About the research project
About Marine Protected Areas
Marine Protected Areas limit certain uses of coastal or ocean regions in order to protect natural resources, biodiversity, or peoples’ livelihoods. They can also protect spiritual and cultural heritage, and support uses that help people understand and appreciate Canada’s marine resources.
Determining where to best place Marine Protected Areas and how to manage them in the face of changing climate and ocean conditions represents a major challenge. Climate change already shifts ecosystem and species from their historical ranges, sometimes into poorly protected or otherwise unsuitable environments.
Research objective: to make marine spatial management in the Northwest Atlantic responsive to the challenges of rapid environmental change and shifting ecosystems.
Due to its more rapid rate of climate change, the Northwest Atlantic may be understood as as a global sentinel for ocean change. Researchers will use this region to test our understanding of management of marine ecosystem use and how management strategies can respond to accelerated environmental change. The results can inform ecosystem and fisheries management regionally, as well a provide a comprehensive toolbox for ‘climate-smart’ Marine Protected Area management in other parts of the globe.
- Provide an integrated toolkit and decision-making framework for static versus dynamic management
- Work towards a regional citizen-scientist observer base for ocean observation and monitoring
- Develop novel statistical tools for dynamic modeling of changing conditions
- Design novel legal tools for decision-making in a dynamic environmental context
The research team
The leaders of this research program, both at Dalhousie University, are Boris Worm, Killam Research Professor in Marine Conservation , and David VanderZwaag, Canada Research Chair in Ocean Law and Governance.
- Heike Lotze
- Joanna Mills Flemming
- Mike Dowd
- Suzuette Soomai, emerging researcher
- Kristina Boerder, Postdoctoral fellow
- Daniel Boyce, Postdoctoral fellow
- Olga Koubrak, PhD Candidate
- Ethan Lawler, PhD candidate
- Isabelle Jubinville, MSc candidate
- Bethany Nordstroem, Research Associate
- Kristen Wilson, Research Associate
- Sophie Tattrie, Honors student
Memorial University of Newfoundland:
- Paul Snelgrove
Fisheries and Oceans Canada:
- Pierre Pepin (DFO Newfoundland)
- Maxine Westhead (DFO Maritimes)
- Claudio Dibacco (DFO Maritimes)
- Katherine Hastings (DFO Maritimes)
- Ryan Stanley (DFO Maritimes)
- Susan Heaslip (DFO Maritimes)
- Nick Jeffrey (DFO Maritimes)
- Marie-Helene Theriault (DFO Gulf Region)
- Carole Godin (DFO Gulf Region)
- Jessica Mitchell (DFO Ottawa)
United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre:
- Derek Tittensor, emerging researcher (UNEP-WCMC)
World Wildlife Fund:
- Sigrid Kuehnemund and Aurelie Godin, emerging researcher
- Christine Ward-Paige, emerging researcher
- Learn more his research onboard the Canada C3 Expedition, where he and his fellow scientists studied marine birds and mammal diversity.
- Ocean School is a ground-breaking educational and public engagement initiative that uses innovative learning and storytelling techniques to foster ocean literacy. A joint initiative of Dalhousie University and the National Film Board of Canada, Ocean School focuses on ocean science, technology and innovation while also providing insight into the broader economic, social, environmental, and cultural dimensions of the human relationship with the marine environment.