Research Projects
Our research is providing the framework that drives ocean policy

The Ocean Frontier Institute is focused on understanding key aspects of ocean and ecosystem change and developing strategic and effective solutions that can be applied both locally and globally. OFI’s aim is to conduct research that advances policy decisions and advances the development of a blue — and sustainable — economy.

Transforming Ocean Observations

Brad deYoung
Explore research project

Sustainable Capture Fisheries & their Ecosystems

Noel Cadigan, Paul Winger, Jonathan Fisher
Explore research project

Spatial Dynamics of Valued Atlantic Groundfish

Sara Iverson, Aaron MacNeil, Jonathan Fisher
Explore research project

Social Licence & Planning in Coastal Communities

Lucia Fanning, Charles Mather
Explore research project

Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection

Aldo Chircop, Ronald Pelot, Floris Goerlandt, Claudio Aporta
Explore research project

Research Data Management

Stan Matwin
Explore research project

Novel Sensors for Fish Health & Welfare

Jon Grant
Explore research project

New Models of Salmon Health Management

Ian Gardner
Explore research project

Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean

Ratana Chuenpagdee
Explore research project

Improving Sustainability & Mitigating the Challenges of Aquaculture

Matthew Rise
Explore research project

Future-proofing Marine Protected Area Networks

Boris Worm, David VanderZwaag
Explore research project

Ecosystem Indicators for a Changing Ocean

Paul Snelgrove, Megan Bailey
Explore research project

Dynamic response of microbial communities to change

Julie LaRoche
Explore research project

Cooperative Model Framework for the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway

Katja Fennel, Jinyu Sheng
Explore research project

The Northwest Atlantic Biological Carbon Pump

Zoe Finkel
Explore research project

One Ocean Health

Mark Fast, Stefanie Colombo
Explore research project

Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures

Anna Metaxas, Amanda Bates, Rodd Laing
Explore research project

Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures - FOCI

Paul Foley, Lorenzo Moro
Explore research project

Marine Atmospheric Composition & Visibility

Rachel Chang
Explore research project

Auditing the Northwest Atlantic Carbon Sink

Doug Wallace
Explore research project

Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding PEI (SOURCE)

Vittorio Maselli
Explore research project

Benthic ecosystem mapping for sustainable ocean stewardship in a shifting ocean climate (BEcoME)

