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 © 2006-2014  Mercier-Hamelast updated:

 

SHORT CV ANNIE MERCIER


AREAS OF RESEARCH

Fundamental and applied aspects of benthic invertebrate ecology:

  • Phenology and chronobiology of reproduction with emphasis on the role of exogenous and endogenous factors and inter-individual chemical communication in the fine-tuning of gametogenesis and spawning;
  • Other aspects of the reproductive cycle in coastal and deep-sea invertebrates: spawning, gamete dispersion, larval development, settlement cues, juvenile growth and ecology;
  • Species interactions such as pairing and aggregative patterns, prey-predator responses, parasitism, symbiosis;
  • Deep-sea biology;
  • Development of fisheries, aquaculture and stock enhancement programs.
  • More details on my research activities.

EDUCATION

1997- Ph.D. Oceanography (Biology/Ecotoxicology)
1993- M.Sc. Oceanography (Biology/Ecotoxicology)
1991- B.Sc. Biology (Microbiology)
 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND CONTRIBUTION TO RESEARCH

2010-present: Associate Professor (tenured). Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Currently developing research projects on the fundamental and applied aspects of benthic invertebrate ecology. Cross-appointed at the department of Biology.

2005-2010: Assistant Professor (tenure-track). Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

2002: Scientific consultant in marine biology and aquaculture. PLASFEL S.A., Ecuador. Headed a research project to develop techniques to reproduce and grow the sea cucumber Isostichopus fuscus.

2001: Professor and research scientist in marine biology/aquaculture. College of the Marshall Islands. Designed and managed the Marshall Islands Science Station. Gave lectures and carried field and laboratory research on sea cucumbers and other commercially interesting marine invertebrates (i.e. sea urchins, cowries, starfish, etc.) of the Central Pacific.

1997-2000: Senior Research Associate. ICLARM, Coastal Aquaculture Centre, Solomon Islands. Conducted field and laboratory research to better understand the spatial distribution, growth, larval settlement and reproduction of the commercial sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra.

1997-1998: Scientific adviser and contributor during the production of documentaries on the St Lawrence Estuary/Gulf by Productions IMPEX (Québec, Canada).

Since 1995: Research scientist at and co-founder of the Society for the Exploration & Valuing of the Environment (SEVE), Canada. Duties include: the study of marine invertebrates and ecotoxicology, as well as nature and travel writing/photography (with regular contributions to over 30 magazines).

1992-1996: Research in environmental toxicology. Study of the effect of tributyltin (TBT) on the physiology and reproduction of sea stars and symbiotic sea anemones.

1992-1994: Diversified studies on marine invertebrates. Maintained cultures of diverse molluscs, sea stars and sea urchins to study their reproduction and behaviours. Looked into the possible occurrence of cross-fertilization between molluscs and echinoderms in natural populations. Studied parasitic infestations. Conducted a large scale experiment to evaluate the foraging and escape strategies of starfish.

1991-95: Teaching experience at the undergraduate level: seminars, training courses and conferences.

1991: Research assistant during the study of marine algae contamination.

1990: Research assistant during the study of cultured mussel feeding and growth.

 

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS

My work on the reproduction, growth, feeding and behaviour of marine invertebrates has led to several refereed publications and communications at national and international symposiums.

GRANTS

2013 Multiple funding sources (1-year). Fisheries and aquaculture related biometrics of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa.

CAD $28,000; PI = A. Mercier. Funding partners:

  • Government of Newfoundland and Labrador – Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA). $15,000

  • Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI). $10,000

  • Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC). Supervisor complement to Ocean Industry Student Research Award of B. Gianasi. CAD $3,000.

2013 NSERC Engage grant. Developing the use of marine invertebrates as bioindicators of hydrocarbon contamination in sub-arctic environments. CAD $20,115; PI = A. Mercier.

2013 NSERC Discovery grant (5-year). Rhythms of a changing ocean: Chronobiology and control of reproduction in marine organisms. CAD $135,000; PI = A. Mercier.

2011 Environment Canada - Science Horizons. Investigating the effect of climate change scenarios on the early life stages of ecologically and commercially important marine taxa. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University. PI = A. Mercier.

2010 NSERC Research Tools & Instruments grant. Customized research support vehicle. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University. PI = G. Fletcher

2009 Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (IBES). Research for the Development of a Sea Cucumber Fishery in Newfoundland. For graduate student support (4 years); PI = A. Mercier.

