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. See my full CV here.

PhD Candidate, Hakai Scholar

jenn.burt [at]

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.

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 Student
eslade [at]


Erin 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
souchi [at]


Sachiko 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.

MRM Student
heather_earle [at]

Fullbright Scholar
nicole.grace33 [at]

Nicky is joining the lab as a Fulbright scholar, a fellowship that allows American students to immerse themselves in the research and culture of a different country. In her home state of Maine, USA, she fell in love with marine ecology on the rocky coasts of New England. This passion flowed into her undergraduate studies as a Biology and Environmental Studies major at Amherst College, where she took advantage of anthropology and ecology classes to study coastal food sustainability and sovereignty issues. The same mussels, clams, and other invertebrates that first captured her attention as a little girl grew into an obsession, first with her research internships in the seagrass and kelp forest ecosystems, and then her honors thesis. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the potential of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture within the modern world; by interviewing local aquaculturists spearheading the practice in the U.S., constructing a review paper of the benefits and drawbacks of the practice, and conducting an experimental study related to the co-culture of kelps and shellfish, she portrayed this avenue as a sustainable possibility for the seafood industry. Knowing that social-ecological systems drive ecosystem change, Nicky had planned to focus the majority of her review around the coupled social-ecological relationship. Yet, she failed to find a substantial amount of research to support this objective. Driven by this gap in knowledge, she now strives to understand community-driven sustainable farming and fishing practices from the social-ecological lens in order to inform policy that balances conservation with resource use.

Nicky continues this work at SFU by understanding the sociological and ecological effects of sea otter recovery in the Vancouver region. Recovery efforts have brought the widespread return of sea otters to the Vancouver region, bringing about many challenges to the local Indigenous populations that rely on the sea otter’s prey, invertebrate species. Nicky’s primary goal with her research is to help build upon the Coastal Voices project, a platform powered by Indigenous leaders, scientists, and artists in the British Columbia and Alaskan region that creates an avenue between traditional and social/ecological science to address conservation issues and inform marine management. She looks forward to writing review papers and work on other points of access in order to draw as many people as possible into the discussion.


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.