Craig Brown
Explore research project
Transforming Ocean Observations
Next generation unmanned marine platforms will have significantly improved on-board intelligence and autonomy, enabling better system diagnostics, sensor health and data interpretation for supervised real-time decision making with less operator intervention. The increased availability of different underwater communication modalities, such as acoustic and optical communication systems, paired with an increasing number of operational platforms — stationary and mobile — will allow the exploitation of coordinated heterogeneous multi-platform concepts for ocean observations and tracking on multiple length and time scales. It will also enable development of cross-platform, in-situ sensor calibration.
Learn More
Sustainable Capture Fisheries & their Ecosystems
Determining the size and productivity of fish stocks is a major governance and research challenge, particularly for good fisheries management. Increasing our understanding of fish populations and their ecosystems — and how they respond to a changing climate — can improve both sustainable fisheries and effective fisheries management, now and in the future. This research will help Canada meet fisheries sustainability goals by providing novel, computer-model based assessments of specific cold-water fish stocks and their ecosystems. It will also develop innovative technologies and strategies for fishing in the rapidly changing ecosystems of the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway. This research will significantly improve scientific advice to support successful and sustainable fisheries management in Canada and abroad.
Learn More
Spatial Dynamics of Valued Atlantic Groundfish
Using acoustic fish tags and genetic markers, researchers are tracking the movements of Northern cod and Atlantic halibut to identify where and when they spawn, feed, and migrate. The data collected through this research project will help characterize fish populations (stocks and sub-stocks), survival, spawning, movements, and track their distribution in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. This research on groundfish (fish that live and feed near the bottom of the ocean) will support the development of new, more responsive, sustainable fisheries management practices.
Learn More
Social Licence & Planning in Coastal Communities
This research project will partner with industry, government, and community stakeholders in four communities that are home to aquaculture production sites — one in Nova Scotia and three in Newfoundland and Labrador — to increase understanding of the social licence in aquaculture. It will produce a framework for societally-endorsed, sustainable aquaculture, with targeted information for eastern Canada, and broader conclusions with global applicability.
Learn More
Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection
This research project explores a range of tools to help mitigate risks and adverse impacts from shipping and identify respectful approaches for safeguarding Inuit interests. It will also contribute to marine spatial planning, and determine how complementarities can be promoted and conflicts prevented — or managed — in shipping corridors.
Learn More
Research Data Management
The emergence of a new generation of ocean-bound sensors is generating an ever-increasing — and complex — volume of data. Through this project, researchers will propose a focused, interdisciplinary data management system that will effectively allow scientists to share ocean science information and data analytics algorithms.
Learn More
Novel Sensors for Fish Health & Welfare
This research will help us better understand the fish farm environment, and support farm managers by providing more information to use in decision-making. The team of researchers and their industry partners will combine novel sensors to bring new approaches to in-water sensing applied to the welfare and management of farmed fish.
Learn More
New Models of Salmon Health Management
This research project will develop computer models showing the spread of disease in marine-farmed Atlantic salmon populations, evaluate data from novel sensors in salmon pens to reduce disease risk in farmed and wild salmon populations, and facilitate the sustainable growth of ecosystem-based aquaculture in Canada.
Learn More
Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean
Twenty five years after the collapse of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cod fishery, new shifts in fisheries — declining crab and shrimp quotas, hints of a modest cod stock recovery, an aging workforce, climate change, and more — present new challenges for the effective governance and management of the province’s fisheries. This research will investigate how recent changes to Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries will impact the future of fisheries, coastal communities, and the provincial economy. It will identify what’s required to rebuild collapsed fisheries, and identify governance solutions that will achieve safe and resilient fisheries and coastal communities.
Learn More
Improving Sustainability & Mitigating the Challenges of Aquaculture
By studying the effects of infectious diseases and developing effective treatments, by producing novel and sustainable fish diets, by improving environmental sustainability, and by determining the effects of climate change on fish health, this research will improve the resilience and global competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry.
Learn More
Future-proofing Marine Protected Area Networks
Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools offer an important strategy that forms a growing aspect of ocean governance. Marine Protected Areas are often designed to protect biodiversity, sustain or enhance productivity and critical habitat, maintain ocean health and provide insurance against sudden or drastic changes in the ecosystem and its resources. Canada is committed to expanding its Marine Protected Area coverage from ~1% to 10% by the year 2020. This research aims to complement existing efforts to help ‘future-proof’ such Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools such as fisheries closures and critical habitat designations. By integrating observational data on shifting habitats and ecosystems with real-time remote sensing, animal movement, and vessel tracking data, this project will help to understand — and model — changes in ocean conditions, biological resources, and human use patterns relevant to Marine Protected Areas.
Learn More
Ecosystem Indicators for a Changing Ocean
This research will develop a framework of ecosystem indicators — gauges of ecosystem health — for Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway ecosystems and will provide guidance for regional management strategies and conservation efforts.
Learn More
Dynamic response of microbial communities to change
This research will take stock of the types and activities of phytoplankton and other microbes that live in the Northwest Atlantic and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. It will also track changes in the activity and abundance of microbes as climate change accelerates. Historically, the small size and challenges in identifying key players has limited our capacity to understand microbes, but new genetic technologies and sensors open possibilities that did not exist even a decade ago. By better understanding marine microbes, scientists can forecast how they will respond to their changing environment and how those impacts will cascade throughout the whole marine ecosystem.
Learn More
Cooperative Model Framework for the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway
