Projects: 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 foraging habitats used by breeding birds and potential overlap with local fisheries.


My research includes the island ecosystems that support marine species like seabirds, and has addressed questions related to introduced species, the role of seabirds on islands, and the unique plant communities that occur on seabird colonies.

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.