2009 CFI Leading Edge Fund. Infrastructure for cold-water and deep-sea research. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University. PI = I. Fleming.

2009  NSERC Major Resources Support (1-year). Cold Ocean Sciences. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University of Newfoundland. PI = I. Fleming.

2008 NSERC University Faculty Award (2-year renewal). Memorial University. PI = A. Mercier.

 

2008 NSERC Discovery Grant (5-year). Control of reproduction in benthic marine invertebrates. Memorial University. PI = A. Mercier.

 

2008 Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Histological investigation of deep-sea coral reproduction. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University of Newfoundland. PI = A. Mercier.

 

2008 Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) – Infrastructure Operating Fund. Memorial University – Equipment for marine chemical ecology and reproductive biology research. PI = A. Mercier.
 

2007 NSERC Discovery Ship Time. Biogeography, biodiversity, and reproductive ecology of deep-sea corals. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University of Newfoundland. PI = A. Mercier.

 

2007 Department of Fisheries and Oceans. International Governance Program. The ecology of deep-sea corals of Newfoundland and Labrador waters: biogeography, life history, biogeochemistry, and role as critical habitat. Contract for student support.
 

2006 Multiple funding sources (3-year) – Determination of growth, habitat utilisation, predation and geneflow in Newfoundland populations of sea cucumbers Cucumaria frondosa.

PI = A. Mercier; Funding partners:

·        Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI)

·        Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA)

·        Sea cucumber harvesters

·        Fogo Island Co-op

·        Society for the Exploration & Valuing of the Environment (SEVE)

·        Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

·        Memorial University of Newfoundland 

2006  Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) – Leaders Opportunity Fund. Memorial University of Newfoundland – Equipment for marine chemical ecology and reproductive biology research.

PI = A. Mercier; Funding partners:

·        CFI

·        MUN

·        Industrial Research & Innovation Fund (IRIF)

·        Gov. of Nfld & Labrador

·        Corporations/firms

2006  NSERC Major Facility Access grant (3-year). Cold Ocean Sciences. Ocean Sciences Centre / Memorial University of Newfoundland. PI = I. Fleming.

2006   Dean of Science: Travel grant and student support.

2005  NSERC Research Tools & Instruments grant. Microscopy and imaging system for the study of marine invertebrate reproduction and development. Memorial University of Newfoundland. PI = A. Mercier. 

2005  NSERC University Faculty Award / Discovery grant (3-year). Chemically mediated interactions during the reproduction of benthic marine invertebrates. Memorial University of Newfoundland. PI = A. Mercier. 

2005  DFO International Governance Program (3-year). The ecology of deep-sea corals of Newfoundland and Labrador waters: biogeography, life history, biogeochemistry, and role as critical habitat. Investigators: K. Gilkinson, D. Hamoutene, G. Veinott, E. Edinger, P. Snelgrove, R. Haedrich, R. Jamieson. I was invited to become involved in the project in fall 2005 to lead the life history section; I received funds to support the work of an MSc student. 

2002 CORPEI - Export & Investment Promotion Corporation of Ecuador. Participating institutions: PLASFEL S.A. (Ecuador) and Society for the Exploration & Valuing of the Environment (Canada). PI = A. Mercier, J-F Hamel.

2001 USDA - United States Department of Agriculture. Farming of marine invertebrates to sustain the aquarium trade and handicraft business. Participating institutions: College of the Marshall Islands, College of Micronesia. PI = A. Mercier, J-F Hamel. 

2001 USDA - United States Department of Agriculture. Assessment of potential for hatchery production of sea cucumbers in the Marshall Islands. Participating institutions: College of the Marshall Islands, College of Micronesia. PI = A. Mercier, J-F Hamel. 

1997 CIDA - Canadian International Development Agency within the CGIAR-Canada-Linkage Fund program (3-year). Determining the ecology of juvenile sandfish, Holothuria scabra, for the enhancement of wild stocks. Participating institutions: INRS-Océanologie (Canada), ICLARM Coastal Aquaculture Centre (Solomon Islands). PI = S. Battaglene.

1993-1997  Various scholarships for graduate studies (NSERC, FCAR).