This research will develop a multi-scale computer model framework of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Canadian Arctic Gateway, providing a basic foundation from which to construct the physical, biological, geological and chemical aspects of the ocean. This model will improve prediction of marine conditions and lead to a better understanding of the effects of climate change on the region.
Learn More
The Northwest Atlantic Biological Carbon Pump
The ocean stores an enormous amount of carbon and heat, and in doing so regulates Earth’s climate. This project focuses on an important aspect of the ocean’s carbon storage referred to as the biological carbon pump (BCP). When tiny algae in the ocean grow, they take up CO2. When some of these algae, or feces from small animals that ate them, sink to the deep ocean (e.g., below 1000 m), the carbon they contain is removed from contact with the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. This can be thought of as biological processes pumping carbon into the deep ocean. Without the BCP, carbon dioxide concentrations would be nearly double the amount in the atmosphere today and Earth’s climate would be radically different. In the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway, algae accumulate in the spring. This algae growth, together with the sinking of cold, carbon-rich water, moves huge amounts of carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. Currently, we do not have measurements or models to reliably predict how these processes will change as the climate warms.
Learn More
One Ocean Health
Researchers on the One Ocean Health project will work to understand the connection between ocean health, marine animal health, and human health. The team has been recognized as international leaders in research on the health ocean-sourced food (such as salmon and lobster), which is under threat from global climate change.
Learn More
Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures
This project will look at rapidly changing environmental conditions in Northern Canada and the impacts on local communities who depend heavily on marine resources. The project will use both community-engaged research and scientific methods to co-produce knowledge about the marine ecosystem and enhance capacity in marine research.
Learn More
Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures - FOCI
We are linked closely to the ocean through physical/built infrastructures such as ports, vessels and navigation technology, natural infrastructures like coastlines, sea currents and fish habitats, and societal infrastructures such as seafood markets, marine shipping regulations, and cultural traditions and knowledge of coastal communities. Climate and ocean ecosystem changes are interacting with the changing built and societal infrastructures on which we rely. Coupled with extreme weather, coastal erosion, sea level rise, and more, these changes are creating new risks and challenges for the ocean industries and coastal communities that link us to the ocean. Researchers on the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures project are re-thinking the way we design, develop, and manage infrastructures, with an overarching aim to ensure the designs of our future infrastructures are sustainable, safe and inclusive.
Learn More
Marine Atmospheric Composition & Visibility
This research will investigate marine atmospheric composition, including fog, low cloud and haze, and seek to understand its effects on visibility, climate and air quality across the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. Accurate forecasts of the dynamic marine atmosphere would support safe shipping and aviation — and our understanding of the effects of changing air quality on northern coastal communities.
Learn More
Auditing the Northwest Atlantic Carbon Sink
This research will create an auditing toolkit — a scientific balance sheet — for the Northwest Atlantic’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, now and in the future. Measurement of how much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is absorbed by the ocean is critical for design and assessment of policies required to mitigate climate change. The module will assemble a unique suite of measurements and models in order to assess the carbon dioxide strength regionally.
Learn More
Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding PEI (SOURCE)
Groundwater represents the world’s largest freshwater resource and provides drinking water for two billion people globally and over 10 million Canadians. Prince Edward Island is 100% dependent on groundwater for both irrigation and drinking, but this resource has faced compounding stresses in recent years due to the extensive agricultural industry and the impacts of climate change. Freshwater offshore aquifers located beneath the seafloor may represent a new and critical water resource for PEI.
Learn More
Benthic ecosystem mapping for sustainable ocean stewardship in a shifting ocean climate (BEcoME)
The seafloor is extremely important for ocean health, providing habitat for many ocean animals, but marine industries like fishing and shipping place enormous pressure on this ecosystem. Surprisingly, only a small fraction of the seafloor has been mapped at the levels needed for us to understand ocean seafloor processes. This project aims to address data gaps in the Northwest Atlantic and help predict how threats like climate change will drive changes to vulnerable marine life on and near the seafloor.
Learn More
Transforming Ocean Observations
Next generation unmanned marine platforms will have significantly improved on-board intelligence and autonomy, enabling better system diagnostics, sensor health and data interpretation for supervised real-time decision making with less operator intervention. The increased availability of different underwater communication modalities, such as acoustic and optical communication systems, paired with an increasing number of operational platforms — stationary and mobile — will allow the exploitation of coordinated heterogeneous multi-platform concepts for ocean observations and tracking on multiple length and time scales. It will also enable development of cross-platform, in-situ sensor calibration.
Learn More
Sustainable Capture Fisheries & their Ecosystems
Determining the size and productivity of fish stocks is a major governance and research challenge, particularly for good fisheries management. Increasing our understanding of fish populations and their ecosystems — and how they respond to a changing climate — can improve both sustainable fisheries and effective fisheries management, now and in the future. This research will help Canada meet fisheries sustainability goals by providing novel, computer-model based assessments of specific cold-water fish stocks and their ecosystems. It will also develop innovative technologies and strategies for fishing in the rapidly changing ecosystems of the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway. This research will significantly improve scientific advice to support successful and sustainable fisheries management in Canada and abroad.
Learn More
Spatial Dynamics of Valued Atlantic Groundfish
Using acoustic fish tags and genetic markers, researchers are tracking the movements of Northern cod and Atlantic halibut to identify where and when they spawn, feed, and migrate. The data collected through this research project will help characterize fish populations (stocks and sub-stocks), survival, spawning, movements, and track their distribution in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. This research on groundfish (fish that live and feed near the bottom of the ocean) will support the development of new, more responsive, sustainable fisheries management practices.
