Current Lab Members

Photo by Jenn Burt

WSN Surf Trip


WSN 2016

Associate Professor, School of Resource & Environmental Management
anne.salomon [at]

Anne Salomon.I am an applied marine ecologist and associate professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. My research is motivated by a deep interest in understanding how human activities alter the productivity, biodiversity and resilience of coastal marine food webs with the ultimate goal of informing ecosystem approaches to marine conservation. Broadly, my students and I study the cascading effects of predator depletion, marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, and the dynamics of coupled human-ocean systems. Ultimately, I strive to engage coastal communities and government agencies in collaborative research and encourage constructive dialogue between them to design effective marine policies that balance the needs of people and nature.

I currently direct the Coastal Marine Ecology and Conservation lab at SFU and am a principle investigator with the Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management, an interdisciplinary partnership with Coastal First Nations and the Hakai Beach Institute aimed at devising solutions to pressing coastal conservation problems. See my full CV here.


PhD Candidate, Hakai Scholar
lynn_chi_lee [at]

Lynn LeeLynn Lee is a doctoral candidate exploring the historical and contemporary socio-ecological dynamics of people, sea otters, urchins, abalone and kelp forests in BC. Collaborative work with the Haida and Heiltsuk First Nations will facilitate inclusion of traditional knowledge alongside scientific and local experiential knowledge to foster an ecosystem-based understanding of the system at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

By contextualizing what we see today with knowledge of historical baselines and species interactions, Lynn aims to gauge the magnitude of change that has occurred within an altered ecosystem in which sea otters, a strongly interacting species, were extirpated and are now recovering in parts of their former range. Understanding species interactions and ecological processes that drive kelp forest dynamics, alternative ecosystem states, and their effects on abalone recovery, will provide insights into the mechanisms enabling the persistence of abalone and their recovery from overfishing. This context will facilitate our ability to forecast a range of possible future outcomes resulting from contemporary conservation actions.

Lynn lives and works primarily from Haida Gwaii, conducting field research on Haida Gwaii, the Central Coast and West Coast of Vancouver Island. Lynn is actively engaged in marine stewardship and planning in her community, informing marine planning, engaging as an active partner in the Haida Gwaii Marine Stewardship Group, and sitting on the Haida Gwaii Marine Advisory Committee.

PhD Candidate, Hakai Scholar

jenn.burt [at]

Jenn Burt - coastal headshot.jpg

Jenn Burt is a doctoral candidate with interests in kelp forest ecology, resilience and adaptation in coastal communities, and marine planning in British Columbia (BC). Her PhD research is focused on understanding the ecological and social transitions that are occurring as sea otters return to rocky reef ecosystems in BC. Specifically, she is exploring how subtidal invertebrate and kelp communities shift when sea otters move into an area, how long these shifts take to happen, and what mechanisms cause these dramatic changes. She is also working with coastal communities to understand how kelp forest ecosystems are valued and how community members envision negotiating trade-offs and adapting to change as sea otter populations recover.

Jenn has been involved in various coastal planning initiatives and is interested in how communities, governments, NGOs and industry can work together to achieve better ecosystem-based management. Prior to her PhD, she was the Marine Planning Coordinator at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-BC) where she worked to strengthen protected area planning, encourage science-based management, and advance regional marine planning processes. Jenn has more recently been engaged in planning initiatives in Howe Sound, working to coordinate and facilitate the Howe Sound Aquatic Forum. Jenn has a masters degree in Pacific salmon ecology from UBC, and has also directed, designed and coordinated marine biology and conservation education programs at the Vancouver Aquarium. See her website for more details.

Skye Augustine
PhD Candidate

skyeaugustine [at]


Skye Augustine (Hwsyun’yun) is a doctoral candidate from the Stz’uminus Nation and works for Parks Canada as the Clam Garden Project Coordinator in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR). In this role, Skye oversees Parks Canada’s clam garden restoration project – a five-year, collaborative study involving Coastal First Nations and various partners to examine the impact of clam gardens on intertidal ecosystems, combining traditional knowledge and scientific study. Skye first fell in love with clam gardens as a summer student and has continued this work as a collaborator on the Learning By The Sea program, as an Adjunct Faculty at Northwest Indian College where she works with undergraduate marine science students through the Salish Sea Research Center, and now as a doctoral student in the Coastal Marine Ecology and Conservation Lab.

MRM Candidate

gabrielle.pang [at]

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Gabby is a Masters Candidate with a background in biology and earth sciences. She is using the case study of sea otter recovery on the central coast of British Columbia to ask how predators transform system-wide trophic dynamics. Using a suite of stable isotopes collected from kelp monitoring surveys, she is quantifying niche space at both the species-level and community-level. Comparisons of these community food webs with increasing otter occupation time will help advance our understanding of the role predators play in shaping food web organization and dynamics. Gabby is also involved with research measuring the resilience of the herring social-ecological system in British Columbia and how it has changed with time, with the goal of informing transformation in fisheries governance.

Prior to her adventures in coastal marine ecology, Gabby received her B.Sc. in Biology from Simon Fraser University and B.Sc. in Earth Sciences from McGill University. Her journey as a naturalist began with studying taxonomy of Antarctic bivalve assemblages, led to excavating dinosaurs in southwestern Saskatchewan, to exploration geology in arctic Quebec, and finally birds of prey in the Lower Mainland. It was while assessing climate change stressors on mussel growth for her undergraduate honours project at Simon Fraser University  that Gabby realized that she wanted to pursue her conservation work on coastal marine systems.


