About Us

An independent not-for-profit, the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction & Response network (MEOPAR) funds research, trains students, mobilizes knowledge and forms partnerships in the area of marine risk and resilience.

What We Do

  • Support interdisciplinary research and development at Canadian universities
  • Provide training and work experience to develop the next generation of ocean researchers
  • Mobilize scientific knowledge, technology and people through cross-sector engagement

Where We Are

MEOPAR is hosted at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our researchers, highly qualified personnel, field sites and partnerships stretch across Canada, in nearly every province and territory.

How We Are Funded

MEOPAR is funded by the federal government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat. We were funded with $25 million in 2012 and received renewed funding of $28.5 million in 2017. MEOPAR also receives leveraged partner funding and in-kind support from universities, organizations and industry.

MEOPAR Programs

Research Program

The research program is working to support our large network of marine scientists to succeed in funding opportunities across Canada.

Training Program

MEOPAR’s training program builds capacity in interdisciplinary research, and 21st-century skills related to marine environmental risk and the required response and policy strategies.

Networking & Partnerships

The Network engages with partners from every level of government and every sector, including not-for-profit, industry, and government.

Knowledge Mobilization & Communications

As a Network, MEOPAR has a responsibility to ensure that research results and success stories within the projects reach a broader audience.

Board of Directors

  • Dr. Pierre Baril
    Retired — Administrateur d’état, Ministère de l’Environement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques
  • Dr. Neil Bose, Vice Chair
    Vice President (Research), Memorial University
  • Ms. Amanda Dean
    Vice President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Dr. Karen Dodds, Chair
    Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch
  • Dr. Graham Gagnon
    Associate Vice-President Research, Dalhousie University
  • Ms. Angie Gillis
    Senior Director, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaw, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group
  • Mr. David Henry
    Director General, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate
  • Ms. Susan Hunt
    Chief Technology Officer, Ocean Supercluster
  • Dr. John Osler
    Chief Scientist, Atlantic Research Centre, Defence Research and Development Canada
  • Dr. Rachael Scarth
    Associate Vice-President, University of Victoria
  • Dr. Guillaume St. Onge
    Director, Institut de la mer de Rimouski
  • Dr. Bernard Vigneault
    Director-General, Ecosystem Sciences Directorate
  • Dr. Anya Waite
    Scientific Director, Ocean Frontier Institute, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Doug Wallace
    Scientific Director, MEOPAR
  • Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright
    Retired – Executive Secretary and Assistant Director-General – Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO

Research Management Committee

  • Dr. Susan Allen
    University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Natalie Ban
    University of Victoria
  • Dr. Gwenaëlle Chaillou
    Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Dr. Stephanie Chang
    University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo
    Labrador Institute of Memorial University
  • Dr. Brad deYoung
    Memorial University
  • Dr. Dany Dumont
    Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Dr. Brent Else
    University of Calgary
  • Susanna Fuller
    Oceans North
  • Dr. Stewart Fast
    Senior Program Manager, NCE
  • Dr. Sherilee Harper
    University of Alberta
  • Dr. Jennifer Jackson
    Hakai Institute
  • Dr. Phil Loring
    University of Guelph
  • Mr. Rodrigo Menafra
    Managing Director, MEOPAR
  • Dr. Bill Merryfield
    University of Victoria and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Dr. Paul Myers
    University of Alberta
  • Dr. Rich Pawlowicz
    University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Ronald Pelot
    Associate Scientific Director, MEOPAR
  • Mr. Jamal Shirley
    Manager, Research Design, Nunavut Research Institute
  • Dr. Nadja Steiner
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Ms. Aikaterini (Katie) Tavri
    HQP – University of Victoria
  • Dr. Jason Thistlethwaite
    University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Isabelle Tremblay
    Research Program Manager, MEOPAR
  • Dr. Doug Wallace
    Scientific Director, MEOPAR

International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC)

  • Albert Fischer
    Head, IOC’s Ocean Observations and Services Section
  • James ​Ford​
    Professor (Priestley Chair in Climate Adaptation), University of Leeds
  • Emma ​McKinley​
    Chair, Marine Social Sciences Network; Faculty member, Cardiff University
  • Jan Newton (Chair)
    Executive Director, NANOOS; Senior Principal Oceanographer and Affiliate Professor, University of Washington
  • David ​Paterson
    Executive Director, The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTs)
  • Ron Pelot​
    Associate Scientific Director, MEOPAR
  • Nadia​ Pinardi​
    Professor of Oceanography, Bologna University; Vice-President of the Infrastructure Commission of the World Meteorological Organization
  • Michael Schulz 
    Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, German Marine Research Alliance
    Director of MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Science
  • Tricia​ Wachtendorf​
    Head of Disaster Research Centre, University of Delaware
  • Doug Wallace​
    Scientific Director, MEOPAR

Thematic structure

MEOPAR’s thematic structure shows where research activities address the different marine risks. We use this to connect a wide range of projects and disciplines to each other, and to users. This is represented as a matrix defined by pressures (which create impacts or effects) and areas of vulnerability (which feel the impacts or effects). 