Learn More
Social Licence & Planning in Coastal Communities
This research project will partner with industry, government, and community stakeholders in four communities that are home to aquaculture production sites — one in Nova Scotia and three in Newfoundland and Labrador — to increase understanding of the social licence in aquaculture. It will produce a framework for societally-endorsed, sustainable aquaculture, with targeted information for eastern Canada, and broader conclusions with global applicability.
Learn More
Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection
This research project explores a range of tools to help mitigate risks and adverse impacts from shipping and identify respectful approaches for safeguarding Inuit interests. It will also contribute to marine spatial planning, and determine how complementarities can be promoted and conflicts prevented — or managed — in shipping corridors.
Learn More
Research Data Management
The emergence of a new generation of ocean-bound sensors is generating an ever-increasing — and complex — volume of data. Through this project, researchers will propose a focused, interdisciplinary data management system that will effectively allow scientists to share ocean science information and data analytics algorithms.
Learn More
Novel Sensors for Fish Health & Welfare
This research will help us better understand the fish farm environment, and support farm managers by providing more information to use in decision-making. The team of researchers and their industry partners will combine novel sensors to bring new approaches to in-water sensing applied to the welfare and management of farmed fish.
Learn More
New Models of Salmon Health Management
This research project will develop computer models showing the spread of disease in marine-farmed Atlantic salmon populations, evaluate data from novel sensors in salmon pens to reduce disease risk in farmed and wild salmon populations, and facilitate the sustainable growth of ecosystem-based aquaculture in Canada.
Learn More
Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean
Twenty five years after the collapse of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cod fishery, new shifts in fisheries — declining crab and shrimp quotas, hints of a modest cod stock recovery, an aging workforce, climate change, and more — present new challenges for the effective governance and management of the province’s fisheries. This research will investigate how recent changes to Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries will impact the future of fisheries, coastal communities, and the provincial economy. It will identify what’s required to rebuild collapsed fisheries, and identify governance solutions that will achieve safe and resilient fisheries and coastal communities.
Learn More
Improving Sustainability & Mitigating the Challenges of Aquaculture
By studying the effects of infectious diseases and developing effective treatments, by producing novel and sustainable fish diets, by improving environmental sustainability, and by determining the effects of climate change on fish health, this research will improve the resilience and global competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry.
Learn More
Future-proofing Marine Protected Area Networks
Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools offer an important strategy that forms a growing aspect of ocean governance. Marine Protected Areas are often designed to protect biodiversity, sustain or enhance productivity and critical habitat, maintain ocean health and provide insurance against sudden or drastic changes in the ecosystem and its resources. Canada is committed to expanding its Marine Protected Area coverage from ~1% to 10% by the year 2020. This research aims to complement existing efforts to help ‘future-proof’ such Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools such as fisheries closures and critical habitat designations. By integrating observational data on shifting habitats and ecosystems with real-time remote sensing, animal movement, and vessel tracking data, this project will help to understand — and model — changes in ocean conditions, biological resources, and human use patterns relevant to Marine Protected Areas.
Learn More
Ecosystem Indicators for a Changing Ocean
This research will develop a framework of ecosystem indicators — gauges of ecosystem health — for Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway ecosystems and will provide guidance for regional management strategies and conservation efforts.
Learn More
Dynamic response of microbial communities to change
This research will take stock of the types and activities of phytoplankton and other microbes that live in the Northwest Atlantic and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. It will also track changes in the activity and abundance of microbes as climate change accelerates. Historically, the small size and challenges in identifying key players has limited our capacity to understand microbes, but new genetic technologies and sensors open possibilities that did not exist even a decade ago. By better understanding marine microbes, scientists can forecast how they will respond to their changing environment and how those impacts will cascade throughout the whole marine ecosystem.
Learn More
Cooperative Model Framework for the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway
This research will develop a multi-scale computer model framework of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Canadian Arctic Gateway, providing a basic foundation from which to construct the physical, biological, geological and chemical aspects of the ocean. This model will improve prediction of marine conditions and lead to a better understanding of the effects of climate change on the region.
Learn More
The Northwest Atlantic Biological Carbon Pump
The ocean stores an enormous amount of carbon and heat, and in doing so regulates Earth’s climate. This project focuses on an important aspect of the ocean’s carbon storage referred to as the biological carbon pump (BCP). When tiny algae in the ocean grow, they take up CO2. When some of these algae, or feces from small animals that ate them, sink to the deep ocean (e.g., below 1000 m), the carbon they contain is removed from contact with the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. This can be thought of as biological processes pumping carbon into the deep ocean. Without the BCP, carbon dioxide concentrations would be nearly double the amount in the atmosphere today and Earth’s climate would be radically different. In the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway, algae accumulate in the spring. This algae growth, together with the sinking of cold, carbon-rich water, moves huge amounts of carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. Currently, we do not have measurements or models to reliably predict how these processes will change as the climate warms.
Learn More
One Ocean Health
Researchers on the One Ocean Health project will work to understand the connection between ocean health, marine animal health, and human health. The team has been recognized as international leaders in research on the health ocean-sourced food (such as salmon and lobster), which is under threat from global climate change.
Learn More
Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures
