News Archive



Graduate Courses Winter 2019

Two new graduate courses to be offered Winter 2019, Adaptations to the Marine Environment and Fisheries Resource Management

OCSC 7200: Adaptations to the Marine Environment Overview: Ocean systems are being altered by human activities and climate change, at the same time as technological advances are increasing our ability to explore the oceans to greater depths and generate data from genomes to entire food webs. This course will provide an overview of the adaptations and responses displayed by marine organisms to various environmental drivers across different levels of biological organization (from genomes to ecosystems). Instructor Dr. Amanda Bates

OCSC 7400 Fisheries Resource Management: This Graduate Studies course takes a global view of marine fisheries resource management, with a focus on the failure of governments to prevent the collapse of many major commercial fisheries. The objectives, principles and quantitative theory of fisheries management are reviewed.  The course has a special focus on how fishery managers could adjust to the risks associated with climate change. Instructor Dr. Joe Wroblewski


Ocean Sciences Centre to launch Reef Life Survey Canada

Memorial University is set to launch a Canadian branch of the Reef Life Survey on Oct. 22.

The Reef Life Survey (RLS) program started at Australia’s University of Tasmania and is a volunteer-driven citizen science program in which trained divers undertake more than 11,000 biodiversity surveys of coral and rocky reefs from 54 countries around the globe.


New Ocean Sciences Undergraduate Society- OCEANUS

Are you currently an undergraduate student at MUN with a passion for the Ocean? Are you looking to major in ocean sciences or marine biology? Want to get more involved on campus?

Well OceanUS is for you! 

Ocean Sciences has Re-branded it Social Media Handles

Department of Ocean Sciences has rebranded with a new social media handle @munocean.

Make sure to follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook

Students, staff and faculty honoured at Faculty of Science awards

The annual Faculty of Science Dean’s Awards ceremony was held on Memorial’s St. John’s campus and saw Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean of the Faculty of Science, recognize 282 students representing the top 10 per cent in the faculty.



Paper reports marine protected areas vulnerable to climate change

A new paper is warning marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly at risk from climate change.

Dr. Amanda Bates is the Canada Research Chair in Marine Physiological Ecology with the Department of Ocean Sciences. She co-authored the paper, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change this week.


Graduate student nabs top prize in national video research contest

Master’s student Jenna MacKinnon is the winner of a $3,000 prize as part of a national video contest highlighting research in the North.

Five new Canada Research Chairs bolsters Memorial’s international profile

New federal investments totalling more than $4.5 million will enhance Memorial’s research expertise in areas ranging from climate change to health care to oceans research.

Five new Canada Research Chairs (CRC) — one of the country’s highest honours for research excellence — have been appointed at Memorial. The results were made available on Thursday, May 3.



Ocean Frontier Institute invests $25 million in ocean research projects

Fifteen ocean research projects based in Atlantic Canada have received more than $25 million in funding.

The investment is expected to advance understanding of atmospheric and ecosystem change while also identifying ways to grow resource development in a sustainable way.



New Special Topics Course

Introducting our New Special Topics Course- Starting Spring 2018

OCSC 7500 –  Immunology and Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.

Want to know more about this great course- contact Dr. Javier Santander

Sustainable aquaculture: Identifying the impacts of escaped hatchery fish

Memorial experts are working hard to figure out the issues created by an increasing reliance on farmed fish. The Department of Ocean Sciences has been working to identify the impacts of escaped hatchery fish and provide information to industry regulators, so they can better manage those risks.



A voyage of reconciliation, community engagement and science

On Oct. 19, in Campbell River, B.C., I stepped foot onto the Polar Prince for the first time.

I had been following the journey of this ship for months as it travelled from Toronto towards Victoria, along the three coasts of Canada and through the Northwest Passage, as part of the Canada C3 expedition.



Lumpfish and the eye doctor: A Medicine and Science collaboration

Lumpfish, the dull, lumpy bottom feeders with warty heads, are not only an integral part of the provincial economy — their roe is prized in Asia as an alternative to caviar — they are also the subject of innovative research being done at Memorial that will assist both the aquaculture industry and provide insight into dietary effects on vision.


