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Kelp Forest Ecological Dynamics

Rocky reef kelp forests are recognized globally as ecosystems that collapse and recover rapidly in response to environmental and biological perturbations. My research seeks to increase our understanding of the ecological dynamics occurring as sea otters recover and expand their populations along the coast of British Columbia. Using field surveys, experiments, aerial mapping, and quantitative modelling, I have revealed cool new species interactions and documented the cascading effects of sea otter recovery on the rocky reefs of B.C.’s central coast. Read more…

Community Adaptation to Coastal Resource Transformations

When changes in marine ecosystems are rapid, unpredictable and large scale, these transformations present a considerable challenge to coastal communities who rely heavily on ocean resources. This research asks: 1) How do communities navigate and adjust to changing resource access and abundance? and 2) What resource management and governance conditions are required to navigate these changes and facilitate healthy social-ecological systems? For example, through collaborative partnerships, workshops, interviews, and surveys with coastal Indigenous communities in B.C., we are learning how communities cope and adapt to sea otter recovery, and the conditions that enable and constrain human-sea otter co-existence. Read more…

Marine Planning

As human activities and overlapping uses of the marine environment increase, there is an resounding call for planning initiatives that strive to integrate ecosystem, social and governance objectives. My research in this area has focused on marine protected area network design, exploring ways that MPAs can incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem resilience objectives while reconciling human uses and values. I am also actively involved in various marine planning initiatives in different parts of B.C. Read more…

Pacific Salmon Ecology

In the context of climate change, it is becoming increasingly important to predict how temperature changes may affect fish reproduction, development and their ability to adapt. My Master’s thesis focused on how the early development stages of Fraser River sockeye salmon are affected by thermal stress, with the goal of increasing our understanding of the potential consequences and adaptations associated with climate-related river warming. Read more…