This project will look at rapidly changing environmental conditions in Northern Canada and the impacts on local communities who depend heavily on marine resources. The project will use both community-engaged research and scientific methods to co-produce knowledge about the marine ecosystem and enhance capacity in marine research.
Learn More
Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures - FOCI
We are linked closely to the ocean through physical/built infrastructures such as ports, vessels and navigation technology, natural infrastructures like coastlines, sea currents and fish habitats, and societal infrastructures such as seafood markets, marine shipping regulations, and cultural traditions and knowledge of coastal communities. Climate and ocean ecosystem changes are interacting with the changing built and societal infrastructures on which we rely. Coupled with extreme weather, coastal erosion, sea level rise, and more, these changes are creating new risks and challenges for the ocean industries and coastal communities that link us to the ocean. Researchers on the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures project are re-thinking the way we design, develop, and manage infrastructures, with an overarching aim to ensure the designs of our future infrastructures are sustainable, safe and inclusive.
Learn More
Marine Atmospheric Composition & Visibility
This research will investigate marine atmospheric composition, including fog, low cloud and haze, and seek to understand its effects on visibility, climate and air quality across the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. Accurate forecasts of the dynamic marine atmosphere would support safe shipping and aviation — and our understanding of the effects of changing air quality on northern coastal communities.
Learn More
Auditing the Northwest Atlantic Carbon Sink
This research will create an auditing toolkit — a scientific balance sheet — for the Northwest Atlantic’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, now and in the future. Measurement of how much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is absorbed by the ocean is critical for design and assessment of policies required to mitigate climate change. The module will assemble a unique suite of measurements and models in order to assess the carbon dioxide strength regionally.
Learn More
Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding PEI (SOURCE)
Groundwater represents the world’s largest freshwater resource and provides drinking water for two billion people globally and over 10 million Canadians. Prince Edward Island is 100% dependent on groundwater for both irrigation and drinking, but this resource has faced compounding stresses in recent years due to the extensive agricultural industry and the impacts of climate change. Freshwater offshore aquifers located beneath the seafloor may represent a new and critical water resource for PEI.
Learn More
Benthic ecosystem mapping for sustainable ocean stewardship in a shifting ocean climate (BEcoME)
The seafloor is extremely important for ocean health, providing habitat for many ocean animals, but marine industries like fishing and shipping place enormous pressure on this ecosystem. Surprisingly, only a small fraction of the seafloor has been mapped at the levels needed for us to understand ocean seafloor processes. This project aims to address data gaps in the Northwest Atlantic and help predict how threats like climate change will drive changes to vulnerable marine life on and near the seafloor.
Learn More
Transforming Ocean Observations
Next generation unmanned marine platforms will have significantly improved on-board intelligence and autonomy, enabling better system diagnostics, sensor health and data interpretation for supervised real-time decision making with less operator intervention. The increased availability of different underwater communication modalities, such as acoustic and optical communication systems, paired with an increasing number of operational platforms — stationary and mobile — will allow the exploitation of coordinated heterogeneous multi-platform concepts for ocean observations and tracking on multiple length and time scales. It will also enable development of cross-platform, in-situ sensor calibration.
Learn More
Sustainable Capture Fisheries & their Ecosystems
Determining the size and productivity of fish stocks is a major governance and research challenge, particularly for good fisheries management. Increasing our understanding of fish populations and their ecosystems — and how they respond to a changing climate — can improve both sustainable fisheries and effective fisheries management, now and in the future. This research will help Canada meet fisheries sustainability goals by providing novel, computer-model based assessments of specific cold-water fish stocks and their ecosystems. It will also develop innovative technologies and strategies for fishing in the rapidly changing ecosystems of the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway. This research will significantly improve scientific advice to support successful and sustainable fisheries management in Canada and abroad.
Learn More
Spatial Dynamics of Valued Atlantic Groundfish
Using acoustic fish tags and genetic markers, researchers are tracking the movements of Northern cod and Atlantic halibut to identify where and when they spawn, feed, and migrate. The data collected through this research project will help characterize fish populations (stocks and sub-stocks), survival, spawning, movements, and track their distribution in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. This research on groundfish (fish that live and feed near the bottom of the ocean) will support the development of new, more responsive, sustainable fisheries management practices.
Learn More
Social Licence & Planning in Coastal Communities
This research project will partner with industry, government, and community stakeholders in four communities that are home to aquaculture production sites — one in Nova Scotia and three in Newfoundland and Labrador — to increase understanding of the social licence in aquaculture. It will produce a framework for societally-endorsed, sustainable aquaculture, with targeted information for eastern Canada, and broader conclusions with global applicability.
Learn More
Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection
This research project explores a range of tools to help mitigate risks and adverse impacts from shipping and identify respectful approaches for safeguarding Inuit interests. It will also contribute to marine spatial planning, and determine how complementarities can be promoted and conflicts prevented — or managed — in shipping corridors.
Learn More
Research Data Management
The emergence of a new generation of ocean-bound sensors is generating an ever-increasing — and complex — volume of data. Through this project, researchers will propose a focused, interdisciplinary data management system that will effectively allow scientists to share ocean science information and data analytics algorithms.
Learn More
Novel Sensors for Fish Health & Welfare
This research will help us better understand the fish farm environment, and support farm managers by providing more information to use in decision-making. The team of researchers and their industry partners will combine novel sensors to bring new approaches to in-water sensing applied to the welfare and management of farmed fish.
Learn More
New Models of Salmon Health Management
This research project will develop computer models showing the spread of disease in marine-farmed Atlantic salmon populations, evaluate data from novel sensors in salmon pens to reduce disease risk in farmed and wild salmon populations, and facilitate the sustainable growth of ecosystem-based aquaculture in Canada.
