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

2021 Term 1

September 24

Amina Schartup is an Assistant Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). Before coming to SIO, Schartup was a Research Associate at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Schartup also spent 2 years as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the NSF Office of Polar Program–Arctic Section developing a federal guidance document on pursuing ethical research in the Arctic. Schartup holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Connecticut, a MSc in geochemistry from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and a BSc in chemistry from Paris Descartes University.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that has been mined and released by humans for more than 3,000 years. Inorganic mercury is released by human activities and makes up most of the mercury reservoir in the environment. However, only the organic form of mercury, methylmercury, biomagnifies in food webs and is associated with potent neurodevelopmental impacts in humans and wildlife. Understanding the microbial reactions and geochemical conditions conducive to the formation of methylmercury has been the focus of many years of research due to global impacts on the health of fish-consuming wildlife and human populations. Most of the global methylmercury exposure for human populations is from marine ecosystems due to bioaccumulation in predatory fish at levels that are a million times, or more, higher than seawater. This presentation will provide an overview of recent advances in the understanding of methylmercury formation, uptake by phytoplankton, and biomagnification in marine food webs. My approach combines new field data collection, experimental measurements, isotopic tools, and numerical modeling. I will also discuss how changes in the biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems are affecting the mercury cycle.

October 1
Dr. Rashid Sumaila
University Killam Professor & Canada Research Chair (Tier I, Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics)
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries & School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

October 8 Dr. Gideon Mordecai
Research Associate, IOF
October 15 Dr. Amanda Vincent
Professor, IOF
The journey to winning the Indianapolis Conservation Award
October 22
Dr. Katye Altieri
University of Cape Town
Ocean Womxn programme
October 29 Dr. Michelle Tseng
Assistant Professor, IRES
November 5
(in person)
Dr. Vianey Leos Barajas
University of Toronto
Animal movement
November 12
Dr. Ian Perry
Emeritus Scientist
Pacific Biological Station
Fisheries & Oceans Canada
November 19
Dr. Jeremy Pittman
University of Waterloo
Environmental policy and governance
November 26 Student Presentations TBA
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


Past seminars

September 11 Dr. Dana Lepofsky, Simon Fraser University The 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.