Modeling water temperatures in the Fraser River watershed network

Rising river temperatures, partly driven by land-use and climate warming, threaten the future of Fraser River salmon. It is vital that fisheries managers acquire tools that will aid their understanding of how rising river temperatures will impact salmon in the Fraser River. With my industry partner, I will build a novel mathematical temperature model for the Fraser River. My model will incorporate existing water temperature data, land-use, and the direction of flow to predict water temperatures.

Have You Eaten Any Fish Today? Understanding Why Canadians Don’t Eat Canada’s Food Guide Recommended Two Servings Per Week

BC seafood companies and their industry association partners are strongly interested in growing domestic markets for seafood and promoting their locally caught and raised seafood products, which fit well with a number of current North American food trends including local food, a growing focus on diets promoting healthy lifestyles and an increasingly older adult demographic with an interest in consuming high quality, nutrient rich, and often health promoting and disease preventing foods, like seafood.

Validation of the diagnostic accuracy of a real-time fecal PCR test to identify Angiostrongylus vasorum infection

French Heartworm is a very real threat to the health of domesticated and wild dogs in Newfoundland. The purpose of this research project is to validate the sensitivity and specificity of a newly developed fecal test for this parasite. This will be done by collecting fecal and heart/lung samples from deceased dogs and wild canids (ie. coyotes, foxes). The results of running the fecal samples through this test alone are inconclusive.

Financial Governance and Modelling for Coastal Shellfish Corporation Strategic Plan

The purpose of this project is to provide Coastal Shellfish Corporation with an integrated biological and financial modelling framework for the management of current and future aquaculture operations of the corporation. The primary goal of this research is to provide a framework for implementation to the management of CSC that will enable to organization to implement best practices for biological and financial modelling for coastal shellfish aquaculture at farm-scale level.

Animal Recognition From Natural Scene Images

With the development of imaging technology, camera trapping becomes one of the best ways to record the presence and activities of large mammals in a given area. The approach to monitoring the animals can assist people in the community with decision making about preserving biodiversity. In the past, experts analyzed such images manually, which required domain knowledge and took significant time.

Commercial Fisheries Database Rebuild

The Saugeen Ojibway First Nation (SON) Commercial Fisheries database was developed nearly a decade ago, prior to mobile computing, cloud computing, and implementation of many of the current standards of IT. This project will redevelop the existing database using modern database and programming architectures (i.e. MySQL, PHP, Java), improve data storage, and provide users with real time feedback.

Investigating the early marine dynamics of Skeena River sockeye salmon using scale pattern analysis

This project will address questions about the variable marine survival of different Skeena river sockeye stocks. Zooplankton sampling will be conducted along the smolt outmigration route to determine the timing of peak abundance of important sockeye prey items. The scale characteristics of a number of different Skeena sockeye stocks across different years will be compared to determine relationships between early marine growth and smolt size, migration timing, and zooplankton abundance.

Development of closed containment and aquaponics technologies for White sturgeon aquaculture

The research will determine best culture practices for grow-out of the white sturgeon with respect to water quality parameters, feeds and feeding strategies, density of animals, and behavior as related to growth performance, health indicators, and stress. The research will also explore and develop an aquaponics component of the culture systems at the VIU laboratory and at the company partner’s site. Aquaponics is the coupling of a plant growing system to a fish growing system, the plants grown in water after its passage through the fish system.

Effect of exposure to hydrocarbons on reproductive functions in select marine organisms

The partner organization, Oceans Ltd, offers diagnostic services to detect and monitor the effects of environmental contaminants on marine ecosystems, mainly using fish as biomonitoring tools. The company wishes to seize an opportunity for capacity building and diversification by exploring new bioindicator technologies based on the effects of hydrocarbons on the reproduction of marine invertebrates. The Mercier Laboratory will provide key expertise on the general biology and reproduction of marine invertebrates, which will be instrumental in exploring this avenue.

The effects of stress during white sturgeon early life history on larval physiology, development and olfactory sensitivity

Elevated levels of stress hormones (i.e. cortisol) provide a potential mechanism by which substrate condition affects larval development and survival in the endangered white sturgeon. The possibility that stress hormones mediate larval response to substrate conditions will be investigated by artificially elevating cortisol levels and identifying effects on larval physiology. Cortisol levels of wild caught adult fish will also be investigated to determine the effects of capture and handling on spawning success and larval quality.