Oceans and Fisheries Seminars

The IOF Oceans and Fisheries Seminar Series is open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

The IOF Oceans and Fisheries Seminar Series invites speakers to present the latest research in a wide range of disciplines related to freshwater systems, the oceans, and fisheries. Past speakers have included public communicators, economists, ecosystem modellers, anthropologists, and ecologists. These seminars draw a diverse audience, leading to thought-provoking discussions and a sharing of new ideas and perspectives.


These seminars, which are also part of the FISH 500 course, will be offered every Friday, from 11:00am to 12:00pm.

Please note: Many of these seminars will be held online, via Zoom. Those offered in-person should also be offered online. More details to come.

Academic Year 2021/22

Term 2 2022

January 28

General Director of Comunidad y Biodiversidad, a non profit that aims to promote marine conservation and sustainable fisheries through effective participation. Interested and work experience in social change and collaborative work with coastal communities, academia, and governments for sustainable fisheries since 1999. Master in Science in resource management and environmental studies at the University of British Columbia and a PhD in public policy and governance with the United Nations University and Maastricht University.

We need to move beyond demonstration models in coastal communities to scalable solutions that create resilience and address marine conservation and sustainable fisheries challenges at scale. Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI) has created Innovación Azul, a digital infrastructure initiative created to connect 300,000 small scale fishers to mobilize knowledge, innovations, and capital opportunities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This initiative was accelerated due to the pandemic, as small-scale fishers were seeking ways to be connected to have access to information on the pandemic as well as on sanitary and recovery measures. As the world transitions to a sharing economy powered by digital infrastructure, ocean conservation and sustainable fisheries must do the same and innovate in this arena. The next generations of fishers are key actors in this digital transition. In this seminar we will present our experience and lessons learned in the last two years with Innovación Azul, and our plans to move forward.

February 4

Paul Venturelli is an Associate Professor of Fisheries in the Department of Biology at Ball State University (and former Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota). He is a Canadian who received his academic training at York University, the University of Alberta, and the University of Toronto, and then headed south to do a post-doc at Louisiana State University. His lab uses a combination of field work, large data sets, and computer simulations to examine how temperature, life history, and exploitation shape fish population dynamics. He is also part of a small but growing group of researchers who are exploring the utility of data from mobile platforms such as smartphones.

Fisheries science and management require data that are often difficult or impossible to collect at broad spatial and temporal scales. The ubiquity of both anglers and mobile devices is stimulating interest in angler self-reporting as a cheap alternative. In this presentation, Dr. Venturelli combines lessons learned from decades of angler diaries and fishing logbooks with a small but growing body of literature on the extent to which data from angler apps can inform fisheries management. Although there are valid concerns about the type and quality of data that can be obtained through citizen science (e.g., that it represents a non-probabilistic sample), it appears that self-reporting can generate usable fisheries data. He will conclude by describing two novel applications of these data: one into the spread of invasive species, and another into the response of freshwater game fishes to climate change.

February 11 Lauren Eckert
Ph.D. student, University of Victoria
February 18 Dr. Kristi Miller-Saunders
DFO Pacific
March 4 Dr. Michelle LaRue, University of Minnesota research associate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, & University of Canterbury, NZ Weddell seal count
March 11 Johanna Wagstaffe
Meteorologist and Science host, CBC Vancouver and CBC News Network
Science Communications – sponsored by Ocean Leaders
March 18 Dr. Elizabeth Selig
Stanford University
March 25
April 1
Dr. Juliano Abrantes- Palacios
April 8 Student Presentations
January 14 Dr. Tim Essington Expecting the unexpected: understanding and forecasting ecological responses to low dissolved oxygen in coastal ocean ecosystems
January 21 Dr. Lucy Woodall Co-creating deep sea science in a large ocean state


