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Master's student claims Editor's Choice Award

Dr. George Rose, left, and Kyle Krumsick analyze the stomach contents of a spawning cod.


By Naomi Osborne

Master of science student Kyle Krumsick is no stranger to ecosystems research, and in fact, his life mission is to help sustain the world's fisheries — one step at a time.

The student of biology accomplished his first step this past June when he submitted his first master's paper, Atlantic Cod Feed During Spawning Off Newfoundland and Labrador, to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Journal of Marine Science. Not only was his article accepted, it also won him an Editor's Choice Award.

"It is uncommon for a first master's paper to be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal," said Mr. Krumsick. "To also have it selected for such an honour is humbling. To see something you invested a lot of time in get so much recognition just confounds my mind."

Mr. Krumsick works with the Marine Institute's Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research alongside the centre's director Dr. George Rose and his team of scientists conducting research.

His master's thesis is focused on describing feeding behaviour of cod in a changing climate and assessing how that relates to recovery of populations. His paper is grounded on a prevailing assumption that has been largely based on studies conducted on captive fish which concludes that Northwest Atlantic cod, in particular the stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador, do not feed during the protracted spawning period.

"Most researchers and scientists blindly accept this as fact and continue on in their analysis," said Mr. Krumsick. "In reality, it's a simple thing to disprove."
His research was based on data collected from 10,473 cod over nine years from four Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization regions. Through data analysis, Mr. Krumsick determined that cod around Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador continue to feed during spawning.

As he continues on with his research, Mr. Krumsick is pushing towards an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries. His second master's paper will determine how cod vary their feeding behaviour over the course of the year, describe the spatial variability observed in diet, analyze responses to prey migration and provide a baseline for post-collapse cod feeding in a changing environment.

Read Mr. Krumsick's paper at