Research Team


Haley Milko, Master’s student 

Project title: Best practices in fisheries monitoring training to engage aboriginal youth

The research examines fisheries and stewardship monitoring training programs available on the north coast of BC and identifies opportunities and barriers to the involvement of youth in ocean-related livelihoods such as fishing and monitoring. The research shows how economic and political drivers are changing employment opportunities for First Nations youth on the north coast, evaluates potential entry points for youth seeking to continue working in their traditional territories as monitors or resource guardians, and identifies “best practices” for monitoring and stewardship training programs.

Charlotte Whitney, Ph.D. Candidate 

Project title: Review of adaptive capacities of British Columbia’s coastal communities to global change

The project reviews frameworks to investigate human adaptive capacity to global change, especially climate change and including social-ecological linkages. Potential synergies between climate change and non-climate change drivers of change (i.e., whether any such synergies are mentioned in existing studies) are a key focus for the project.

Rachelle Beveridge, Ph.D. Candidate

Project title: What happened to sputc?  A case study of First Nations eulachon stewardship priorities compared to broader perspectives on the loss and recovery of central coast eulachon

The project examines a variety of actors’ perspectives on the loss and restoration of central coast eulachon, exploring the causes, solutions, practices, and priorities highlighted by actors at different scales or levels of jurisdiction. This work will support future inter-jurisdictional communication around conservation of this culturally and ecologically important species, and contribute to the successful consideration of First Nations knowledge and authority in wider-scale decision-making.

Nathan Bennett, Postdoctoral Researcher, and Charlotte Whitney, Ph.D. Candidate

Project title: Working group on adaptive capacity of coastal communities to social-ecological change

Nathan and Charlotte are co-leading a 2-day workshop that will explore the following question: What are the strengths, drawbacks, and insights of the range of approaches for analyzing adaptive capacity? How might these different approaches be applied to analyze the adaptive capacity of linked social-ecological systems?

Paige Olmsted, Ph.D. Candidate 

Project title: Marine community support for conservation: A test case in Howe Sound, BC

Following expert interviews of a variety of stakeholders in Howe Sound, we will take stock of the opportunities for and impediments facing a novel vehicle for funding and crowd-sourced conservation and restoration actions. Surveys of potential investors will link environmental values to various design and participation preferences. The goal is to foster environmental stewardship across sectors in an effort to sustain multiple benefits that support coastal communities.

John Driscoll, Ph.D. Candidate

Project title: The effects of sea otter reestablishment on ecosystem service benefits derived by coastal communities on west coast Vancouver Island

A forthcoming article models the ecological consequences of the ongoing reestablishment of sea otters on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and shows that reductions in shellfish fisheries may be offset by increases in several other ecosystem services. The proposed project will build upon this existing model by developing and applying spatially-explicit social benefit functions for each of the modeled ecosystem services for each of several social groups (e.g., commercial fishers, recreational fishers, subsistence fishers with and without boats). This analysis will transform the model’s biomass-based results into spatially-explicit estimates of benefits to coastal communities, accounting for access restrictions due to distance from port and harvest restrictions. The results of the proposed project will improve understanding of the long-term consequences of sea otter reintroduction for coastal communities.