Past seminars

September 10 Dr. Rosemary Ommer The importance of scale complexities in fisheries research
September 17 Dr. Stephen Palumbi The adaptive capacity of ocean species to respond to climate change
September 24 Dr. Amina T. Schartup The Biogeochemical Cycle of Mercury in an Era of Environmental Change
October 1 Dr. Rashid Sumaila Getting values and valuation right is fundamental to achieving Infinity fish
October 8 Dr. Gideon Mordecai The underwater epidemic; emerging viruses in wild Pacific salmon
October 15 Dr. Amanda Vincent Saving seahorses to save the seas
October 22 Dr. Katye Altieri Strategies for increasing the representation and success of Black Women in Oceanography – lessons learned from the Ocean Womxn programme in South Africa
October 29 Dr. Michelle Tseng Ecological and evolutionary effects of warming on plankton and insect communities
November 5 Dr. Vianey Leos Barajas Extending the hidden Markov model for analysis of animal movement data
November 12 Dr. Ian Perry DFO, and the Salish Sea
November 19 Dr. Jeremy Pittman Identifying entry points to enhance the adaptive capacity of small-scale fishing communities
November 26 Student and Presentations Student and Presentations

  • Max Miner (MSc student): Lax Kwil Dziidz: The place that squirts. Harmful Algal Blooms, Ancient DNA, and Gitga'at Shellfish Mariculture at Clamstown
  • Josh McInnes (MSc student): Photo-Identification and Community Structure of Transient Killer Whales off California and Oregon
  • Kristen Sora (PhD student): Beaufort Sea Historical Changes and Relevance to Management
  • Harmony Martell (Postdoctoral Fellow): Training Corals to Resist Bleaching


September 11Dr. Dana Lepofsky, Simon Fraser UniversityThe Clam Garden Network: Exploring the social-ecological contexts of clam management in the past, present and future

September 18 Dr. Robert Blasiak, Stockholm Resilience Centre The ocean genome and future prospects for conservation and equity
September 25 Dr. Jessica Sparks, University of Nottingham Modern slavery at sea: Working conditions in a changing marine environment
October 2 Dr. Andrea Reid "Two-Eyed Seeing": An Indigenous framework to transform fisheries research and management
October 9 Dr. Thomas Froelicher, University of Bern Ocean extremes: From marine heatwaves to compound events
NOTE: This session was not recorded at the speaker's request.
October 16 Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change on the California Current pelagic ecosystem
NOTE: This session was not recorded at the speaker's request.
October 23 Dr. Loren McClenachan, Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Colby College Warming waters, climate history, and adaptation: Lessons from Maine’s lobster fishery
NOTE: This session was not recorded at the speaker's request.
October 30 Dr. Sarah Harper, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Victoria and Nature United Closing the gender data gap to improve small-scale fisheries research and policy
NOTE: This session was not recorded at the speaker's request.
November 6 Dr. Boris Worm, Dalhousie University People and the Sea: A positive vision for 2050
November 13 Dr. Dana Miller, Senior Policy Advisor, Oceana Europe Fighting IUU fishing through improving corporate due diligence
November 20 Karen Sack, Ocean Unite Collaborating on Financial Innovation to Build Resilience to Ocean Risk through Nature Based Solutions
November 27 Dr. Andrea Frommel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pelagic Ecosystems Lab Effects of environmental parameters on early life stages of commercial fishes and the implications for aquaculture
January 15 Dr. Martin Wolf, postdoctoral associate, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy The Environmental Performance Index: What can data-driven analyses teach us about sustainability policy around the world?
January 22 Dr. Kristina Boerder, postdoctoral researcher, Dalhousie University Protecting marine biodiversity in the Anthropocene
January 29 CANCELLED. Due to circumstances beyond our control today's seminar has been cancelled.
February 5 Sara Cannon, PhD candidate, UBC Department of Geography and IOF History doesn't have to repeat itself: Looking back at the origins of biodiversity conservation shows that decolonization is necessary for just and effective steps forward
February 12 Dr. Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, Research Associate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Enabling conditions for an equitable and sustainable Blue Economy
February 19 READING WEEK
February 26 Dr. Joey Bernhardt, Hutchinson Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University Linking physiology to population persistence and human well-being in a changing world
March 5 Dr. Rebecca Asch, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University Adding More Ecology to Ecological Niche Models: Life History, Non-Stationary Habitat Use, and Trade-offs in Climate Change Responses Among Fishes
March 12 Dr. Philippa Cohen Fish in food systems; beyond protein, production and pessimism
March 19 Dr. Ibrahim Issifu An integrated systems model for mitigating marine plastic pollution
March 26 Dr. Jesse Morin New Insights Into Pre-Contact Coast Salish Salmon Fisheries and Implications for Modern Stewardship
April 9 Samantha Ramirez
Kasey Stirling/Kate Mussett
Aaron Greenberg
Meaghan Efford
Rowenna Gryba
IOF Student presentations


