Research Units

  • Applied Freshwater Ecology Research Unit (AFERU)

    This group applies conservation and management issues as they pertain to British Columbia’s freshwater resources. The unit 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.

  • Centre for Indigenous Fisheries

    The centre is committed to research, teaching, and service that places community needs and interests at the heart of all they do. Their 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)

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


  • Climate and Coastal Ecosystem Lab

    This lab studies why climate matters to society in addition to ecosystems such as coral reefs. Their 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

    Coastal Marine Ecology Research focuses on the impact 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)

    FERU looks for interdisciplinary solutions to local marine and freshwater management issues on global, national, and local levels. It focuses on maintaining ‘healthy’ ecosystems while conducting economic and policy analysis, and mobilizing researchers to advance resource management for the benefit of current and future generations.


  • Global Fisheries Cluster

    The Global Fisheries Cluster brings together UBC researchers who share a vision  of sharply focusing on global, interdisciplinary and integrated fisheries research at the University of British Columbia.

  • Global Ocean Modelling

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

  • Hakai Coastal Initiative

    This collaborative initiative is made up of highly skilled researchers, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. These individuals wfocus on identified research projects of mutual interest along the Pacific Northwest coast and work together to establish the means to fund and execute these projects.

  • Marine Mammal Energetics and Nutrition Lab

    This unit looks to apply physiological tools and knowledge 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 mammals are seen as indicators of ecosystem change, and the focus is on the natural history, biology and conservation of marine mammals, primarily cetaceans (whales) and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions).


  • 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 of viruses and quantifying their impact on mortality, community structure, and nutrient and energy cycling in natural marine systems.

  • Marine Zooplankton and Micronekton Laboratory

    Understanding marine ecosystems’ structure and function, physical-biological interactions, biogeochemical coupling and ecosystem responses to climate change. Research spans species ecology from plankton to fish covering water column processes 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, OPRU seeks to understand, study and model the exposure, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of legacy and emerging pollutants, as well as the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on the global ocean.

  • Pelagic Ecosystems Lab

    The Pelagic Ecosystems Lab researchs the structure and function of pelagic ecosystems and their coupling with climate, ocean and terrestrial systems. The unit also investigates the plankton’s response to 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 and then applying its findings to the management of populations, habitats, fisheries, and trades. It addresses a broad range of marine conservation issues around the world, using seahorses as a flagship species.

  • Sea Around Us

    Sea Around Us reconstructs fisheries catch data and related indicators through their Tools and Data. 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.

  • Solving FCB

    “Solving the Sustainability Challenges at the Food-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus” (Solving-FCB) supports and develops viable FCB solutions that explicitly consider complex social and ecological contexts. The partnership brings together world-renowned scholars and practitioners to undertake transdisciplinary research that examines policies and human actions at the intersection of achieving food security, climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals.

  • 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.

  • Stock Assessment and MSE Research Unit (SEARUN)

    SEARUN works collaboratively with domestic and international scientists and research and management organizations, fisheries stakeholder groups, internationally-based NGOs, and regional fisheries management organizations. It focuses on the development of innovative population dynamics modeling, stock assessment methods, management strategy evaluation applications (among others) to improve understandings about historical shifts in the spatial distribution of fish stocks.

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