 

GRADUATE STUDENT SUPERVISION

2013B. Gianasi, MSc Aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture related biometrics of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa. Department of Ocean Sciences. On-going.  RDC Ocean Industries Student Research Award

2013 -  M. Osse, MSc Marine Biology. Effect of hydrocarbons on reproductive success in benthic marine invertebrates. Department of Ocean Sciences. On-going. Mitacs-Accelerate Award

2013 - K. Verkaik, MSc Marine Biology. Impact of CO2-driven ocean acidification on reproduction in marine invertebrates. Department of Ocean Sciences. On-going.

2013 - E. Montgomery, PhD Marine Biology. Comparative study of forms and functions of pelagic propagules in marine invertebrates. Department of Ocean Sciences. On-going.

2011-2013 - K. Gale, MSc student. Deep-sea echinoderms of eastern Canada. Department of Biology & OSC.

2010-2014 - S. Baillon, PhD student. Associated fauna of deep-sea pennatulacean corals on the continental slope of Newfoundland & Labrador. Department of Biology & OSC.

2009-2012 - Z. Sun, PhD student. Occurrence and significance of offspring size variations: insights from brooding marine invertebrates. Department of Biology & OSC. Completed.

2008-2011 - G. Doyle, MSc student. Influence of environmental and spatial factors on the reproduction of brittle stars. Department of Biology & OSC. Completed.

2008 S. Baillon, visiting Masters student, 5 months (from University of Western Brittany, France). Gametogenic synchronicity with respect to time, depth and location in three species of deep-sea echinoderms. Completed.

2006-2009 J. So, MSc student. Determination of growth, habitat utilisation, predation and geneflow in Newfoundland populations of sea cucumbers Cucumaria frondosa. Department of Biology & OSC. Completed.

2006-2009  Z. Sun, MSc student. Reproductive biology of deep-sea corals in the Newfoundland & Labrador region. Department of Biology & OSC. Co-supervision with E. Edinger (Biology/Geography). Completed.

2006  F. Dordhain and V. Soriano, visiting, 1 month (from Université d’Artois, France).  They were doing a training course at DFO, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

 

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT SUPERVISION

2013-14  J. Melvin, Honours project (Biology, Memorial University). On-going.

2013 V. Pemberton-Renaud, NSERC USRA student (Biology, Memorial University). Ecology of deep-sea anemones.

2013 E. Freitas Cossignani F. Santos, 16-wk internship (Science without Border).

2013 D. Forsey. Part-time trainee (MUCEP program, Memorial University).

2011-2012  M. English, Honours project. Sclerite density and morphology in pennatulaceans.

2011-2012  C. Lee Spurrell. Part-time trainee (MUCEP program, Memorial University).

2010-2011  S. Hamilton, Honours project. Behavioural ecology of hermit crabs.

2010-2011  D. Ross, Honours project. Egg size variations in marine invertebrates.

2010-2011  K. McAskill, Part-time trainee (MUCEP program).

2010  C. Lewis, Part-time trainee (MUCEP program).

2009  E. Doncaster, Honours project. Predation on lecithotrophic larvae.

2008 M. Schofield, Honours project. Feeding ecology of bathyal symbionts.         

2008  M. Goobie, Honours project. The ecology of brittle stars in rhodoliths.

2008-2010 N. Laite. Part-time trainee (MUCEP program).

2006-2007 G. Doyle. Part-time trainee (MUCEP program).

2006-2007 C. Negrijn. Part-time trainee (MUCEP program).

 

Other HQP

2013  H. Anderson (BSc). Research Assistant. Aug-Oct 2013.

2011-12 L. Zhang (PhD), visiting postdoctoral fellow from the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS). Jul-Sep 2011; Sep 2012.

2007-12 P. Sargent (MSc), Aquatic Science Technician at DFO (St. John’s), visiting researcher.

 

TEACHING

Since 2006 - Cross-appointed at the department of Biology. Memorial University. Have developed the following courses:

  • Exploration of the World Ocean (OCSC 1000). Undergraduate level. Blended course. Taught every fall since 2013.

  • Advanced topics in marine invertebrates (BIOL/OSCS 7933). Graduate level. Now Advanced Studies in Animal Diversity.

  • Advanced topics in marine invertebrates (BIOL/OSCS 4122). Undergraduate level. Now Advanced Studies in Animal Diversity.

