Statisticians are making meaningful contributions to important research projects in ecology and the environmental sciences.

The purpose of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI) is to advance research in the statistical sciences in Canada by attracting new researchers to the field, increasing the points of contact among researchers nationally and internationally, and providing assistance to collaborations with other disciplines and organizations. I am the Team Leader for one of the first three Collaborative Research Team projects awarded by CANSSI, titled "Advancements to State-Space Models (SSMs) for Fisheries Science."

For distinguished contributions to the development of novel statistical methodology to study marine biodiversity and sustainability, for passionate promotion of environmetrics by bridging the interdisciplinary gap between oceanography, marine biology and modern statistical science, and for excellence in interdisciplinary mentoring of a future generation of Environmetricians.
— 2013 Abdel El-Shaarawi Young Researcher's Award Winner
Receiving the award from Abdel in Anchorage, Alaska at the TIES Meeting.

Receiving the award from Abdel in Anchorage, Alaska at the TIES Meeting.

The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a 7-year research program making use of technologies and infrastructure to understand changing marine ecosystems and demonstrate how we can learn about continental shelf ecosystems through cutting-edge research. This program is enabled by the largest federal government university research award, in Dalhousie University and Atlantic Canadian history, with investment from CFI, NSERC and SHHRC as well as from in-kind and financial contributions from OTN partners worldwide. As part of this program, I am a Co-Investigator (with 28 others) on a research grant (obtained via the NSERC Research Partnerships Program) titled “Understanding Species Movements, Interactions, and Environmental Variability across Canada’s three Oceans”.  Understanding how animals interact with a dynamic ocean environment is critical not only for conservation and resource management but also for gaining novel insight into the nature of species interactions.  I am currently developing statistical modelling and visualization tools for complex OTN datasets which is a high priority goal of OTN.

The Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) is a collaborative research initiative to harness the vast potential of the world’s oceans and meet the ecological, economic and societal challenges of the future. As an international hub for ocean science, OFI will bring together elite researchers and institutes from across the globe to understand our changing oceans and create safe, sustainable solutions for ocean development. 

OFI is built on world-class Canadian university expertise of Dalhousie, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Prince Edward Island, together with eight international partners including four of the top five ocean institutes in the world as well as partners in the Government of Canada’s federal laboratories, the Royal Canadian Navy, the National Film Board of Canada and national and international industry.

$94 million in funding has been awarded through the Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) to support the Ocean Frontier Institute, the largest grant in the history of the three Canadian partner universities. OFI has also attracted an additional $125 million in support from provincial governments and partners, including a gift of $25 million from Mr. John Risley, prominent business leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. This massive total investment of $220 million dollars is unprecedented in Canada’s ocean science sector. I am a Team Member for various Modules being funded through the CFREF.