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MEOPAR awards nine Postdoctoral Fellowships

MEOPAR is pleased to announce the first cohort of Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards, funding new graduates and researchers across Canada as they move into the next stages of their academic careers. The postdoctoral fellowship awards are top-up funding to existing postdoctoral researchers not currently funded by MEOPAR, bringing in new, highly-skilled postdoctoral researchers into the MEOPAR HQP network. 

As with any pilot program, we weren't quite sure what to expect from our first round of applications. The quality and impressive credentials of the candidates blew the evaluating team away, with applicants from coast to coast working in cutting-edge research fields. 

“The MEOPAR Postdoctoral Awards were designed to bring promising new researchers into our network and empower them to take advantage of professional development opportunities that will lead to the next step in their careers in academia, industry, government, or the not-for-profit sector. We’re proud to provide funding to our first cohort of awardees from coast to coast and to connect them with MEOPAR researchers and partners.”

-- Laura Avery, Training Program Coordinator


Please join us in congratulating the following recipients of MEOPAR's Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards:

Dr. Hayley Dosser, University of British Columbia/Hakai Institute

"From shelf-break to coastline: Connecting ocean upwelling to biological productivity on British Columbia’s central coast"

Dr. Dosser is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia and an intern with the Hakai Institute. Her research combines biological and physical oceanography with a focus on direct impacts for local communities. Her project is a collaboration with Hakai and Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the physics of ocean upwelling and its impact on coastal ecosystems along the BC central coast; the data collected will be provided to DFO managers of the Queen Charlotte Sound Marine Protected Area. 

Dr. Christiane Dufresne, Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)

"Development of a hydro-sedimentary model of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. Application to the Atlantic Halibut spawning and nursery areas"

Dr. Dufresne is postdoctoral researcher at UQAR and a numerical modeler from France whose research focuses on natural and anthropogenic impacts on hydrodynamics and marine ecosystems. The St. Lawrence is one of the largest hydrographic systems in the world, and approximately 60% of Quebec’s population lives along its shores. It is also a unique ecosystem constituting a treasure of biological wealth, providing a home to numerous bird, fish and plant species. This ecosystem is recognized worldwide, as reflected in the designation of its four Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar), the Lac Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO) and its UNESCO World Heritage Site, Miguasha National Park. Dr. Dufresne's work on a 3-D hydro-sedimentary model will help coastal managers develop more efficient risk management procedures and will improve sustainable development and economic opportunity in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

Dr. Myriam Lacharité, Nova Scotia Community College

"Integrating the ocean environment into benthic habitat mapping"

Dr. Lacharité is a postdoctoral researcher in the Applied Ocean Research Group at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). The goal of her research is to develop approaches to integrate the ocean environment (temperature, salinity, oxygen, currents) into benthic habitat maps for the Bay of Fundy. Dr. Lacharité's project will produce accessible maps of the area for stakeholders in the fishing industry and marine regulators at Fisheries and Oceans Canada that will help them assess: 1) the current distribution of benthic habitats and associated influence of the ocean in driving this distribution; and 2) preliminary evaluation of risk associated with current and potential environmental change. 

Dr. Juliana Marson, University of Alberta

"Improving iceberg models’ dynamics and prediction skills"

Dr. Marson is a postdoctoral researcher in the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) research group at the University of Alberta and a physical oceanographer from Brazil. Her research is refining existing iceberg modelling techniques to improve stakeholders’ ability to understand and predict iceberg pathways and distribution on Canada’s East Coast. As shipping and offshore resource extraction represent an important part of East Coast provinces' economies, the model her project develops has the potential to become an important tool for shipping safety.

Dr. Vishnu Nandan, University of Victoria

"Improved Canadian Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Estimates from Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimetry"

Vishnu is a postdoctoral researcher in the Ice Climate Ecosystems (ICE) Remote Sensing Lab at the University of Victoria and is a Remote Sensing researcher from India. He published 10 high-impact peer-reviewed publications during his Ph.D., which he completed in August 2018. His project will use Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to optimize operational ice charting and ice prediction and forecasting systems, providing state-of-the-art solutions to the marine shipping industry and communities in the Canadian Arctic. 

Dr. Nicolas Preston, University of Victoria

"CoastNet: Blending data sources to monitor algal blooms in British Columbia"

Dr. Preston is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Victoria and a data scientist working at the intersection of coastal science, data visualization, and public health. He plans to design and build a coastal knowledge sharing system with citizen scientists and vessels of opportunity in the Pacific Northwest to monitor harmful algal blooms. 

Dr. Sarah Rosengard, University of British Columbia

"From satellites to social media: Understanding and communicating the impacts of climate change in the Arctic Ocean"

Dr. Rosengard is a postdoctoral researcher and an Ocean Leaders fellow at the University of British Columbia. Recently, she designed and executed a science education program in Brazil, raising the necessary funds and finding local contacts in a remote region of the Amazon basin. Her project will compile and share chlorophyll-based remote sensing data sets with northern communities along the Canadian Arctic coastline. As phytoplankton form the foundation of marine food webs, these chlorophyll-based data sets will help northern communities in the Canadian Arctic coastline better understand shifts in their local marine resources. Dr. Rosengard will work with partners to share this data as well as other remote sensing variables with these communities using a data sharing network called SIKU developed by Joel Heath from the Arctic Eider Society. The project will also display remote sensing data in the Vancouver Aquarium, with the goal of teaching a diverse urban audience about Arctic Ocean change.

Dr. Angela Stevenson, University of British Columbia

"Sensitivity and resilience of British Columbia's glass sponge reefs to ocean warming and acidification"

Dr. Stevenson is a postdoctoral researcher and Ocean Leaders fellow at the Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia. She is also a co-founder of the Wild Postcard Project, an international artwork competition that engages youth with biodiversity. Dr. Stevenson uses extensive diving technologies to conduct in situ experimentation and video/image transects (via ROV and diver operated camera) to probe into the combined role of benthic habitat complexity, depth, and predator-prey interactions in modifying foodweb interactions, community structure, and biodiversity of echinoderms over the depth gradient. Her work on deep-water glass sponge reefs is described by her supervisor as "cutting-edge research on a vastly underexplored component of the Earth's biodiversity." 

Dr. David Yurkowski, University of Manitoba

"The Pyramid of Life in a Dynamic Arctic Seascape"

Dr. Yurkowski is a postdoctoral researcher in Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba who recently held a W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Award. His study will be the first to investigate the trophic dynamics of an Arctic marine ecosystem in a trophic pyramid context. Results from his research will produce a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms and processes of how energy flows through an Arctic food web and its structure at an ecosystem-level. The project will benefit government partners and the Arviq (Naujaat) and Aiviit (Coral Harbor) Hunters and Trappers Organizations and the associated communities who rely on marine resources for subsistence hunting, tourism, local fisheries, and shipping/transportation.