Ecology, Conservation and Management of Freshwater Fishes

Research

Sustainable Harvest of Freshwater Fisheries

The sustainable harvest of organisms is based on their compensatory ability to offset fishing mortality with a combination of one or more of growth, survival and reproduction. But, in addition, it is likely that depensatory, or Allee effects, can work in the opposite direction to increase the susceptibility of harvested populations to collapse. We are exploring ecological and harvest induced processes that control susceptibility to collapse in harvested systems using a combination of field observations, experiments and models.

Population Dynamics of Fishes: Ecology, Behaviour and Energetics 

A primary goal of my research program is to understand the suite of ecological, behavioural and physiological processes that control growth and survival of juvenile fishes and lead to variability in recruitment into adult stocks. This "recruitment problem" is at the core of many issues in both basic and applied fisheries population biology. My students and I use a combination of observations of nature, whole lake experiments, laboratory experiments and simulation models to explore these processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales.

Population Dynamics of Fishes: Ecology, Behaviour and Energetics

Landscape Scale Social-Ecological Systems Approaches to Freshwater Fisheries Management

The social and ecological outcomes of recreational fisheries are dependent on behavioural interactions among fish populations, fishers and management policy. These behaviours vary across scales from individual habitats, to lakes, to landscapes of lakes, and to even broader regional and global scales. We are conducting landscape scale experiments and developing models of recreational fishing Social-Ecological systems to understand complex interactions and assess optimal management approaches for sustainability and conservation.global scales. We are conducting landscape scale experiments and developing models of recreational fishing Social-Ecological systems to understand complex interactions and assess optimal management approaches for sustainability and conservation.

Riverine Fishes: Ecology, Climate Change and In stream Flow Needs 

Riverine fish communities are distributed across substantial hydrological, climatological, and ecological gradients as they flow from glaciers to oceans. We are examining these processes as they relate to community composition, ecosystem function and instream flow needs for aquatic ecosystems. Climate projections for the East Slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta are for reduced flows and increased temperatures, and we are assessing potential impacts on fishes and ecosystem processes in these systems. 

  Primary Research Sponsors

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Discovery, Collaborative Research and Development and Strategic Grants

  • Freshwater Fisheries Society of British Columbia

  • British Columbia Habitat Conservation Fund

  • Alberta Conservation Association

  • Alberta Environment and Parks

  • Genome BC & Genome Canada

  • Alberta Ingenuity – Technology Futures

  • Parks Canada

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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