Background

I am Associate Professor (marine biology and ecology) at the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). Research in my laboratory (the Cold Ocean Benthic Ecology Lab [COBEL]) aims to elucidate the structure and function of subtidal marine ecosystems in subarctic and temperate regions with current emphasis on shallow rocky ecosystems of eastern Canada. It investigates how environmental variability (including anthropogenic disturbances) affects recruitment, growth, survival, behavior, and interactions in native and invasive invertebrates and seaweeds. Our approach combines field and laboratory experiments and observations carried out using SCUBA diving, underwater photography and videography, wave tanks, remote sensors (airborne and satellite), and GIS tools to extract and merge ecological data across different spatial and temporal scales. Click here for more details on my current research program at the OSC.

Prior to joining the OSC in 2007, I spent two years as an NSERC Industrial Postdoctoral Fellow in an Atlantic Canadian based Information Technologies company where I lead the development of airborne hyperspectral remote sensing and GIS-based approaches for mapping and management of shallow coastal communities. I also spent one year as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Biology of Dalhousie University where I collaborated with Dr. Robert Scheibling. There I advanced my research on interactions between the green sea urchin and grazing resistant seaweeds, while studying impacts of invasive species on subtidal ecosystems of Nova Scotia.

In 2003 I completed my Ph.D. (marine ecology) under the main supervision of Dr. John Himmelman at the Department of Biology of Université Laval. During my doctoral research I studied causes and consequences of changes in the distribution and abundance of subtidal algal assemblages (including kelp-urchin interactions), and mechanisms by which a few algal species whitstand urchin grazing in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This work was an extension of my Masters project initiated in 1998 at Laval where I also obtained a BSc degree in biology.

Family

I am married to Nellie Cormier who I met for the first time in between two dives while I was waiting for a "poutine" in beautiful Havre-Saint-Pierre where I spent five unforgettable summers conducting field work associated with my undergraduate and graduate research. Vive la poutine!

I am the proud father of two wonderful boys, Justin (7 years) and Jacob (5 years). Spiky is our brave, 14-year-old, daschund. With his 23 pounds Spiky is the most enjoyable and energetic dog - always willing for a swim, hike in the woods, or boat ride! Below are pictures of Spiky enjoying some of our preferred family activities. Enjoy your virtual tour of the COBEL!