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 link theory with data through statistical and simulation models to improve predictions about ecological systems and inform management and policy decisions. In particular, I am interested in how we can estimate population status with limited data and in the role of variance, risk, and extreme events in population dynamics. Because these problems are complex, a large part of my work involves method and software development.
My research broadly spans the field of quantitative ecology. In my role at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, I am now mainly focussed on marine fish and fisheries. My current areas of research include:
- Ecological extremes in time or space, e.g. black-swan events
- Ensemble approaches in fisheries stock assessment
- Fisheries stock assessment, especially data-limited management-procedure approaches
- Spatiotemporal modelling of fish biomass and other ecological processes, especially to investigate effects of climate change
- Ecological portfolio effects, e.g. the benefits and risks of diversification for fishers or fish populations
I develop a number of R packages. For example, with collaborators, I’m developing packages to run fisheries stock assessment simulations with Stock Synthesis software (ss3sim), fit Bayesian spatial and spatiotemporal models (glmmfields), and fit Bayesian Dynamic Factor Analysis time series models (bayesdfa). Much of my recent work has been on developing R packages to facilitate rapid data processing, model fitting, and visualization for groundfish stocks in British Columbia, Canada.
I am interested in taking on postdoctoral researchers and co-supervising graduate students. There are funding opportunities with Fisheries and Oceans Canada through SPERA (Strategic Program for Ecosystem-Based Research and Advice) and ACCASP (Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program). Other excellent postdoc funding opportunities are through the Liber Ero and the Smith Fellows programs. If you have a topic of interest, get in touch and we may be able to write a joint proposal.