Investigating optimal conditions for raising GE salmon

A Memorial master’s student is helping AquaBounty Canada to determine the best growing conditions for transgenic Atlantic salmon.


Are Bahamian spider crabs a cure for a common aquaculture problem?

A five-month sabbatical in the Bahamas has led to a new research area and a new graduate student for Dr. Iain McGaw.  

More than $1.6 million in federal funding for three Canada Research Chairs

Memorial is home to three new Canada Research Chairs (CRC), one of the country’s highest honours for research excellence.

The appointments are for tier 2 chairs, which are five-year positions worth $100,000 each year with the possibility of one five-year renewal.


$4.8 million from CFI for critical marine research

Memorial University has received a major award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for its development of autonomous marine observation systems (DAMOS).

The 2017 Innovation Fund (IF) awards, announced on Oct. 12 in Winnipeg, Man., by Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science, must illustrate global leadership, partnerships and benefits for Canadians.


OFI leading the way in Canada's blue economy

One year ago, the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) launched with an unprecedented $220 million in funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and various private and public-sector organizations.


Ocean fellows

A group of education students will take part in hands-on field experiences to explore how integrating the ocean into the K-12 science curriculum can become a valuable supplement to classroom instruction. With support from the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd., the Oceans Learning Partnership (OLP), in collaboration with the Faculty of Education and the Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, is providing teaching fellowships for 16 pre-service teachers in primary/elementary and intermediate/secondary school degree programs at Memorial starting this fall. Read more in the Gazette.



Memorial partners with Dalhousie, NOAA on Gulf of Main expedition

From today, World Oceans Day, until June 22, Canadians have the opportunity to explore the ocean with world-leading researchers in the Gulf of Maine.

Oceana Canada will broadcast the expedition in real time as researchers from both sides of the border explore rare habitats and species at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean.



Memorial study says songbirds being left behind by climate change

A new paper co-written by Memorial University researchers argues that some migratory birds are failing to keep pace with a rapidly changing climate.

Outreach aids students' exploration of ocean science and technology

This spring, Memorial researchers and alumni are participating in an educational series to explore the exciting world of ocean science and technology with students from across the province.

Memorial-partnered research leads to approval for camelina oil fish feed

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has approved the use of mechanically-extracted camelina oil as a feed ingredient for farmed salmon and trout.

The decision follows a recently completed large-scale study of camelina oil managed by Genome Atlantic. Dr. Chris Parrish, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, was one of the study’s principal researchers.



Tender awarded, construction to resume on Core Science Facilty


Memorial University has awarded the main construction contract for the Core Science Facility to Marco Services Limited.

The contract, known as CP-3R, is for the remaining work on the building. Construction will resume on the project this spring. It is slated to open for the fall semester in 2020.



Ocean Sciences Centre reunion to celebrate 50th anniversary

Now faculty and friends of the Ocean Sciences Centre are being invited back to celebrate achievements and memories from the past 50 years at a reunion scheduled for Sept. 8-10.


Turning spiny marine organisms into economic opportunities

A Memorial researcher is investigating a new opportunity he hopes will help diversify the range of seafood produced in Newfoundland and Labrador for worldwide distribution.

New program offerings boosting Memorial's strength in oceans

This September, students can begin studies in one of three brand new science majors: ocean sciences, ocean sciences (environmental systems) and marine biology.

Federal funding empowers researchers, brings new equipment

Eleven Memorial researchers working on five diverse projects will receive more than $680,000 in new federal funding, allowing the teams to purchase sophisticated new tools, technology and equipment.


Earth sciences professor in running to become next Canadian astronaut

Dr. John Jamieson could be the next Canadian to go into space.

This week, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced the assistant professor of earth sciences and Canada Research Chair in Marine Geology has made the short list of a year-long campaign to find its two newest “star” candidates.


A Q&A with Dr. Craig Purchase, fish expert and national committee volunteer

Spawning season is a busy time in Dr. Craig Purchase’s world.

