Marine Ecosystems

Marine Ecosystems

I have studied aspects of marine and coastal ecosystems since 1997.  For six years, I worked in Haida Gwaii and conducted long-term studies for seabird, marine mammals and marine ecosystem process. Research on an endemic petrel in Chile highlighted the

Gadfly Petrels

Gadfly Petrels

This research was the first of its kind to study the provisioning strategy of the Juan Fernández Petrels during breeding, a medium-sized gadlfy petrel endemic to Isla Alejandro Selkirk, Chile.

Introduced Species

On many seabird colonies, there are introduced predators. My research has included studying the effects of introduced species on nesting seabirds as well as the effect of introduced herbivores, like deer, on island ecosystems.

Island Restoration

I am very interested in the science of island restoration, particularly in the role of seabirds on island ecosystems and the change in plant communities with and without predator pressure. My research has contributed to the science of island restoration in Canada, USA, Chile and tropical Pacific.

Marine Ecosystems - Monitoring

Long-term Monitoring

I have worked with government agencies and non-governmental agencies in Canada and the USA to develop, revise or inform long-term monitoring programs for seabirds, other marine species, and terrestrial ecosystems.

MaPP – Marine Planning Partnership

Marine planning in the North Coast of BC is using an ecosystem-based management framework to support the development of marine use plans for the waters between north Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas in Washington state were assessed for conservation management status from 2009-2012. This on-going project advances our understanding of how to conduct marine gap analyses and encourages dialogue regarding the statement that 1% of the oceans are protected.

Northeast Pacific Ocean

A 9,000 km voyage from the Galapagos Islands to Vancouver Island, BC presented a unique opportunity to collect a remarkable dataset from 0° to 48° N. Seabirds data were combined with remote sensing data to describe the distinct marine bird communities along this unusual ocean transect.

Seabird Research - Alcids

Seabird colonies

From Haida Gwaii to Vancouver Island, I have studied seabirds breeding on their colonies and at-sea. Using field observations, at-sea surveys, banding studies, data loggers and remote sensing data, this research has contributed to our understanding of the effects of short-term oceanic variability, and the role of seabirds in marine ecosystems.

Policy - Species at Risk

Species at Risk

The albatrosses and shearwaters are most at risk in BC from incidental longline mortality. I have worked with government agencies to document threats to marine birds and quantify these threats for species at risk or candidate species.

Marine Planning

Marine Planning

Since 2008, I have supported public marine and coastal planning processes in Canada and the United States.  I am currently the Science Coordinator for the Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP), a co-led partnership between the BC

MaPP – Marine Planning Partnership

Marine planning in the North Coast of BC is using an ecosystem-based management framework to support the development of marine use plans for the waters between north Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas in Washington state were assessed for conservation management status from 2009-2012. This on-going project advances our understanding of how to conduct marine gap analyses and encourages dialogue regarding the statement that 1% of the oceans are protected.

Marine Planning Washington State

Marine Spatial Planning in WA state

For three years, I worked in Washington state to spearhead The Nature Conservancy’s first ever marine spatial planning initiative. Our marine team worked to build local community and tribal support to advance multi-objective planning for conservation, renewable energy and fisheries.

Policy

Policy

An important aspect of my work is to bring the best available science to marine policy and regulation. Working with federal, provincial and state agencies, as well as First Nations, Treaty Tribes and stakeholders, I have assisted with developing new

Rocky Reach Reservoir, WA

Avian Predation

Common mergansers and other birds forage on the Columbia River and consume salmon smolts. I studied the habitat selection and foraging behaviour of common mergansers on two reservoirs of the mid-Columbia River to support the Chelan County Public Utility in their assessment of avian predation and salmon survival.

Fisheries Bycatch

I have worked with government agencies, fishermen, and the at-sea observer programs to assess rates, develop observer materials, write national policy and develop new regulations to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds in commercial fisheries.

MaPP – Marine Planning Partnership

Marine planning in the North Coast of BC is using an ecosystem-based management framework to support the development of marine use plans for the waters between north Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas in Washington state were assessed for conservation management status from 2009-2012. This on-going project advances our understanding of how to conduct marine gap analyses and encourages dialogue regarding the statement that 1% of the oceans are protected.

Policy - Species at Risk

Species at Risk

The albatrosses and shearwaters are most at risk in BC from incidental longline mortality. I have worked with government agencies to document threats to marine birds and quantify these threats for species at risk or candidate species.

Marine Planning Washington State

Marine Spatial Planning in WA state

For three years, I worked in Washington state to spearhead The Nature Conservancy’s first ever marine spatial planning initiative. Our marine team worked to build local community and tribal support to advance multi-objective planning for conservation, renewable energy and fisheries.

Seabird Research

Seabird Research

I am an expert in the foraging ecology and breeding biology of marine birds, in particular the gadfly petrels and alcids. My research has taken me to remote islands off the British Columbia coast, the Galápagos Islands and to the Robinson Crusoe Islands in Chile.

Alcids

From Haida Gwaii to Vancouver Island, I have studied ancient murrelets and other alcids in their breeding locations and at-sea. These studies support questions related to nest site fidelity, oceanic variability, introduced predators, life history, and fisheries bycatch.

Fisheries Bycatch

I have worked with government agencies, fishermen, and the at-sea observer programs to assess rates, develop observer materials, write national policy and develop new regulations to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds in commercial fisheries.

Gadfly Petrels

Gadfly Petrels

This research was the first of its kind to study the provisioning strategy of the Juan Fernández Petrels during breeding, a medium-sized gadlfy petrel endemic to Isla Alejandro Selkirk, Chile.

Introduced Species

On many seabird colonies, there are introduced predators. My research has included studying the effects of introduced species on nesting seabirds as well as the effect of introduced herbivores, like deer, on island ecosystems.

Island Restoration

I am very interested in the science of island restoration, particularly in the role of seabirds on island ecosystems and the change in plant communities with and without predator pressure. My research has contributed to the science of island restoration in Canada, USA, Chile and tropical Pacific.

Marine Ecosystems - Monitoring

Long-term Monitoring

I have worked with government agencies and non-governmental agencies in Canada and the USA to develop, revise or inform long-term monitoring programs for seabirds, other marine species, and terrestrial ecosystems.

Northeast Pacific Ocean

A 9,000 km voyage from the Galapagos Islands to Vancouver Island, BC presented a unique opportunity to collect a remarkable dataset from 0° to 48° N. Seabirds data were combined with remote sensing data to describe the distinct marine bird communities along this unusual ocean transect.

Seabird Research - Plastics

Plastics

Plastic consumption in seabirds is gaining increasing attention as spatial documentation, chick mortalities and concerns about toxins increase in the scientific and environmental communities.

Seabird Research Guides - Jo Smith

Seabird ID cards

Educational outreach is an important component of reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in commercial fisheries. Beginning in 2002, two seabird identification guides were developed with a retired commercial fishermen to inform the fishery about birds most at risk of being caught in gillnets or demersal longline.

Policy - Species at Risk

Species at Risk

The albatrosses and shearwaters are most at risk in BC from incidental longline mortality. I have worked with government agencies to document threats to marine birds and quantify these threats for species at risk or candidate species.