Evan Edinger

Department of Geography
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL
A1B 3X9

Office: SN 1044
Tel: (709) 864-3233
Fax: (709) 864-3119

E mail: eedinger@mun.ca



Climate & Environmental Change

My research interests focus mainly around corals and coral reefs, both modern and ancient, and both tropical and temperate (deep-sea). Coral reefs are subject to a variety of stresses, including pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, and climate change. My research involves disentangling the effects of different kinds of stressors, using bioindicators, reef surveys, and sediment and coral geochemistry. Current projects on tropical corals include a submarine mine tailings disposal site in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and nearby reefs subject to other stresses, including mercury pollution from artisanal (small-scale) mining.

Deep-sea corals are an important component of deep-sea ecosystems in Newfoundland and Labrador. Working with DFO and fisheries observers, we are documenting coral distribution based on records in bycatch, both from DFO survey trawls and commercial fisheries monitored by observers. In 2007, we completed the first-ever ROV mission to study deep-sea corals in Newfoundland waters.

Deep-sea corals are long-lived organisms that can archive records of oceanographic change in their skeletons. We are describing the growth rates and longevities of a variety of deep-sea coral species from Newfoundland and Labrador waters using growth rings are radiocarbon ages. In addition, we are exploring the use of skeletal trace-element geochemistry of deep-sea corals as an oceanographic monitor.

This research is closely related to new research on benthic habitat mapping in Newfoundland waters using multibeam bathymetry, and ground-truthed using grab samples, towed camera surveys, and SCUBA surveys.

Finally, fossil coral reefs have played an important role in marine biodiversity throughout Earth history. I participate in several group projects on fossil reef paleoecology, including Devonian reefs of Arctic Canada and Pleistocene-Holocene reefs of Papua New Guinea. These projects aim to understand the environmental constraints on the growth of these fossil reefs, their community paleoecology, their modes of fossilization, and how the limits on preservation affect interpretations such as Quaternary sea-level curves.


Dr. Evan Edinger is an associate professor in Geography and Biology, and cross-appointed to Earth Sciences. Prior to joining Memorial, he taught at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, and did a post-doctoal fellowship at Laurentian University in Northern Ontario. 

Dr. Edinger obtained his PhD from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he studied the impacts of land-based pollution on Indonesian coral reefs. 

Select Publications

Gilkinson, K, Edinger, E, eds, 2009. The ecology of deep-sea corals of Newfoundland and Labrador waters: biogeography, life history, biogeochemistry, and relation to fishes. Canadian Technical Report in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2830, 136 p.

Copper, P, Edinger, EN, 2009. Distribution, geometry, and palaeogeography of the Frasnian (Late Devonian) reef complexes of Banks Island, NWT, western arctic, Canada. in: Konigshof, P, ed, Devonian Change, Geological Society of London Special Publications 314: 107-122.

Sherwood, OA, Edinger, EN, 2009. Ages and growth rates of some deep-sea gorgonian and antipatharian corals of Newfoundland and Labrador. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66: 142-152.

Wroblewski, JS, Bell, TJ, Cahill, F, Copeland, AI, Edinger, EN, Melindy, SD, Saxby, JD, Schneider, DC, Simms, JM, 2009. Toward a sustainable Icelandic scallop fishery in Gilbert Bay, a marine protected area in the eastern Canada coastal zone. Journal of Cleaner Production 17: 424-430.

Azmy, K, Edinger, EN, Lundberg, J, Diegor, W, 2009. Sea level and paleotemperature records from a mid-Holocene fossil reef on the north coast of Java, Indonesia. International Journal of Earth Sciences. DOI 10.1007//s00531-00800383-3.

Sherwood, OA, Edinger EN, Guilderson, TP, Ghaleb, B, Risk, MJ, Scott, DB, 2008. Late Holocene radiocarbon variability in Northwest Atlantic slope waters. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 275: 146-153.

Edinger, E.N., Azmy, K., Diegor, W., Siregar, P.R., 2008. Heavy metal contamination from gold mining recorded in Porites lobata skeletons, Buyat-Ratototok district, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56: 1553-1569.

Sherwood, O.A., Jamieson, R.E., Edinger, E.N., Wareham, V.E., 2008. Stable C and N isotopic composition of cold-water corals from the Newfoundland and Labrador continental slope: Examination of trophic, depth and spatial effects. Deep Sea Research I: 1392-1402.

Edinger, E.N. 2008. Environmental impacts of nickel mining: four case studies, three continents, and two centuries. Pages 103-124, in: D. Leadbeater, ed., Mining Town Crisis: Globalization, Labour, and Resistance in Sudbury, Fernwood Books, Halifax.