But despite a near around-the-clock schedule ferrying salmon gametes from the lab to the river, the evolutionary ecologist sat down with the Gazette recently to share some insight into another one of his roles: volunteer for a national organization dedicated to the scientifically sound classification of wildlife species at risk.




Board approves senior appointments; VPR search set to begin

At its regular meeting on Dec. 1, Memorial’s Board of Regents approved the appointments of Dr. Mark Abrahams as associate vice-president (research) pro tempore and Dr. Mary Courage as acting dean, Faculty of Science.

Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Dr. Abrahams, who currently serves as dean of science, will replace Dr. Ray Gosine, who was named vice-president (research) pro tempore in October. Dr. Courage, University Research Professor, Department of Psychology, will replace Dr. Abrahams.



Faculty serving in voluntary capacity to establish N.L. nature reserves

When it comes to creating protected areas in Newfoundland and Labrador, four Memorial faculty members are on the job – even though it’s not in their job descriptions.

As researchers and educators in the Faculty of Science, Drs. Luise Hermanutz, Bill Montevecchi, Yolanda Wiersma and Len Zedel contribute to the global body of scientific knowledge every day.


Youth field school recognized for innovation in STEM education

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Oceans Learning Partnership’s (OLP) Coastal Explorers field school has been named one of five winners of the second annual Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Innovative Education Award for innovation in youth programming and environmental STEM education.

The program was chosen from 120 applicants submitted from across North America and will receive a grant of $50,000 USD to expand their programs. 

Unusual discovery off N.L.'s coast sparks new ocean research

During one of Dr. Patrick Gagnon’s very first scientific dives in Newfoundland and Labrador, he came across a strange sight that inspired an entirely new line of research.

The professor of ocean sciences was exploring the waters off the coast of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s when he found red stone-like structures blanketing the sea floor at depths of 10-25 metres.


Diving deep into Canada's first Marine Protected Area

This summer, faculty from Memorial’s earth sciences department sailed on a research cruise to Endeavour Ridge, Canada’s first Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Located 250 kilometres offshore from Vancouver Island, B.C., and 2,250 metres below the ocean’s surface, Endeavour is a seismically and volcanically active area of the sea floor with hydrothermal venting.



The Dr. Joe Brown Graduate Research Award in Aquatic Ecology and Aquaculture

This award was established to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Joe Brown through initial contributions by his family, friends, colleagues and students. As a Professor (Research) at the Ocean Sciences Centre from 1984 to 2005, Joe established a unique reputation both for his scholarly work in the areas of behavioural ecology of fishes and cold-water aquaculture and for his radiant, passionate sense of humour, humanity and empathy, particularly concerning students. 


The Transformers- Ocean Frontier Institute-Led Research to Change Global Aquaculture Industry

As Memorial’s lead on sustainable aquaculture within the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), Dr. Matt Rise of the Department of Ocean Sciences is excited about the opportunities the new initiative will bring.

“It is really going to be transformative for ocean-based science at Memorial, and a very important aspect of our next seven years of research and beyond,” he said. “It definitely builds on our current strengths and expertise, but it will also support and build future collaborations with researchers at universities, companies, government agencies and other groups involved in sustainable aquaculture.”



Academics, research and service celebrated

What may have been the largest group of students ever admitted to the Faculty of Science Dean’s List at one time was honoured at an event on Sept. 20.

Annual Dean’s Awards Ceremony was held on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus and saw Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean of Science, recognize 281 students who represent the top 10 per cent in the faculty.


Ocean Frontier Institute providing critical mass to tackle larger problems

Dr. Paul Snelgrove is hoping the new Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) will help Memorial solve a historical challenge.

Historic investment creates Ocean Frontier Institute

Memorial is celebrating a milestone that will see researchers and graduate students from multiple disciplines undertake some of the world’s most ambitious research aimed at unlocking the secrets of the North Atlantic.


Science, Medicine networking event helps grow research productivity

Faculty members in Science and Medicine came together recently for a special networking event.

For the first time, researchers in both units sat down to discuss their individual areas of research and possible opportunities to work together.