Learn More
Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean
Twenty five years after the collapse of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cod fishery, new shifts in fisheries — declining crab and shrimp quotas, hints of a modest cod stock recovery, an aging workforce, climate change, and more — present new challenges for the effective governance and management of the province’s fisheries. This research will investigate how recent changes to Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries will impact the future of fisheries, coastal communities, and the provincial economy. It will identify what’s required to rebuild collapsed fisheries, and identify governance solutions that will achieve safe and resilient fisheries and coastal communities.
Learn More
Improving Sustainability & Mitigating the Challenges of Aquaculture
By studying the effects of infectious diseases and developing effective treatments, by producing novel and sustainable fish diets, by improving environmental sustainability, and by determining the effects of climate change on fish health, this research will improve the resilience and global competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry.
Learn More
Future-proofing Marine Protected Area Networks
Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools offer an important strategy that forms a growing aspect of ocean governance. Marine Protected Areas are often designed to protect biodiversity, sustain or enhance productivity and critical habitat, maintain ocean health and provide insurance against sudden or drastic changes in the ecosystem and its resources. Canada is committed to expanding its Marine Protected Area coverage from ~1% to 10% by the year 2020. This research aims to complement existing efforts to help ‘future-proof’ such Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools such as fisheries closures and critical habitat designations. By integrating observational data on shifting habitats and ecosystems with real-time remote sensing, animal movement, and vessel tracking data, this project will help to understand — and model — changes in ocean conditions, biological resources, and human use patterns relevant to Marine Protected Areas.
Learn More
Ecosystem Indicators for a Changing Ocean
This research will develop a framework of ecosystem indicators — gauges of ecosystem health — for Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway ecosystems and will provide guidance for regional management strategies and conservation efforts.
Learn More
Dynamic response of microbial communities to change
This research will take stock of the types and activities of phytoplankton and other microbes that live in the Northwest Atlantic and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. It will also track changes in the activity and abundance of microbes as climate change accelerates. Historically, the small size and challenges in identifying key players has limited our capacity to understand microbes, but new genetic technologies and sensors open possibilities that did not exist even a decade ago. By better understanding marine microbes, scientists can forecast how they will respond to their changing environment and how those impacts will cascade throughout the whole marine ecosystem.
Learn More
Cooperative Model Framework for the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway
This research will develop a multi-scale computer model framework of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Canadian Arctic Gateway, providing a basic foundation from which to construct the physical, biological, geological and chemical aspects of the ocean. This model will improve prediction of marine conditions and lead to a better understanding of the effects of climate change on the region.
Learn More
The Northwest Atlantic Biological Carbon Pump
The ocean stores an enormous amount of carbon and heat, and in doing so regulates Earth’s climate. This project focuses on an important aspect of the ocean’s carbon storage referred to as the biological carbon pump (BCP). When tiny algae in the ocean grow, they take up CO2. When some of these algae, or feces from small animals that ate them, sink to the deep ocean (e.g., below 1000 m), the carbon they contain is removed from contact with the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. This can be thought of as biological processes pumping carbon into the deep ocean. Without the BCP, carbon dioxide concentrations would be nearly double the amount in the atmosphere today and Earth’s climate would be radically different. In the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway, algae accumulate in the spring. This algae growth, together with the sinking of cold, carbon-rich water, moves huge amounts of carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. Currently, we do not have measurements or models to reliably predict how these processes will change as the climate warms.
Learn More
One Ocean Health
Researchers on the One Ocean Health project will work to understand the connection between ocean health, marine animal health, and human health. The team has been recognized as international leaders in research on the health ocean-sourced food (such as salmon and lobster), which is under threat from global climate change.
Learn More
Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures
This project will look at rapidly changing environmental conditions in Northern Canada and the impacts on local communities who depend heavily on marine resources. The project will use both community-engaged research and scientific methods to co-produce knowledge about the marine ecosystem and enhance capacity in marine research.
Learn More
Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures - FOCI
We are linked closely to the ocean through physical/built infrastructures such as ports, vessels and navigation technology, natural infrastructures like coastlines, sea currents and fish habitats, and societal infrastructures such as seafood markets, marine shipping regulations, and cultural traditions and knowledge of coastal communities. Climate and ocean ecosystem changes are interacting with the changing built and societal infrastructures on which we rely. Coupled with extreme weather, coastal erosion, sea level rise, and more, these changes are creating new risks and challenges for the ocean industries and coastal communities that link us to the ocean. Researchers on the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures project are re-thinking the way we design, develop, and manage infrastructures, with an overarching aim to ensure the designs of our future infrastructures are sustainable, safe and inclusive.
Learn More
Marine Atmospheric Composition & Visibility
This research will investigate marine atmospheric composition, including fog, low cloud and haze, and seek to understand its effects on visibility, climate and air quality across the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. Accurate forecasts of the dynamic marine atmosphere would support safe shipping and aviation — and our understanding of the effects of changing air quality on northern coastal communities.
Learn More
Auditing the Northwest Atlantic Carbon Sink
This research will create an auditing toolkit — a scientific balance sheet — for the Northwest Atlantic’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, now and in the future. Measurement of how much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is absorbed by the ocean is critical for design and assessment of policies required to mitigate climate change. The module will assemble a unique suite of measurements and models in order to assess the carbon dioxide strength regionally.
