Undergraduate Courses


This course focuses on current, often hotly debated topics in marine science. We discuss recently published papers and current research initiatives on urgent issues, including biodiversity, fisheries, conservation, management, climate change, and human-ocean interactions. Class format includes lectures, case-studies, as well as active discussion, debates, group work and hands-on assignments.


This class considers the ecology, utilization, and management of natural resources in fisheries, wildlife and forest management, agriculture and aquaculture. Topics include population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem support of resources as well as the history of resource utilization, practices of controlling production, pests, and predators, and sustainable management strategies.


Ecology is the study of the interactions of plants and animals, including humans, with each other and with their non-living world. Topics include population growth, competition, predation, food webs, metapopulation dynamics, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The class has a quantitative approach and provides a foundation for further work in ecology, marine biology and environmental science.

Graduate seminars and modules


2015 – Different Approaches to Food-web and Ecosystem Modeling: Methods and Applications

2009 – Science & Creativity

2008 – Different Approaches to Ecosystem Modeling

2007 – Advances in marine historical ecology & environmental history

Honours student thesis supervision

2015-2016Annabel Westell (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Conservation maps of shark populations and policy’ (co-supervised with Christine Ward-Paige)

2015-2016Jake Abbott (Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Identifying the Effects of Human Recreation on Animal and Plant Distributions in the District of Squamish, British Columbia’

2014-2015Kristen Wilson (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Effects of increasing ocean temperatures on the survival and growth rate of common macroalgal species along the coast of Nova Scotia’

2014-2015Mizuho Namba (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Regional comparison of the ecosystem services and composition of eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds in the Maritime Provinces of Canada’ (co-supervised with Allison Schmidt)

2013-2014Duncan Baker (Marine Biology and Oceanography, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Comparative analysis of different field survey techniques for assessing coastal fish communities’

2013-2014Nakia Cullain (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Seasonal changes in the structure and services of eelgrass ecosystems in Nova Scotia’ (co-supervised with Allison Schmidt)

2013-2014Kim Nguyen-Phuoc (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Effects of tourism on the behavior of immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Akumal Bay, Mexico’

2012-2013Haley Guest (Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Public perceptions of marine management in Nova Scotia’

2012-2013Richard (Simon) Lay (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Seasonal changes to rockweed communities in Nova Scotia’

2011-2012Jessica Ellis (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Current trends in the abundance, distribution and fishery of hagfish (Myxine glutinosa) in Atlantic Canada and worldwide’

2011-2012Lauren Kay (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Effects of eutrophication and climate warming on growth and carbon and nutrient storage in the fucoid seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum

2010-2011Gregory Britten (Biology & Statistics, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Modelling trophic dynamics and stability in a predator-depleted marine fish community using an autoregressive time-series model’

2007-2008Jessica Wysmyk (Marine Biology, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘The effects of nutrient loading on seagrass beds (Zostera marina) in Atlantic Canada’

2007-2008Alison Battersby (Bournemouth University, England)
Title: ‘Changes in sessile species richness in eelgrass habitats along a gradient of nutrient loading’

2006-2007Sean Anderson (Environmental Science Program, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Sustainability of emerging low-trophic level fisheries on the Scotian Shelf’

Graduate student thesis supervision

2016–2020  –  Andrea Buchholz (Ph.D., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Climate change effects on fisheries and marine ecosystems in the Northwest Atlantic’

2015–2019  –  Kriste Makareviciute (Ph.D., Kiel University, Co-supervisor)
Title: ‘Global change effects on the basis of marine food webs’

2015-2017Kristen Wilson (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Combined effects of climate change and physiological thresholds on the distribution of habitat-forming macroalgae in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean’

2014-2016Nakia Cullain (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Regional variation and effects of finfish aquaculture on seagrass habitats and associated macro-infauna communities in Atlantic Canada’

2014-2016James Scott McCain (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Spatial and temporal analysis of rockweed beds and seagrass meadows as commercial fish nurseries in Atlantic Canada’

2012-2015Lauren Kay (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Effects of rockweed harvesting on the structure and functioning of rockweed beds’

2012-2015Reba McIver (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Long-term change to seagrass habitats in Atlantic Canada as a result of eutrophication’

2012-2013Alexandra Vance (MMM, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Integrated coastal zone management of eelgrass beds in Atlantic Canada’

2008-2011Anna Magera (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Marine mammal population recoveries and critical factors’

2007-2010Sean Anderson (M.Sc., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Trends, drivers and ecosystem effects of expanding global invertebrate fisheries’

2007-2010Nancy Deschu (MMM, Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘The ecological role and life history requirements of species that depend on both marine and terrestrial environments’

2006-2012Allison Schmidt (Ph.D., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Causes and consequences of change in the structure and functions of nearshore temperate habitats’

2005-2010Christine Ward-Paige (Ph.D., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘Monitoring elasmobranch populations using scuba divers: Patterns, trends and potential biases’

2004-2010Francesco Ferretti (Ph.D., Dalhousie University)
Title: ‘The role of sharks in marine ecosystems: evaluating overexploited marine fish communities to detect long-term effects of predator removal’