Memorial researchers receive more than $6.7 million from NSERC

Nearly $7-million in new federal funding will accelerate more than 50 individual research projects on three of Memorial’s campuses in areas ranging from resource management to ocean sciences to enhanced oil recovery.


Faculty of Science holds first teaching and learning retreat

The Faculty of Science held a teaching and learning retreat to give faculty, sessional instructors and contractual employees the chance to talk about their discipline and relate some of their best teaching experiences, while sharing tips and tricks.

Killam Fellowship program provides international exchange

Joshua Lehr and Alicia Morry are Memorial’s 2016 Killam Fellows.

Mr. Lehr, a third-year science student majoring in behavioural neuroscience and mathematics, has spent the winter semester at the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Morry, a fourth-year student currently working on two degrees, a bachelor of science in earth sciences and a bachelor of arts (hons.) in archaeology, has just begun a semester at the University of Washington.


Science student recognized with self-directed learning award

Nicholas Brown is a creative and critical thinker, an explorer and an adventurer, and is someone who persistently seeks the answers to questions that interest him in his field of study.

He is also the recipient of the inaugural Memorial University Award for Outstanding Self-directed Learning. 


Starting the conversation about mental illness

Chelsea Bishop’s first few years at Memorial were tough ones.

The St. John’s resident was certain a biology degree was for her. But she struggled with classes and her grades were slipping, until she reached out for help.

Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Physiological Ecology of Marine Organisms

Employment Opportunity
Department of Ocean Sciences
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Physiological Ecology of Marine Organisms


The Department of Ocean Sciences of Memorial University ( invites applications for a tenure track Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Marine Physiological Ecology that will align with the mandate of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Although all aspects of physiological ecology will be considered, we are particularly interested in candidates with a strong background in: the effects of anthropogenic disturbances and variations in habitat quality on marine organism condition, health and survival; those that evaluate stress responsiveness and environmental tolerances relative to environmental change; and/or, researchers that study the ecology and evolution of physiological diversity and its relevance to conservation.



New Course Coming Fall 2016 OCSC 3000 Aquaculture Principles and Practices

This course will emphasize the techniques and methods used to culture finfish and shellfish, with a primary focus on Canadian aquaculture species. 


Research chair sailing off coast of Fiji, exploring underwater volcanoes

Memorial University is partnering with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the Johnson GEO Centre and Oceans Learning Partnership to live broadcast a deep-sea expedition in the South Pacific on March 29.

Memorial University researchers benefit from federal infrastructure funding

Research aimed at improving the health and well-being of people living with life-threatening diseases and protecting critical marine resources are among projects led by Memorial University benefitting from new federal funding totalling $347,200.


Students receive awards to explore N.L.'s ocean industries

Nineteen students were presented with Ocean Industries Student Research Awards (OISRA) at a ceremony on the St. John’s campus March 7.


Protecting Canada's Resources More Than $6.5 Million for Memorial University-led Natural Resources Research

With a combined investment of more than $6.5 million from the federal and provincial governments, Memorial University is advancing critical research focused on Canada’s valuable natural resources.

Through funding announced today, Memorial is leading a cross-country project aimed at improving the sustainability of marine resources for future generations, as well as a project to better understand the effects of climate change on Canada’s boreal forests.


Let's Talk Science Lab Extravaganza event

On February 22nd, 2016  local high school students had the opportunity to get up close and personal with sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers and other amazing marine creatures as part of the program "Let's Talk Science-Lab Extravaganza Day".

Let's Talk Science at Memorial University was started in 1996 by graduate student Scott Hancock from the Faculty of Medicine and had just 4 volunteers. Since then the program has grown tremendously and now includes over 200 registered volunteers.

Dive safe National gathering in underwater science taking place

For the first time, Memorial University will host the annual general meeting of the Canadian Association for Underwater Science (CAUS).

Memorial has been a member of CAUS for 33 years.

On Feb. 24 more than 100 divers will gather in St. John’s for a full day of presentations from speakers representing diving institutions Canada-wide. The conference is significant for divers and, unlike this year’s event, is rarely open to the public. 


