About Joanna Smith

I am a Senior Scientist with Birdsmith Ecological Research, a company I formed in 1995. For the past 17 years, I have collaborated with scientists, fishermen and other stakeholders, communities, policy analysts, conservation groups, First Nations, provincial and federal governments to bring the best science to regulations, and policy in Canada, USA and Chile. Currently, I support a marine planning process in BC, the Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast.

My passion is seabirds and oceans. My research has taken me to remote offshore islands in British Columbia, Chile, the Galápagos and the tropical Pacific. My studies have filled gaps in our knowledge on foraging ecology, breeding biology, island restoration, and oceanic variability. After years of living in tents and logging thousands of ocean miles, my expertise includes seabirds, marine mammals, fish, intertidal systems, introduced species, and oceanographic processes.

I entered the world of marine policy in the late 1990s with a project studying seabird bycatch in Canada’s west coast commercial fisheries.  Four years of research and outreach with federal government and fisheries partners, we wrote new Fisheries and Oceans Canada regulations to reduce seabird bycatch in the west coast longline fishery. Additionally, I drafted Canada’s National Plan of Action – Seabirds to reduce seabird bycatch and comply with Canada’s signature on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.  Today, my participation in marine policy extends to include marine protected areas, comprehensive ocean planning, and ecosystem-based management.

My professional life hasn’t always focused on the ocean. I have conducted more than a dozen research projects in terrestrial ecosystems – rare and endemic plants, ethnobotany with First Nations, insect life history, and plant regeneration on the Mount St Helen’s!

I have held several leadership positions since 1987 at The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, University of Victoria, Laskeek Bay Conservation Society, and Canadian Yachting Association. I have a PhD from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, MSc in Biology from the University of Victoria, and BSc in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria. I am a member of the Science Advisory Board for the SeaDoc Society and Laskeek Bay Conservation Society. I am a Registered Professional Biologist with the College of Applied Biology (No. 942) and Association of Professional Biology in British Columbia.

CV PDF: Joanna Smith CV July 2014

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