Benjamin Misiuk


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

Office: SN 1022
Telephone: (709) 864-6127
Fax: (709) 864- 3119



Dr. Trevor Bell
Dr. Evan Edinger


Dr. Alec Aitken (University of Saskatchewan)
Dr. Craig Brown (Nova Scotia Community College)

Thesis Title


Research Description

Marine habitat mapping has become an important step in devising management strategies for marine ecosystems. When implemented from a biogeography perspective, habitat mapping can be used to identify environmental drivers of benthic ecology, and to project that information to make predictions about habitat distributions. My research focuses on using marine habitat mapping to identify drivers of benthic ecology in nearshore Arctic marine environments.

Research questions are being addressed at multiple field sites:

Soft-shelled clams have been harvested by scuba diver near the community of Qikiqtarjuaq, NU for the past two decades; recently there has been interest in formalizing this fishery on a small commercial scale. The community of Qikiqtarjuaq and Government of Nunavut Department of Environment, Fisheries and Sealing Division are investigating this possibility and have partnered with the Memorial University Marine Habitat Mapping Group to generate scientific knowledge of local benthic habitats, and distribution of clam populations in the area. I am using sonar data and samples of the seabed (sediments, animals, and video) to map the distribution of seabed habitats in the area, and to predict where clam populations are likely to exist. These maps will help to inform management decisions based on sustainable harvest of the clam resources around the community.

Large-scale mapping of Frobisher Bay (Baffin Island, NU) is being conducted; an important component of this project is mapping seabed habitats and investigating the environment variables that drive the distribution of those habitats. As vessel traffic and development increases in this area it is vital to have high-quality scientific information that will inform management decisions. Identifying habitats that may be highly sensitive to various development stressors can help to mitigate impacts on those areas.

Research Interests

Seabed mapping
Marine biogeography
Climate change


Teaching Assistant, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Fall 2015, Biogeography (Geog3140)

Teaching Assistant, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Winter 2015, Research Design and Quantitative Methods in Geography (Geog3222)

Teaching Assistant, Acadia University, Winter 2014, Earth History: Global Change Throughout Time (Geol1023)

Teaching Assistant, Acadia University, Fall 2013, Natural Disasters (Geol1073)

Teaching Assistant, Acadia University, Fall 2012, Astronomy 1: Observe Meteorology/Solar System (Phys1513)

Teaching Assistant, Acadia University, Winter 2012, Astronomy 2: Stars, Galaxy, Universe (Phys1523)

Teaching Assistant, Acadia University, Fall 2011, Astronomy 1: Observing Meteorology/Solar System (Phys1513)

Awards and Distinctions

ArcticNet Training Fund Award for training in CARIS HIPS/SIPS multibeam sonar processing, May 2015

Third place Arctic Change Poster Presentation Award, International Arctic Change Conference, Ottawa, ON, December 2014

Acadia University Medal in Environmental Science, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, May 2014

Rupert MacNeill Award for best oral presentation, 40th Annual Atlantic Geoscience Society Meeting, Wolfville, NS, February 2014

Honours Summer Research Award, Acadia University, May 2013

Academic Excellence Scholarship, Acadia University, 2010-2014


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000