Fraser River Estuary
I am currently a master’s student in the Baum Lab at the University of Victoria, studying the interactions between juvenile salmon and their environment. My main interest is in coastal ecology; I find these nutrient-rich interfaces between land and water fascinating and full of ecological questions. As the most accessible parts of the marine environment, our coasts and the creatures that inhabit them are also incredibly vulnerable to human impacts. The Fraser River estuary is a unique delta and is part of a massive river system, draining roughly 1/4 of the province of BC! This estuary not only supports birds, fish and plant life, but also acts as a hub for industry and urban development. I am working with several groups of people to better understand how we can manage the nearshore habitats of the Fraser estuary to preserve the fish populations that live there.
When I started as a Research Assistant with the Baum Lab, my first task was to help get an eelgrass team up an running. I accompanied M.Sc. student Aaron Eger to Prince Rupert to meet with local groups and scope out the eelgrass meadows of the Skeena River estuary for his future research. While we were there, we conducted some research for the Zostera Experimental Network (ZEN).
We, along with Dr. Josie Iacarella, became the “Baum Lab Eelgrass Team”, and while my main focus is now on salmon, I have continued to engage in eelgrass field work and collaborations wherever I can! This includes Josie’s Eelgrass Fishes Network, which includes a lot of wonderful research groups up and down BC’s coast. Together we collected data in 2016 on fish community and eelgrass meadow health from the Fraser to the Skeena and many places in between.
Rockfish Conservation Project
I worked with the Galiano Conservancy Association to conduct a baseline study of rockfish abundance and diversity inside and outside of protective Rockfish Conservation Areas around Galiano Island. We found more rockfish outside of the RCAs than within them, which launched a series of research projects in partnership with the University of Victoria. Read more about the project here. Want to get involved in rockfish conservation initiatives around the Salish Sea? Join our Facebook group!
White Meconella Project
While working with the Galiano Conservancy Association I helped with ongoing restoration work on Mt. Sutil, which hosts a rare pocket of intact Garry Oak ecosystem. We initiated an attempt to re-introduce the extirpated flower, Meconella oregana, which has never been successfully cultivated. The following year, we found a single flower clinging to the cliffs at our site. Restoration efforts continue every year – read more here!
On the side:
When I am not too busy with my master’s research, I enjoy working with the following incredible research/conservation groups whenever I can. Check them out!
- Rockfish Foundation
- Galiano Conservancy Association
- Pacific Estuarine Research Society
- Raincoast Conservation Foundation
- Seagrass BC, an initiative of Seagrass Conservation Working Group and Hakai