures which affect bears in their day-to-day lives, how can we expect to succeed in managing populations appropriately. Through our research, we aim to bridge this gap in knowledge using sound science conducted on wild populations.