Term 1, 2019/20

September 13 Rachael Sullivan
Equity Facilitator
UBC Equity & Inclusion
Community Building Education: Diversity and Inclusion at UBC
Video was not recorded
October 4 Dr. Alejandro Buren, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Science advice in the context of complex and changing ocean ecosystems
October 11 Dr. Laura Parfrey, Assistant Professor, UBC Departments for Botany and Zoology Microbial community assembly on seaweeds
Video was not recorded at the speaker's request
October 18 Dr. Scott Hinch, Professor, UBC Forestry Touching salmon: When is it wrong? Consequences of release or escape from fisheries capture
October 25 Dr. Gideon Mordecai, Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC A genomic view of viruses in farmed salmon in BC
Video was not recorded at the speaker's request
November 1 Dr. Evelyn Pinkerton, Professor, School of Resource & Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University Strategies and Policies Supporting Access and Conservation by Small-Scale Fishermen in a Neoliberal World
November 8 Dr. Patrick T. Martone, Professor, UBC Botany & Biodiversity Research Centre The rise and fall of coralline algae: Evolutionary, morphological, and ecological trends
November 15 Jeroen Steenbeek, Software engineer, Ecopath International Initiative Recent advances in the Ecopath with Ecosim food (EwE) web modelling approach
November 22 Marta Coll, Researcher, Institute of Marine Science (ICM–CSIC) (Barcelona, Spain) Advancing food web modelling capabilities to analyse global ocean futures
November 29 Seth Wynes, PhD student, UBC Department of Geography How academics can lead by example in a carbon constrained world
Note: Video is available, however the sound cuts out at 28.08. Video continues to end so viewers can see the full slide deck.

Term 2

January 10 Panellists: Peter Klein, Professor, UBC Journalism and Executive Director, Global Reporting Program
Caroline Graham, IOF M.Sc. student (China)
Thomas Smith, IOF M.Sc. student (West Africa)
Moderator: Monique Rodrigues, UBC Journalism alum
Panel Discussion: Fish You Don't Know You Eat
January 17 Nigel Haggan, MA, MSc, PhD Unsettling fisheries science
January 24 Ian Urbina, New York Times investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner The Outlaw Ocean: A conversation with Ian Urbina
January 31 Dr. Dyhia Belhabib, Ecotrust Canada Spying and snitching on fishy behaviour at sea
February 7 Kyra St-Pierre, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pelagic Ecosystems Lab What happens on land doesn't stay on land: Downstream impacts of watershed changes in northern ecosystems. This session was not be recorded at the speaker's request
February 14 Sharon Wu, Managing Director, Research Support Services Navigating Research Support Services at UBC
This session was not be recorded at the speaker's request
February 28 Dr. Jennifer Sunday, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, McGill University The ecological mechanics of range shifts in a warming world
March 6 Jeffrey Whiting, President & Founder, Artists for Conservation Foundation Art as a force for conservation
March 13 Dr. Jessica Garzke, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pelagic Ecosystems Lab Environmental changes influence coastal plankton communities with implications on food quantity and quality for fish

Select IOF seminar videos are available for viewing here.