I am a biologist at the Pacific Biological Station with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Until recently, I was a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow at the University of Washington and Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington. I believe that the thoughtful visual display of data and statistical models can powerfully inform conservation ecology and help us understand the ecological risks associated with human activities.
In my Ph.D. thesis at Simon Fraser University, I examined the role of variability and extreme events in population ecology. In my M.Sc. thesis at Dalhousie University, I explored patterns of expansion and serial exploitation in global invertebrate fisheries. I also work on extinction risk: I recently co-led a study published in Science that used 23 million years of fossil data to ask what extinction risk in today’s oceans would look like without humans.
My research broadly spans the field of quantitative ecology across taxa (e.g. sea cucumbers, reef fish, salmon, moths, grizzly bears), ecosystems (marine, freshwater, terrestrial), methods (empirical, simulation, theoretical), spatial scale (regional, national, global), and time periods (modern, historical, paleontological).
I teach workshops on data visualization and manipulation for scientists. I also develop a number of R packages. With collaborators, I’m developing packages to run fisheries stock assessment simulations with Stock Synthesis software (ss3sim), fit Bayesian spatiotemporal models that allow for extremes (rrfields), and fit stock assessment models to data-limited fisheries (datalimited).