The IOF brings together a broad range of scientists to study both the ocean itself and the lives and livelihoods of coastal populations.
Our research groups focus on issues of local significance in Western Canada, including the Salish Sea and Strait of Georgia, as well as broader global concerns such as artisanal fisheries in developing countries. We are constantly developing new research groups in response to emerging issues, trends and awareness.
Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit
This group combines traditional ecological knowledge and modern science to support the effective management of aquatic resources and ecosystems that support aboriginal communities.
This group is interested in applied conservation and management issues as they pertain to British Columbia’s freshwater resources. Our group consists of research scientists and staff from both the BC Ministry of Environment (Conservation Science Section) and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Our core members and students focus on recreational fisheries management, stocking and aquaculture, recreational fisheries marketing, minimum instream flow to support fish production, species at risk and whole system nitrification and monitoring.
Changing Ocean Research Unit (CORU)
This group studies the effects of global climate and ocean changes on marine ecosystems, biodiversity and fisheries. Its researchers assess the biophysical and socio-economic vulnerabilities and impacts of marine climate change, and identify mitigation and adaptation options.
The Climate and Coastal Ecosystem Lab studies why the climate matters to society as well as ecosystems like coral reefs. The work provides insight into the causes and effects of climate change, public attitudes, policy options at home and abroad, and what can be done to adapt.
Research under this IOF stream centres on the impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems—including ocean acidification, observational and manipulative studies to determine how species respond to thermal and salinity stress caused by a changing climate, the ecology of invasive species, and long-term ecological change based on historical datasets.
Its mission is to conduct cutting-edge analysis and modelling of social-ecological systems, for both fundamental insight and application to real-world practice and transformation–to enable the just treatment of current and future people and the natural world.
The ecosystems dynamics and management investigations group (ECODIGM) works collaboratively with other units in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. ECODIGM also collaborates with researchers in a number of B.C.-based, and other Canadian research and management organizations, internationally-based NGOs and regional fisheries management organizations. It takes a leading role in the development of new decision-support software tools and statistical analyses of large fisheries and fisheries ecosystem data sets.
In studying the economics of aquaculture and capture fisheries, this group explores how oceans can provide sustainable and equitable economic and social benefits to both present and future generations, while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The Global Fisheries Cluster brings together UBC researchers who share the vision to focus sharply on global, interdisciplinary and integrated fisheries research at the University of British Columbia.
This group focuses on developing a spatial model of the global ocean to support informed policy and management decisions. It participates in the development of the Ecopath with Ecosim approach and software.
Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU)
This group conducts research of the highest standards to enhance marine mammal conservation and reduce conflicts with human uses of our shared oceans.
This stream explores the vast reservoir of genetic and biological diversity in viruses in environments encompassing marine and freshwaters from the poles to the tropics. A key focus is determining the function and quantifying the impact of viruses on mortality, community structure, and nutrient and energy cycling in natural marine systems.
The Menzies Lab (Ethnographic Film Unit) researches the productions of anthropological films, natural resource management (primarily fisheries related), political economy, contemporary First Nations’ issues, maritime anthropology and the archeology of north coast British Columbia.
This global interdisciplinary initiative between the Nippon Foundation and UBC was created to further our knowledge of how best to attain sustainability for the world’s oceans. The program conducts collaborative ocean research across the natural and social sciences, develops a network of experts that can engage in discussion of complex and multifaceted questions of ocean sustainability, and transfers these ideas to practical solutions in global policy forums.
The OceanCanada Partnership is dedicated to building resilient and sustainable oceans on all Canadian coasts and to supporting coastal communities as they respond to rapid and uncertain environmental changes.
Training Our Future Ocean Leaders (Ocean Leaders) is an innovative new UBC program that aims to prepare the next generation of interdisciplinary marine researchers with the ability to translate technical knowledge into policy and management innovations for the oceans.
Dr. Pakhomov is a biological oceanographer whose focus is on species ecology, ranging from zooplankton to fish, incorporating ecosystem structure, physical-biological and biochemical coupling. More recently he and his team of researchers has worked in stable isotope ecology, as well as the variability and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change.
Investigating the plankton’s response to our changing oceans and its ecosystem level impacts from the coast to the open ocean.
This group pioneers new techniques in restoration ecology for a wide range of marine and freshwater ecosystems from around the world. Its focus is modelling and evaluation in support of policy goals that advance sustainable and responsible fisheries.
Project Seahorse advances marine conservation by undertaking biological and social research, then applying its findings to the management of populations, habitats, fisheries, and trades. Project Seahorse addresses a broad range of marine conservation issues around the world using seahorses as flagship species.
This group uses dynamic population models and Bayesian statistical methods to assist fisheries biologists and resource managers in estimating and assessing risk, analyzing decisions and evaluating management strategies.
This group catalogues and presents fisheries and related data at spatial scales that are relevant to ecology and policy. The Sea Around Us website catalogues fisheries and ecosystem data according to Exclusive Economic Zones, Large Marine Ecosystems, High Seas areas, and other ecological meaningful special areas.