Rivers Inlet Ecosystem Study

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*Graduate projects and volunteer work are available*

The RIES continues to collect as comprehensive a data set as possible for the Rivers Inlet pelagic ecosystem. Currently, four MSc and one PhD projects directly related to these data are underway. However, key aspects of this ecosystem study remain to be tackled and we are actively seeking graduate students to take on this research.
The ecological changes that have taken place at Rivers Inlet are symptomatic of changes throughout coastal British Columbia, related to resource exploitation, climate and natural ecosystem change. Rivers Inlet is an ideal focal area for researching and understanding these ecological changes, their social and economic impacts, and developing effective integrated management strategies. As such the relevance of the RIES reaches far wider than Rivers Inlet itself.
Future research aims to not only build on our understanding of the Rivers Inlet ecosystem in its present state, but also to reconstruct its historical ecology and produce modeling tools to predict future change and inform ecosystem based management.

Current research opportunities include:
  • Fine scale distribution of zooplankton in relation to surface mass properties and phytoplankton distribution.
  • Food web structure of the Rivers Inlet pelagic community, from phytoplankton to fish, through the application of stable isotope analysis. 
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • Reconstruction of Rivers Inlet primary production over the past ~ 200 years from sediment cores. 
  • The ecological, social and economic impacts of the decline of Rivers Inlet sockeye salmon: a history of ecosystem service provision. (project taken)
Prospective students should contact us via email. Include your CV and ~100 words detailing your researach interests and experience, and why this program and a particular project are of interest to you.