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BC researchers receive grants to study local marine environments

Vancouver & Victoria—Along Canada’s west coast, there is a delicate balance to preserve between human use of the environment, such as shipping and fishing, and the resilience of the local ecosystems. Research into sustainable practices is increasingly vital to communities, organizations and governments as they seek the best management paths forward. 

The Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) and the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) have announced the successful recipients of research grants supported jointly by the two organizations.

Dr. Susan Allen (University of British Columbia), Dr. Maycira Costa (University of Victoria) and Dr. Philippe Tortell (University of British Columbia) received funding through a competitive submission process held in partnership between MEOPAR and ONC in the fall of 2017.

The projects span a variety of marine research topic areas, including modelling the fate of oil spills in the Salish Sea, using Indigenous knowledge to improve ecological monitoring, classifying ecosystems along the migration route of juvenile salmon, and improving underwater oxygen monitoring to better understand ocean deoxygenation and its effects on British Columbian salmon aquaculture.

The partnership between MEOPAR and ONC grew out of a mutual interest in using ocean observation to advance marine science for the benefit of Canada. This is not the first collaboration between the two organizations; they frequently work together on marine research initiatives and hosting regional science-focused workshops.

For more information, please contact:

Heather Desserud

(902) 494-4389
Email Heather

Greig Bethel
Ocean Networks Canada

(250) 216-7510
Email Greig 



Doug Wallace, Scientific Director, Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network

“In the first five years of MEOPAR, we built a national network to anticipate and respond to the changing risks of the marine environment. These new projects are very exciting for me; not only because of their originality, but also because of the fascinating variety of partners from all across Canada that will be involved. There is a tremendous diversity of research that will be supported.”

Richard Dewey, Associate Director of Science Services, Ocean Networks Canada

“These projects highlight the very successful collaboration between Ocean Networks Canada and MEOPAR. Ocean Networks Canada is excited about the potential outcomes from the research and how it will benefit Canadian science.”


Fact Sheet:

  • The three projects will receive over $1.3 million over the course of the project durations
  • Model of Impact of Dilbit and Oil Spills in the Salish Sea (MIDOSS)
    • Dr. Susan Allen, University of British Columbia
    • Project will receive $494,200
  • Spatiotemporal dynamics of the coastal ocean biogeochemical domains of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska - following the migration route of juvenile salmon
    • Dr. Maycira Costa, University of Victoria
    • Project will receive $361,500
  • OxyNet: A network to examine ocean deoxygenation trends and impacts
    • Dr. Philippe Tortell, University of British Columbia
    • Project will receive $491,000
  • The projects will kick off in the spring of 2018.

Learn more about the researchers 



The Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) is a national Network of Centres of Excellence, connecting top marine researchers across the country with highly-qualified personnel, partners and communities. MEOPAR aims to train the next generation of marine research professionals, fund leading-edge research, and connect research results to real-world solutions. 

About Ocean Networks Canada:

The University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) monitors the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to continuously deliver data in real-time for scientific research that helps communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about our future. Using cabled observatories, remote control systems and interactive sensors, and big data management ONC enables evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, disaster mitigation, and environmental protection. For more information, please visit Ocean Networks Canada


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