The areas of vulnerability allow MEOPAR projects to be readily linked to where (and by whom) impacts are felt and, therefore, can also be connected readily to end-user needs. The thematic structure allows for flexibility in organization and assignment of projects to themes and allows results to be aggregated in multiple ways. By considering the vulnerability of communities and sectors, MEOPAR is able to strengthen knowledge transfer from groups of projects to particular end-users.

Theme 1: Environmental Change

Lead: Susan Allen, University of British Columbia
Deputy Lead: Brent Else, University of Calgary

This theme addresses risks and opportunities that arise as a result of marine environmental change. This includes risks associated with natural hazards such as wind, fog, earthquakes, icebergs, toxic algae outbreaks, etc. The impacts of these naturally hazardous phenomena are, in several cases, altered by human activity (e.g. by pollution or human-induced climate change). Research projects investigating the impacts of human-induced, large-scale environmental changes (e.g. ocean acidification, sea-level rise) are also incorporated under this theme. 

Theme 2: Human Activity

Lead: Phil Loring, University of Guelph

This theme addresses risks and opportunities arising from pressures that are a direct consequence of human activity within the marine environment and from technological change. This includes risk of ship collision, oil spills and offshore accidents as well as impacts of coastal development and locating of coastal industries. 

MEOPAR Cores

MEOPAR funds three cores—Observation, Prediction and Response—that facilitate the sharing of key expertise, instrumentation and knowledge transfer activities that are of relevance to MEOPAR projects as well as to closely-related activities outside the network. Cores provide technical support and central functions –in the form of equipment, technical expertise, training and quality assurance—and play an important role in knowledge mobilization.

Observation Core

PI/lead: Brad deYoung, MUN
Investigators: Marcel Babin, Cedric Chavanne, Mike Smit, Rich Pawlowicz (deputy lead), Richard Dewey, Brent Else, Doug Wallace

The Observation Core supports, developments and coordinates ocean observation capacity for MEOPAR projects and closely related activities of partners. The functions are to: a) support shared access to observing infrastructure, and encourage technological developments; b) maintain and deploy technical expertise for ocean observation in strategic locations; c) share knowledge and training related to ocean observation and d) promote national and international sharing of data, expertise and the coordination of observation programs.

Prediction Core

PI/lead: Bill Merryfield, University of Victoria
Investigators: Paul Myers (deputy lead), Ron Pelot, Susan Allen, Katja Fennel, Youyu Lu, Rene Laprise, Adam Monahan, Will Perrie, Jinyu Sheng, Jim Christian

The Prediction Core aims to develop and maintain the capacity of the network to improve and deliver tools and highly qualified personnel that will enable support Canada’s leadership in marine environmental prediction. The four main activities are: a) developing and implementing improved numerical models; b) training the next generation of experts in environmental predictions; c) a code repository and d) project support and guidance.

Response Core

PI/lead: Stephanie Chang, UBC
Investigators: Jason Thistlethwaite (deputy lead), Paul Kovacs, Joel Finnis, Ron Pelot, Anthony Charles, Greg Oulahen

The Response Core supports the network by serving as a focal point of expertise, information and engagement on issues related to response. The goals in Response Core are: a) provide a forum for sharing expertise and ideas regarding impacts and solutions, emphasizing but not limited to social science knowledge; b) to support MEOPAR project teams seeking to conduct research related to Response and c) to facilitate stakeholder engagement in order to mobilize the use of knowledge to reduce marine-related risks and develop effective solutions.

Member Institutions

  • Acadia University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • Brock University
  • University of Calgary
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Guelph
  • Lakehead University
  • Université de Laval
  • University of Manitoba
  • McGill University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia Community College
  • University of Ottawa
  • Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Ryerson University
  • Saint Mary’s University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • St. Francis Xavier University 
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Waterloo 
  • University of Western Ontario 
  • University of Windsor
  • York University