2001. Professor of marine biology/aquaculture. College of the Marshall Islands. Was responsible for teaching aquaculture and giving lectures in marine biology.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE & COMMUNITY OUTREACH

  • Referee for different peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Coral Reefs, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Marine Biology, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology, Invertebrate Reproduction & Development, Aquaculture, Marine & Freshwater Research, Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK, Marine & Freshwater Behaviour & Physiology, Journal of Invertebrate Pathology).
  • Project reviewer for grant agencies (NSERC, US Sea Grant and Land Grant, US Department of Agriculture).
  • Member of the Ecological Society of America, American Society of Naturalists and the International Society of Invertebrate Reproduction & Development.
  • Member of various MSc and PhD supervisory committees.
  • Member of INDEEP (International network for Scientific investigation of deep-sea ecosystems).
  • Appointments on committees at Memorial University:
    • Past
      • OSC Search Committee 2005-2006
      • Faculty of Science Position Paper, strategic planning of Memorial University 2006
      • OSC Search Committee 2006-2007
      • Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Committee 2006-2012
      • OSC Search Committee 2008-2009
      • OSC MFA Resources Committee 2007-2010
      • Special Appeals Committee of SGS Academic Council 2010
      • OSC representative on Biology Graduate Studies Committee 2007-2011
      • CFI Outcome Measurement Study 2010-2011
      • Chair of OSC Promotion & Tenure Committee 2011-2012
      • Provincial Vessel Project Steering Committee 2011-2013
      • School of Graduate Studies Investigations Board of the Academic Council 2012-2013
    • Present

      • School of Graduate Studies Academic Council 2010-
      • School of Graduate Studies Appeals Committee 2011-
      • DOS Undergraduate Program Committee 2012-
      • NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Selection Committee (169) 2012-
      • School of Graduate Studies Nominating Committee 2013-
      • DOS Promotion & Tenure Committee 2013-2014
      • DOS User Fee Committee for CDRF infrastructure 2013-
      • DOS Search Committee (2014)
  • Co-author of Faculty of Science Position Paper for the strategic planning of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Invited expert at the Global Sea Cucumber Red List Workshop held by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (May 2010).
  • Invited speaker and Session Editor at a workshop organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), entitled "Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture & Management", held in Dalian (China) in October 2003.
  • Member of an international scientific committee appointed by the FAO, aimed at facilitating regulation and implementation related to CITES and commercially-exploited sea cucumbers on a broad front.
  • Co-author of various books.
  • Co-author of numerous popular articles.
  • Editor of Trochus Information Bulletin (2006-2011), dedicated to molluscs. Published by the South Pacific Commission.
  • Diving certification (PADI).
  • Invited speaker: I have given about 50 conferences for scholars, park rangers, school children and the general public on topics pertaining to aquatic invertebrate and plant biology, photography, wildlife and travels.
  • Scientific supervisor and co-host. Counsellor and co-host during the production of 10 scientific documentaries on Quebec's rivers for Canal D in 2003. Productions Impex, Montreal, Canada.
  • Scientific counsellor. Counsellor and participant during the production of documentaries on the St. Lawrence River, Estuary and Gulf in 1997 (for Radio-Canada, TV5, Canal D). Productions Impex, Montreal, Canada.

 

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES AND MEDIA COVERAGE

I have dedicated a significant portion of my efforts to public education over the past 18 years. I regularly give conferences/interviews, and contribute to documentaries and radio and TV shows. Recent examples:

  • Fisheries Broadcast, CBC radio, October 2013.

  • Daily Planet, Discovery Channel, April 2013.

  • Bleu (Vivre à fond), Radio Canada, July 2012.

  • Doc Zone (Blowout), CBC, December 2010.

  • C’est ça la vie, Radio-Canada, September 2008.

The research conducted in my lab has regularly been featured in the media or used to support conservation efforts:

  • Beyond the Frontier, ESA podcast (September 2012)
  • WWF document on VMEs - vulnerable marine ecosystems (August 2012)
  • Oceanography (August 2012)
  • Editors’ Choice of Science (6 July 2012)
  • The Telegram (5 July 2012)
  • New Scientist and The Scientist (April 2011)
  • Several issues of the Memorial University Gazette (4 Sep 2008; 25 Apr 2012; 20 Aug 2012).
  • Le Gaboteur (September 2010; francophone newspaper of Newfoundland & Labrador)
  • Le Soleil (June 2008; Quebec City’s premier newspaper)

Finally, my research has been featured in Memorial University’s research highlights (The Start of Something Big, 2009) and most recent Research Strategy Framework document (The League of Extraordinary Researchers, 2012).