Grand Opening of the Marine Science Research Laboratory

#‎TBT Grand Opening of the Marine Sciences Research Laboratory (MSRL) (AKA Ocean Sciences Centre) by the Honourable J.R Smallwood, Premier of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, June 21st, 1967. The MSRL was erected 1966-1967 through the generosity of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the National Research Council of Canada. "Provehito in Altum" - Launch forth into the deep

#TBT Seal Facility

‪#‎TBT‬ May 9th, 1996, Dr. Cynthia McKenzie poses with a harbour seal at the OSC seal facility to promote the public education program. Faculty of Science - Memorial University of Newfoundland Memorial University Future Students (Undergraduate)Photo courtesy MUN Gazette :


Memorial to host healthy oceans public lecture

An upcoming public lecture at Memorial will discuss the role of marine biodiversity in the health of Canada's oceans.

Dr. Paul Snelgrove, will deliver the Canada Oceans Lecture on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in IIC-2001.  




International collaborative research to fine-tune fish feeds

Researchers in the Department of Ocean Sciences are collaborating on a $3.8 million international partnership to assess the effects of various diets on fish health at a molecular level.


Late Earth Sciences professor to be inducted in the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame

This January, the late Dr. Harold (Hank) Williams, of the Department of Earth Sciences, will be inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame “recognizes and honours the legendary mine finders and builders of a great Canadian industry.”


Memorial University researcher invents first genetically modified animal approved as food in the U.S.

The life’s work of a Memorial University of Newfoundland researcher has taken a long road from an experiment in a laboratory to kitchen tables in the United States.

Dr. Garth Fletcher, head of the Department of Ocean Sciences, along with a former Department of Biochemistry researcher, Dr. Choy Hew, co-invented the technology behind the first genetically modified animal approved as food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday.



OCSC 4000 Scientific Diving Methods

Are you a certified scuba diver with a passion for marine life? Do you wonder how it feels to dive with the eyes and spirit of a scientist? Would you like to acquire a unique set of skills that will make you highly attractive to employers in government, academia, and marine industry?


Memorial facilities to participate in national Science Literacy Week

Memorial University’s Faculty of Science, Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Library, the Botanical Garden and Let's Talk Science have joined forces with the Johnson GEO Centre and St. John’s Regional Library to host a series of science themed events during the week of Sept. 21st.

RDC announces investment in support of salmon aquaculture industry

The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) announced a research and development (R&D) investment of $258,000 to support the growth of the salmon aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Along with government and industry partners, the total project value is $991,000. 



Fabulous four to be honoured

Four exceptional alumni will be honoured for their countless impacts on communities around the globe, individual accomplishments and dedication to their alma mater during a special event on Oct. 19. Tickets are on sale now.

Coming This Fall 2015 OCSC 3000 Aquaculture Principles and Practices

OCSC 3000 Aquaculture Principles and Practices emphasizes the techniques and methods used to culture finfish and shellfish, with a primary focus on Canadian aquaculture species. Basic aspects of aquaculture will be covered, including the design and maintenance of production systems, culture techniques, and the nutrition, health, physiology and reproduction of finfish and shellfish. The laboratory portion of this course will provide students with practical experience in the maintenance of land-based aquaculture production systems and in the husbandry/culture of aquatic organisms.

More Information contact Dr. Kurt Gamperl or Danielle Nichols

New scientific diving course puts marine life at students' fingertips

In June a group of undergraduate and graduate students braved the three-degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean daily for two weeks as part of a new course.


Online Ocean Science course receives national award for use of technology

An online Ocean Sciences course has been recognized for its innovative use of educational technology. 

Oceans 1000: Exploration of World Ocean, received the award from the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 


Memorial receives more than $6 million to support innovative research related to natural sciences and engineering

Faculty members and graduate students from Memorial University are among the recipients of grants and scholarships awarded recently by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

OSC field services divers deliver the deep sea

After 35 years with the Ocean Science Centre’s field services unit, diver Robert (Bob) O’Donnell has hung up his dry suit for the last time.

