Research Units

Applied Freshwater Ecology Research Unit (AFERU)

Applying conservation and management issues as they pertain to British Columbia’s freshwater resources, this group consists of research scientists and staff from both the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (Conservation Science Section) and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. 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.

Centre for Indigenous Fisheries

At the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, we are committed to research, teaching, and service that places community needs and interests at the heart of all that we do. Our work ultimately aims to support the management and protection of culturally significant fish and fisheries in ways that uphold and respect Indigenous rights, values, practices, and knowledge systems.

Changing Ocean Research Unit (CORU)

Studying the effects of global climate and ocean changes on marine ecosystems, biodiversity and fisheries, CORU’s researchers assess the biophysical and socio-economic vulnerabilities and impacts of marine climate change, and identify mitigation and adaptation options.


Climate and Coastal Ecosystem Lab

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.

Coastal Marine Ecology

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.

Fisheries Economics Research Unit (FERU)

In studying the economics of aquaculture and capture fisheries, FERU explores how oceans can provide sustainable and equitable economic and social benefits to both present and future generations, while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.


Global Fisheries Cluster

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.

Global Ocean Modelling

Focusing on the development of a spatial model of the global ocean to support informed policy and management decisions, Global Ocean Modelling participates in the development of the Ecopath with Ecosim approach and software.

Hakai Coastal Initiative

Hakai Coastal Initiative (HCI) is a highly collaborative network of researchers, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, who have identified research projects of mutual interest along the Pacific Northwest coast and together work to establish the means to fund and execute such projects. Current working groups include: Marine Food Webs; Nearshore Biogeochemistry; Nearshore Ecology; Ocean Modelling; Salmon; Shellfish; and Symbiosis & Microbiome.

Marine Mammal Energetics and Nutrition Lab

Applying physiological knowledge and tools to understand and predict how organisms, populations, and ecosystems respond to environmental change and stressors in order to address real-world conservation problems.

Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU)

MMRU conducts research of the highest standards to enhance marine mammal conservation and reduce conflicts with human uses of our shared oceans.


Marine Virology and Microbiology

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.

Marine Zooplankton and Micronekton Laboratory

Marine Zooplankton and Micronekton Laboratory focuses on understanding marine ecosystems’ structure and function, physical-biological interactions, biogeochemical coupling and ecosystem responses to climate change. The research spans species ecology from plankton to fish covering water column processes in the world ocean from the North Pacific to the Southern Ocean.

OceanCanada Partnership

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.


Ocean Pollution Research Unit (OPRU)

By assessing marine pollution, as well as human and ecotoxicological risks, this group envisions to understand, study and model the exposure, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of legacy and emerging pollutants and the impacts of anthropogenic stressors in the global ocean. In doing so, it aims to prevent ocean pollution in an era of rapidly changing oceans.

Pelagic Ecosystems Lab

Investigating the plankton’s response to our changing oceans and its ecosystem level impacts from the coast to the open ocean.

Project Seahorse

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 a flagship species.


Sea Around Us

The Sea Around Us assesses the impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystems of the world and offers mitigating solutions to a range of stakeholders.

The unit provides reconstructed fisheries catch data and related indicators through the Tools and Data section on its website. It also provides analyses through peer-reviewed journal articles and a News section, and regularly updates its products at the scale of countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones, Large Marine Ecosystems, the High Seas and other spatial scales, and as global maps and summaries.


Solving FCB

The goal of this Partnership, “Solving the Sustainability Challenges at the Food-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus” (Solving-FCB), is to support and facilitate the development of viable FCB solutions that explicitly consider their complex social and ecological contexts. The Solving-FCB Partnership brings together world-leading scholars and practitioners from academic institutes, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, and government agencies to undertake transdisciplinary research that examines policies and human actions at the intersection of achieving food security, climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals.

Stock Assessment and MSE Research Unit (SEARUN)

The Stock Assessment and MSE Research Unit (SEARUN) works collaboratively with scientists, research and management organizations inside and outside of Canada, fisheries stakeholder groups, internationally-based NGOs and regional fisheries management organizations. It has led the development of new decision-support software tools for fisheries and statistical analyses of fisheries data sets. It focuses on the development of new, innovative population dynamics modeling approaches, stock assessment methods, management strategy evaluation (MSE) applications, fisheries management optimization tools, and spatial statistical methods to improve understanding about historical shifts in the spatial distribution of fish stocks and formulate abundance indices for fish stocks when historical survey coverage has been patchy. It specializes in developing new integrative fisheries modeling tools that account for predator-prey interactions, range contractions and expansions associated with population fluctuations and climate change, and also the spatial and seasonal dynamics of fishing fleets. In addition to developing advanced data analysis and decision support tools, the research program includes developing new field sampling programs to fill important gaps in datasets, e.g., in regards to the diets of key predators in fisheries ecosystems and seasonal movements and survival rates of different fish life history stages.

Statistical Ecology Research Group

The Statistical Ecology Research Group links ecology and statistics to help understand animal behaviour, population dynamics, movement, and space use. It generally focuses on aquatic ecosystems or animals living at the poles.

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