I am a marine environmental scientist with a Ph.D. in Biology, M.Sc. in Geoscience and B.Sc. in Geology, and have >500 research dives.
My longest dive was 198 minutes at the “Briar Patch”, The Bahamas. I was clipping seagrass, 8 hours a day, to simulate green turtle feeding. This was meditative work and the seagrass bed was amazing – everyday we were visited by different critters!
My most fun dive, also in The Bahamas, at “Barge”, was when I took a few Belgian cave divers to do a shallow drift dive and we unexpectedly drifted into 10 large nurse sharks in front of a rock – we startled each other. They circled and left by breaching the water surface and rubbing their undersides on my buddy’s head. Yes, screams do travel well through water!
My research interests are primarily applied and solution driven. I have specialized in combining local citizen science observations to describe regional and global trends.
I use various ecological indicators — sponges, sharks, fish, macroinvertebrates, biodiversity, people, etc. — to evaluate the health of aquatic ecosystems and to understand conservation needs and successes.
I use a variety of tools and techniques including:
- field assessments
- social science
I’ve also been involved in:
- Describing spatiotemporal patterns of sharks, and other animals, with the tourism industries of Thailand, Fiji, South Africa, Indonesia
- Writing best practices for diving with sharks
- Desiging Canada’s Marine Protected Area network and identifying ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs)
- Evaluating the costs and benefits of implementing artificial reefs in cold-water areas
- Determining the impact of sediment loading on coral reef ecosystems and physiology
- Conducting sediment and nutrient analysis to understand the carrying capacity of Caribbean seagrass beds for green turtles