The dive shop, now maintained by dive technicians Andrew Perry and George Bishop, first opened at Memorial in the early 70s.


Non-Native Species Not All Bad for Newfoundland

The term “non-native species” almost always has a negative connotation, but new research shows that in Newfoundland, some native wildlife might actually benefit from them.

In a recently published study in PLOS ONE, researchers in Newfoundland found evidence that non-native species including snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), introduced to the island in 1864, and the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi), first detected on the island in 1998, have the potential for both negative and positive effects on Newfoundland’s terrestrial mammal food chain.


To the seashore: Ocean Sciences Cente staff member passionate about bringing ocean to the community

THE STUDENTS tentatively grip their scalpels. The herring lie waiting on the lab tables. “Alright, let’s look at some fish,” calls one of the instructors. They set to work, gently scraping scales from the flesh. “We start on the outside,” says a second instructor, moving from group to group. “Let’s get a good look at the fins, scales, mouth. Then we’ll open it up.”

There are a few giggles and whispers. But by the time they get into the internal organs, the whole room is deep in concentration.

Fish dissection is one of the tasks for these students from Holy Trinity High in Torbay. Before their visit to Memorial University’s Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) is over, they will also identify and classify invertebrates, learn about water quality and marine habitats, and do a training session with the harp seals.

More on this story

Working with harp seals is like herding cats at Logy Bay Research Site

Daryl Jones, also known as The Seal Guy, laughed when asked what surprises him most about working with harp seals at the only research site of its kind in the world.

 ``When the seals do what we want,'' he said before hand-feeding his charges a snack of herring at the Ocean Sciences Centre in Logy Bay.

``They're smart but they're very independent. They're similar to cats.'' 

Photo Credit © Canadian Press photo

More on this story....


Ocean Sciences Centre aquarist an ambassador of the Atlantic

Tyler is stalling. His training session is over, but he’s hanging on. His shiny, mottled head pokes above water, and his dark eyes size up the teaching assistant who has been trying to lure him from the tank. Then he turns and dives, curling away with a flick of his tail. As a harp seal who has lived at Memorial’s Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) in Logy Bay since he was a white coat, Tyler knows that every training exercise includes tasty morsels of herring. “If he thinks there’s a chance that the training will continue, and a chance for more fish, he won’t leave the tank,” explained Daryl Jones, the OSC’s aquarist and supervisor of the seal facility.

 Check out the full story in this issue of the MUN Gazette

 More Ocean Ambassador stories can be found at

Take Biology field courses in Harlow, England


Harlow Campus is used by both professional schools and academic departments to offer programs. The campus is also available as a base for faculty members and graduate students conducting research or further study in the UK.

Memorial University's Department of Biology offers undergraduate courses at Harlow each Spring semester. BIOL 4910 (Vertebrate Diversity and Adaptation) and BIOL 4911 (Applied Biology) and a new Non-Major Course BIOL 3820 (Foundations of Biology) will be offered at Harlow spanning the month of May. The above links will bring you to a video on what the course will entail.

Dreaming of being a scientific diver someday? You can be! Check out this new course being offered by Ocean Sciences, Memorial University

Be part of a new and exciting diving experience at MUN!

Are you a certified scuba diver with a passion for marine life? Do you wonder how it feels to dive with the eyes and spirit of a scientist? Would you like to acquire a unique set of skills that will make you highly attractive to employers in government, academia, and marine industry?

We’ve got you covered with a fun, new course at MUN!

OCSC-4000 Scientific Diving Methods 8 to 20 June 2015, St. John’s (NL)


The Dr. Cater W. Andrews Scholarship

The Dr. Cater W. Andrews Scholarship was established by the family and former students of the late Dr. C. W. Andrews. It is awarded annually to a full-time student pursuing graduate work at Memorial University in marine or freshwater biology.

ARTS on Oceans sets sail

The Faculty of Arts is launching ARTS on Oceans, a faculty-wide initiative looking at our understanding of oceans through the lens of the social sciences and humanities.

