Ecological Dynamics in Aquatic Systems

      • Coral Reefs
        • This research project aims to use a metapopulation model and reaction diffusion equation to study the dynamics between macroalgae, coral and turf algae. The objective is to slow down or even prevent the retreat of coral by controlling macroalgae.
      • Spot Prawns
        • A fundamental understanding of the biology of a species is both intrinsically

          Photo by Emma Atkinson

          important and vital to maintaining healthy populations under fishing pressure. We are using mathematical models to describe the population dynamics of hermaphroditic spot prawns (Pandalus platyceros) and address questions in the context of the commercial prawn-by-trap fishery in British Columbia, Canada. The modelling component of the project will be complemented with fieldwork led by graduate student Emma Atkinson based at Salmon Coast Field Station in the Broughton Archipelago, BC. This project includes collaborators at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association.

      • Polar Bears and Ringed Seals

        Photo by Jody Reimer

        • With the Arctic warming quicker than anywhere else on earth, mathematical models that explore mechanisms of change can help us interpret observations and anticipate future changes. Approaches such as structured population models and optimal control theory provide insights into anticipated population trends, and shifts in foraging and reproductive behaviour. Related publications 
      • Cyanobacteria
          • Cyanobacteria (a.k.a blue-green algae) are among the oldest of earth’s existing species and are found in nearly every aquatic ecosystem.
            Coexistence of two competing phytoplankton species that utilize different wavelengths for varying advection rates. The species equally coexist if the advection rates are the same.

            Image submitted by Christopher Heggerud

            Certain cyanobacteria species have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Unfortunately, anthropogenic factors such as eutrophication and climate change promote the growth and development of cyanobacteria blooms.
            The goal of this project is to use modelling approaches to understand the complex ecological dynamics of cyanobacteria as well as propose potential management strategies that consider both the ecological and the socio-economic dynamics involved in a freshwater ecosystem.