Research Impact
The Institute is leading cutting-edge research at the ocean frontier that advances policy decisions and drives innovation in the development of a blue and sustainable economy.

The Institute fosters innovation through high-risk, high-gain research, with an interdisciplinary approach. Researchers involved in OFI's Large Research Projects are collaborating within and across natural science, social science and humanities, and engineering to model ocean circulation, sea ice, biogeochemical variables, and extreme conditions.

As a result, they are engaging with local fisheries, stakeholders at workshops and public events to understand fishers’ knowledge and science, and linking ocean physics, fish populations, and genetics with fishing rights and food security for local Indigenous communities.

Interdisciplinary research

Research teams are linking science and management more effectively, for example, quantifying disease transmission between aquaculture sites and incorporating results into epidemiological models for managers and investigating how social licence for aquaculture is affected by ecological carrying capacity and human health/safety.

The Institute is also integrating data science into research: machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data approaches are being developed; OFI partners with the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS); and the Coastal Environmental Observation Technology and Research group is providing technical/data support to all OFI researchers to encourage effective data management.

Research partnerships

OFI researchers are working with government research organizations (e.g., DFO) to tag cod, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on an infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) model to combat aquaculture disease outbreaks. Research teams are engaged with Indigenous communities, for example, with the We’koqma’q First Nation to investigate new microbial fuel cell technology.

Industry partnerships are central to many of the Institute’s projects; e.g., we are partnering with the aquaculture industry to implement sensors and aid with antimicrobial resistance, an international technology company to put sensors on autonomous vehicles, and an Atlantic Canada company on alternative ballast water monitoring methods. Researchers collaborate with groups such as CIOOS to develop data protocols, essential ocean variables, and metadata standards, and work with academic partners (regionally, nationally, internationally), such as Woods Hole Ocean Institution on particulate carbon analysis, and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel on the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program.

Learn more about research partnerships

Innovative research

Researchers at the Institute use innovative approaches to collect ocean data; e.g., via robotic platforms, passive acoustic monitoring to retrieve biological information, an advanced “internet of things” for big data in fish farming, and new technologies for treatment assessment for estradiol in aquaculture. Teams are also finding innovative ways to share ocean data, including a new collaborative annotation interface (Aplose), a new interactive map to share deployment details for the Joint Exploration of the Twilight Zone Ocean Network, a website being used internationally to track marine heatwaves in real-time, and direct data sharing with DFO for development of an MPA in the Eastern Shore Islands of Atlantic Canada.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

Tracey Woodhouse
Programs Manager

Click here for more information on OFI's innovative research projects