Energy Wave

Dr. Len Zedel is investigating an alternative use for a popular tool for measuring water velocity to see if it can also be used to evaluate the effects of in-stream tidal turbines on fish in channels being used for power generation.

Reducing challenges related to reservoir souring

A team of science and engineering faculty recently established a $3.4 million collaborative research partnership with Suncor Energy Inc. to identify the mechanisms, impacts and potential solutions related to offshore reservoir souring.



Celtic connections

When Dr. Craig Purchase’s new PhD student was given an unexpected chance to study in Ireland, he had no idea it would open the doors to an Irish research opportunity of his own.


New co-op program for biology

A small group of Biology students recently began a course that may ultimately change their career path forever.

Jaime Wilson, Jessica Hackett, Phillip Hillier and April Hall are the first participants of a new biology co-operative education program at Memorial.

Fishing for data

There are few who know the waters around Fogo Island better than the men and women who turn to it every day for their livelihood. 

A project just getting underway at Memorial University is hoping to draw on that knowledge. 


Ocean Ambassadors: David Belanger

Ocean Ambassadors: David Belanger

David Belanger has seen the wonder and amazement on people’s faces when they get their first up-close look at the North Atlantic marine environment.

“You see them hold something like a sea star, which is a very common organism. They say, ‘Wow! We have these here?’ Then they’re full of questions. In fifteen minutes you can change their entire perspective on the ocean.”



Ocean Sciences wraps up field trip program for high schools

The Department of Ocean Sciences is about to wrap up a two-month long joint collaboration with the Oceans Learning Partnership that offered high school students and their teachers an opportunity to discover the diverse and fascinating world of ocean science.

Memorial to receive funding to enhance aquaculture industry

Memorial University is among 12 industry-academic partnerships that received funding through Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), announced Oct. 15 by The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) in Guelph, Ontario.


Department of Ocean Sciences Seminar Series

Franken Fish for Supper?

Ocean Ambassadors: Tyler Engert

Ocean Ambassadors: Tyler Engert

Ocean sciences might seem an unusual career choice for a man who grew up thousands of miles from salt water.

Tyler Engert is from Cornwall, in Eastern Ontario. There are no seafaring stories in his family. No sailors, fishers, or marine researchers.

But as an undergraduate student at Memorial, it’s the ocean that has captured his imagination.

“I was considering different fields in biology, and marine biology was always in the back of my mind,” he says. “When I was a boy we went to both coasts on family vacations. It made me curious about the ocean.”

That curiosity opened a career path when he came to MUN in September of 2013.


Academics, research and service lauded at annual awards ceremony

It was standing-room only at the annual Dean’s Awards Ceremony and reception on Tuesday, Sept. 23, as parents, employees and friends joined the Faculty of Science to celebrate student, faculty and staff achievement.

Ocean Ambassadors: MUN Grad Students Greet Thousands at the Ocean Sciences Centre

Ocean Ambassadors: MUN Grad Students Greet Thousands at the Ocean Sciences Centre

The Ocean Sciences Centre teems with life on a misty summer morning. Tourists take in the view of Logy Bay. A family climbs the steps leading to the tanks that house three harp seals. Kids crowd around the saltwater touch tanks located outside the OSC’s main building, peer through the glass to see the flounder hiding in the mud, and reach in to stroke a starfish or hermit crab.


Projects to study Labrador Sea's role in Earth's climate system

Memorial University is at the centre of two international, multi-million dollar projects to get a better understanding of the role of the Labrador Sea in the Earth’s climate system.

Ocean Sciences Seminar Series


The Ocean Tracking Network: Telemetry and data infrastructure in support of global aquatic animal trackers.

Dr. Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director, Ocean Tracking Network, Dalhousie University

Location: Challenger Room, Ocean Sciences Centre

Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Time: 3:30-4:30pm

Our Water Our World Speaker Series

Speaker Series

September 14-18, 2014, 7-9pm Signal Hill Vistor Centre

Uncovering the secerts of the North Atlantic

The Our Water Our World Speaker Series is an extension of the educational programming offered by the Oceans Learning Partnership in collaboration with Memorial University, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Graduate Public Lecture Series

The BGSA  have been teaming up with the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium to provide graduates an opportunity to get experience in public education and science communication.