Learn More
Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding PEI (SOURCE)
Groundwater represents the world’s largest freshwater resource and provides drinking water for two billion people globally and over 10 million Canadians. Prince Edward Island is 100% dependent on groundwater for both irrigation and drinking, but this resource has faced compounding stresses in recent years due to the extensive agricultural industry and the impacts of climate change. Freshwater offshore aquifers located beneath the seafloor may represent a new and critical water resource for PEI.
Learn More
Benthic ecosystem mapping for sustainable ocean stewardship in a shifting ocean climate (BEcoME)
The seafloor is extremely important for ocean health, providing habitat for many ocean animals, but marine industries like fishing and shipping place enormous pressure on this ecosystem. Surprisingly, only a small fraction of the seafloor has been mapped at the levels needed for us to understand ocean seafloor processes. This project aims to address data gaps in the Northwest Atlantic and help predict how threats like climate change will drive changes to vulnerable marine life on and near the seafloor.
Learn More
Transforming Ocean Observations
Next generation unmanned marine platforms will have significantly improved on-board intelligence and autonomy, enabling better system diagnostics, sensor health and data interpretation for supervised real-time decision making with less operator intervention. The increased availability of different underwater communication modalities, such as acoustic and optical communication systems, paired with an increasing number of operational platforms — stationary and mobile — will allow the exploitation of coordinated heterogeneous multi-platform concepts for ocean observations and tracking on multiple length and time scales. It will also enable development of cross-platform, in-situ sensor calibration.
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Sustainable Capture Fisheries & their Ecosystems
Determining the size and productivity of fish stocks is a major governance and research challenge, particularly for good fisheries management. Increasing our understanding of fish populations and their ecosystems — and how they respond to a changing climate — can improve both sustainable fisheries and effective fisheries management, now and in the future. This research will help Canada meet fisheries sustainability goals by providing novel, computer-model based assessments of specific cold-water fish stocks and their ecosystems. It will also develop innovative technologies and strategies for fishing in the rapidly changing ecosystems of the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway. This research will significantly improve scientific advice to support successful and sustainable fisheries management in Canada and abroad.
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Spatial Dynamics of Valued Atlantic Groundfish
Using acoustic fish tags and genetic markers, researchers are tracking the movements of Northern cod and Atlantic halibut to identify where and when they spawn, feed, and migrate. The data collected through this research project will help characterize fish populations (stocks and sub-stocks), survival, spawning, movements, and track their distribution in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. This research on groundfish (fish that live and feed near the bottom of the ocean) will support the development of new, more responsive, sustainable fisheries management practices.
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Social Licence & Planning in Coastal Communities
This research project will partner with industry, government, and community stakeholders in four communities that are home to aquaculture production sites — one in Nova Scotia and three in Newfoundland and Labrador — to increase understanding of the social licence in aquaculture. It will produce a framework for societally-endorsed, sustainable aquaculture, with targeted information for eastern Canada, and broader conclusions with global applicability.
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Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection
This research project explores a range of tools to help mitigate risks and adverse impacts from shipping and identify respectful approaches for safeguarding Inuit interests. It will also contribute to marine spatial planning, and determine how complementarities can be promoted and conflicts prevented — or managed — in shipping corridors.
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Research Data Management
The emergence of a new generation of ocean-bound sensors is generating an ever-increasing — and complex — volume of data. Through this project, researchers will propose a focused, interdisciplinary data management system that will effectively allow scientists to share ocean science information and data analytics algorithms.
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Novel Sensors for Fish Health & Welfare
This research will help us better understand the fish farm environment, and support farm managers by providing more information to use in decision-making. The team of researchers and their industry partners will combine novel sensors to bring new approaches to in-water sensing applied to the welfare and management of farmed fish.
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New Models of Salmon Health Management
This research project will develop computer models showing the spread of disease in marine-farmed Atlantic salmon populations, evaluate data from novel sensors in salmon pens to reduce disease risk in farmed and wild salmon populations, and facilitate the sustainable growth of ecosystem-based aquaculture in Canada.
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Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean
Twenty five years after the collapse of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cod fishery, new shifts in fisheries — declining crab and shrimp quotas, hints of a modest cod stock recovery, an aging workforce, climate change, and more — present new challenges for the effective governance and management of the province’s fisheries. This research will investigate how recent changes to Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries will impact the future of fisheries, coastal communities, and the provincial economy. It will identify what’s required to rebuild collapsed fisheries, and identify governance solutions that will achieve safe and resilient fisheries and coastal communities.
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Improving Sustainability & Mitigating the Challenges of Aquaculture
By studying the effects of infectious diseases and developing effective treatments, by producing novel and sustainable fish diets, by improving environmental sustainability, and by determining the effects of climate change on fish health, this research will improve the resilience and global competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry.
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Future-proofing Marine Protected Area Networks
Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools offer an important strategy that forms a growing aspect of ocean governance. Marine Protected Areas are often designed to protect biodiversity, sustain or enhance productivity and critical habitat, maintain ocean health and provide insurance against sudden or drastic changes in the ecosystem and its resources. Canada is committed to expanding its Marine Protected Area coverage from ~1% to 10% by the year 2020. This research aims to complement existing efforts to help ‘future-proof’ such Marine Protected Area networks and other spatial management tools such as fisheries closures and critical habitat designations. By integrating observational data on shifting habitats and ecosystems with real-time remote sensing, animal movement, and vessel tracking data, this project will help to understand — and model — changes in ocean conditions, biological resources, and human use patterns relevant to Marine Protected Areas.
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Ecosystem Indicators for a Changing Ocean
This research will develop a framework of ecosystem indicators — gauges of ecosystem health — for Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway ecosystems and will provide guidance for regional management strategies and conservation efforts.
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Dynamic response of microbial communities to change
This research will take stock of the types and activities of phytoplankton and other microbes that live in the Northwest Atlantic and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. It will also track changes in the activity and abundance of microbes as climate change accelerates. Historically, the small size and challenges in identifying key players has limited our capacity to understand microbes, but new genetic technologies and sensors open possibilities that did not exist even a decade ago. By better understanding marine microbes, scientists can forecast how they will respond to their changing environment and how those impacts will cascade throughout the whole marine ecosystem.
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Cooperative Model Framework for the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway
This research will develop a multi-scale computer model framework of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Canadian Arctic Gateway, providing a basic foundation from which to construct the physical, biological, geological and chemical aspects of the ocean. This model will improve prediction of marine conditions and lead to a better understanding of the effects of climate change on the region.
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The Northwest Atlantic Biological Carbon Pump
The ocean stores an enormous amount of carbon and heat, and in doing so regulates Earth’s climate. This project focuses on an important aspect of the ocean’s carbon storage referred to as the biological carbon pump (BCP). When tiny algae in the ocean grow, they take up CO2. When some of these algae, or feces from small animals that ate them, sink to the deep ocean (e.g., below 1000 m), the carbon they contain is removed from contact with the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. This can be thought of as biological processes pumping carbon into the deep ocean. Without the BCP, carbon dioxide concentrations would be nearly double the amount in the atmosphere today and Earth’s climate would be radically different. In the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway, algae accumulate in the spring. This algae growth, together with the sinking of cold, carbon-rich water, moves huge amounts of carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. Currently, we do not have measurements or models to reliably predict how these processes will change as the climate warms.
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One Ocean Health
Researchers on the One Ocean Health project will work to understand the connection between ocean health, marine animal health, and human health. The team has been recognized as international leaders in research on the health ocean-sourced food (such as salmon and lobster), which is under threat from global climate change.
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Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures
This project will look at rapidly changing environmental conditions in Northern Canada and the impacts on local communities who depend heavily on marine resources. The project will use both community-engaged research and scientific methods to co-produce knowledge about the marine ecosystem and enhance capacity in marine research.
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Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures - FOCI
We are linked closely to the ocean through physical/built infrastructures such as ports, vessels and navigation technology, natural infrastructures like coastlines, sea currents and fish habitats, and societal infrastructures such as seafood markets, marine shipping regulations, and cultural traditions and knowledge of coastal communities. Climate and ocean ecosystem changes are interacting with the changing built and societal infrastructures on which we rely. Coupled with extreme weather, coastal erosion, sea level rise, and more, these changes are creating new risks and challenges for the ocean industries and coastal communities that link us to the ocean. Researchers on the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures project are re-thinking the way we design, develop, and manage infrastructures, with an overarching aim to ensure the designs of our future infrastructures are sustainable, safe and inclusive.
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Marine Atmospheric Composition & Visibility
This research will investigate marine atmospheric composition, including fog, low cloud and haze, and seek to understand its effects on visibility, climate and air quality across the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic Gateway. Accurate forecasts of the dynamic marine atmosphere would support safe shipping and aviation — and our understanding of the effects of changing air quality on northern coastal communities.
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Auditing the Northwest Atlantic Carbon Sink
This research will create an auditing toolkit — a scientific balance sheet — for the Northwest Atlantic’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, now and in the future. Measurement of how much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is absorbed by the ocean is critical for design and assessment of policies required to mitigate climate change. The module will assemble a unique suite of measurements and models in order to assess the carbon dioxide strength regionally.
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Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding PEI (SOURCE)
Groundwater represents the world’s largest freshwater resource and provides drinking water for two billion people globally and over 10 million Canadians. Prince Edward Island is 100% dependent on groundwater for both irrigation and drinking, but this resource has faced compounding stresses in recent years due to the extensive agricultural industry and the impacts of climate change. Freshwater offshore aquifers located beneath the seafloor may represent a new and critical water resource for PEI.
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Benthic ecosystem mapping for sustainable ocean stewardship in a shifting ocean climate (BEcoME)
The seafloor is extremely important for ocean health, providing habitat for many ocean animals, but marine industries like fishing and shipping place enormous pressure on this ecosystem. Surprisingly, only a small fraction of the seafloor has been mapped at the levels needed for us to understand ocean seafloor processes. This project aims to address data gaps in the Northwest Atlantic and help predict how threats like climate change will drive changes to vulnerable marine life on and near the seafloor.
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