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REF NO.: 85

SUBJECT: Memorial University researcher part of new national expert panel

DATE: Nov. 30

The future of the world’s longest coastline is about to get the attention it deserves, said a respected member of the Memorial University community who has just been appointed to a new national group gauging the health of Canada’s oceans.
Dr. Ian Fleming, a professor with Memorial’s Ocean Sciences Centre, was named to the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on Ocean Climate Change and Marine Biodiversity on Nov. 26.
He is one of 10 researchers from around the world who will work together to produce a new report looking at issues such as climate change, overfishing and biodiversity, all of which are related to various international treaties and conventions to which Canada is signatory.
“It is exciting to be invited to participate on this panel and address issues that are of such significance to Canada’s oceans,” said Dr. Fleming. “The oceans have long been neglected in the Canadian psyche yet our oceans affect our everyday lives as Canadians through effects on such things as our climate.”
He will draw on his own aquaculture research, as well as other important ocean-related studies at Memorial. 
Dr. Fleming pointed to work being done in the university’s Faculty of Science, such as the Memorial-led Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, the Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance, which is based out of the Faculty of Arts and the Marine Institute.
“The collaborative research of my students and myself, together with others at Memorial and colleagues elsewhere in North America and Europe, is relevant to the issues that the panel will be discussing, whether related to environmental sustainability of aquaculture, fisheries and coastal communities or the dynamics of populations and communities of marine organisms,” he explained.
The expert panel will hold its first meeting in June 2010.
The RSC said the group’s report is expected to be completed and released to the public towards the end of 2012.
To learn more about the RSC expert panel announcement, visit

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For further information, please contact Jeff Green, communications co-ordinator (research), Memorial University of Newfoundland, at (709) 737-4073, (709) 687-9243 or


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