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Currently PostDoc at University of Guelph
Lab Member Fall 2007 – Spring 2009
RESEARCH INTERESTS during lab tenure
“I earned my Ecology and Environment degree from the Université de Montréal in Canada in 1998. During this period, I worked as a diver & biologist. In 1998, I joined the Maurice-Lamontagne Institute, the science branch of Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Québec, where I was working with the Marine Mammal Section, doing my M.Sc. on the effect of top predators the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence in collaboration with Université du Québec à Rimouski. I now hold a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. My doctoral research involved to analyse the resilience of marine ecosystem models of the world, examine the effect of marine mammal predation, and to develop specific models for the Gulf of St. Lawrence (eastern Canada). I also contributed to the Sea Around Us Project. Since 2003, I teach diverse marine ecology courses (Mammalogy, Marine Ecosystem Functionning, Population Dynamics, Mairne Ecology) at Université du Québec à Rimouski. My research interests now bring me to the ‘Gerber Lab’ to focus on the interaction between whales and fisheries in marine ecosystems.
Little is known about the ecological consequences of the removal of whales in terms of their past roles as consumers in food chains and as prey and carrion. Evidence suggests that ocean ecosystems throughout the world have experienced a dramatic shift in ecosystem structure as a result of the removal of large whales as well as extensive fishing activities. To understand the impact of whales on commercial fisheries, it is necessary to analyze the situation in the context of ecosystems as there are a large number of indirect and direct interactions through which these two groups might influence each other.
My postdoctoral research is focussed on the potential competition between whales and fisheries in three areas: Northwest Africa, the Caribbean Seaand Southwest Pacific. I use the Ecopath with Ecosim modelling approach to construct ecosystem models characterizing the food web structure and examine the trophic impacts of marine mammals. The models will also be used as a predictive framework for examining the ecosystem impacts of changes in abundance of large whales, and as an interactive tool in stakeholder workshops that will be held in our study areas. This research is part of the Lenfest Ocean Program, supporting scientific research on living marine resources that will help decision makers both understand the causes and consequences affecting the global marine environment, and design and implement policies that will sustainably manage ocean ecosystems.”