MRM Student

natasha.salter [at]

natashaNatasha is a M.R.M. candidate with a love for intertidal ecology and traditional food systems. She hopes to combine these interests to improve marine resource management and food security for rural coastal communities. Natasha is working as part of a larger inter-community collaboration called the Clam Garden Network. For millennia, Northwest Coast First Nations have been sustaining and enhancing shellfish production through the construction and management of beach modifications known as clam gardens. Natasha is particularly interested in teasing apart the ecological, geomorphic, and cultural mechanisms that contribute to the increased productivity of clam gardens compared to non-modified beaches. Based out of Hakai Institute’s Quadra Island Field Station, Natasha set up a clam transplant experiment to determine to what extent shell hash – rich sediments in clam gardens increase littleneck clam (Leukoma staminea) growth and survival.

Prior to her West Coast adventures, Natasha completed her B.Sc. in honours biology at McGill University. She complemented her honours thesis studying the effects of iron-ore mining activities on aquatic ecosystems in Northern Quebec with fieldwork assistantships in pollination biology, agroecology, and conservation. These projects had her identifying and catching bees for a study on wild pollinators in Quebec apple orchards, setting up pollination experiments to test inbreeding depression in New Brunswick blueberries, and monitoring an endangered, endemic iguana population in the mangrove swamps of Utila, Honduras. She also spent a semester at McGill’s Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados studying agriculture, food production, alternative energy, and sustainable land use. Growing up playing in tide pools on the rocky shores of Nova Scotia, Natasha is excited to be back to her first love, coastal marine ecology.

Hannah Kobluk
MRM Student
hkobluk [at]

DSC_0697.JPGHannah is a Master’s candidate passionate about community-driven, applied ecological research. She is interested in understanding ecosystem function and how human connection and interaction with nature shapes social-ecological systems, specifically what characteristics confer resilience especially in dynamic coastal areas. For her Master’s research Hannah is working in collaboration with the Heiltsuk Nation to investigate resilience of the intertidal kelp Egregia menziesii to traditional harvest methods and characterize the environmental factors that mitigate or enhance recovery. Their findings will help to illuminate the cultural and ecological importance of this kelp, and inform sustainable management practices at the local level.

Hannah’s interest in applied science sparked while pursuing her B.Sc in Geography at UVic, and was solidified while working with the Applied Conservation Science lab where she contributed to research on coastal bear-salmon dynamics. Since then her pursuits have taken her to the prairies where she studied climate change adaptation in rural communities, to South Africa looking at predator ecology in farmed versus protected landscapes and finally now, following the call of the ocean, back to the coast of BC

MRM Student
eslade [at]

fullsizeoutput_1128Erin has joined the School of Resource and Environmental management in order to pursue her interests in social-ecological systems, particularly in coastal marine ecosystems. She will be investigating the relationship between size distribution in California mussels and sea otter prevalence. Based on Iain McKechnie’s work, she will be determining full shell length of pre-contact California mussels from fragmented archaeological specimens. She aims to use these size distributions to explore the deep-time relationship between sea otter prevalence and mussel shell length. More broadly, this research will provide a proxy for estimating how sea otter populations were distributed prior to European contact and the fur trade that extirpated them from the Pacific Northwest.

Erin’s interest in marine ecology and conservation began early playing in the Pacific intertidal as a kid, and grew throughout a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Queen’s University, where the lack of marine inspiration became all too apparent. Exploring the use of marine protected areas at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre solidified her desire to work with social-ecological systems that address both the marine ecosystem and its inherent links to the social environment in which it resides.

MRM Student
sachi.ouchi [at]

SachiSachiko is a Master’s student who is passionate about community-driven projects in relation to climate change and the marine environment. Specifically, she is interested in how coastal communities are going to adapt to climate change and the subsequent implications those actions will have on the sustainability of marine resources in complex social-ecological systems.

Fish catches are declining worldwide. Additionally, fish are heavily relied on as a global protein source but even more so in many coastal areas. Given these circumstances, a perfect storm is brewing where communities most dependent on marine sources of protein are also most vulnerable to climate change and have fewer alternatives to adapt. To address this global issue, Sachiko will be joining a team of researchers, in collaborative partnerships with Coastal First Nations, to develop adaptation strategies for healthy fisheries and food security under alternative climate change scenarios. The aim of her research will be to develop relevant and achievable adaptation and transformation strategies for coastal communities here in British Columbia that can then be used as a platform for other communities locally and globally.

Sachiko’s love for the ocean began at a young age while snorkeling in Maui on a family holiday. She initially took interest in all the ocean critters but since has gradually moved towards and interest for the marine environment as a whole and how to manage the resources that it provides. She has a BSc in Oceanography and Biology from the University of British Columbia and a multidisciplinary background spanning biological oceanography, fisheries economics, and marine ecology. In the end, her love for marine ecology and social-ecological systems won out which has landed her here in the Coastal Marine Ecology and Conservation Lab.


Big thanks to Anne Salomon, Mark Wunsch, Rowan Trebilco, Tim Ennis, Jenn Burt and Amy Groesbeck for photo and video content for the site. Website constructed by Kyle Empringham, Josh Silberg, Gabby Pang and Markus Thompson.