Come out to the Marine Institute on Tuesday Nights to check out the lecture series.


Touch tank visit helps child overcome sensory issues

Seven-year-old Jayden Druggett has something in common with his favourite animal, the moon snail. Both need a little extra coaxing to come out of their shells.

And even though his mother, Jenny Purcell, says he is completely obsessed with snails, one thing she never, ever thought he would be able to do was hold one.


Faculty of Science welcomes new students

The Faculty of Science is hosting a welcome event for all incoming undergraduates with an interest in science. 

Everything Science 2014 will take place on Tuesday, September 2nd at 9 a.m. in the Science Building Lobby and room SN-2109.


Hibernia investment grows enrichment program at Memorial

Memorial University will help cultivate the next generation of innovators in Newfoundland and Labrador thanks to a $2.85-million investment from the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC).



Engaging Youth in Ocean Sciences

On June 19th, Ocean Sciences’ Dr. Patrick Gagnon and two of his graduate students, David Bélanger and Anne Provencher St-Pierre, had the pleasure of communicating, in French, their passion for oceans and marine life to 30 first-grade students from École des Grands-Vents (a K-12 French school located in St. John’s).


Can blueberry extract prevent Parkinson's?

Can blueberry extract prevent or reduce the effects of Parkinson’s? That’s what researchers at Memorial University are trying to figure out.

A new paper by David Lipsett and Dr. Brian Staveley of the Department of Biology suggests that a diet supplemented with blueberry extract may indeed have a positive impact on a fruit fly model of Parkinson Disease.


Marine Public Education Program

Touch Tank / Seal Tours - All Ages!  

Come dip your hands into our salt water touch tank. Explore the underwater world of Newfoundland’s local sea creatures hands on ! Also be sure to visit our resident harp seals Babette, Tyler and Deane!

Interpreters available 10am-5pm Rain or Shine 7 days a week!

Free Admission (Donations Accepted) Open June 1st- Sept 1st, 2014 

World Oceans Day Celebrations June 6th-8th



World Oceans Day Celebrations

June 6 to June 8, 2014

Explore the Ocean in Our Own Backyard!

Successful launch of climate change and the ocean exhibit at Bonne Bay Marine Station

Celebration was in the air on Saturday at the Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival in Norris Point – representatives of Memorial University and the provincial government officially launched a new exhibit about climate change and the ocean.

Memorial researchers set sail with students

Memorial University scientists and researchers will join young students onboard the Coastal Explorers program this summer as they get an up close look at the marine environment of Conception Bay.

Science Rendezvous May 10th, 12-3pm

At MUN, we're hosting an event as part of Science Rendezvous, a FREE national science event on May 10th, from noon until 3:00 pm. Participants will get to do fun and safe hands-on science activities including chemistry magic with household materials and making slime! There might even be an explosion or two.

Biodiversity Day

Explore Our Island Biodiversity, May 22, with exhibits & activities from Salmonier Nature Park and MUN Ocean Science Centre.


Creator of glycemic index to give inaugural nutrition lecture

Dr. David Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism will give a free public lecture titled, Diet and Chronic Disease in the 21st Century on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, Room IIC-2001.

In his talk, he will discuss the effect of diet on modifying the progression and severity of chronic diseases.


Study finds marine-protected areas tend to be leftovers from extractive uses

A paper co-authored by Memorial University’s Dr. Rodolphe Devillers and an international group of researchers argues that established global marine protected areas (MPAs) are too often a case of all show with no substance and do not adequately protect the most vulnerable areas of the world’s oceans.

Faculty Position in Aquatic Animal Health

 The Department of Ocean Sciences (DOS), located at the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) of Memorial University (, is building on its strengths in marine science, and invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position to be
appointed at the level of assistant professor subject to budgetary approval.

Lets Talk Science - Lab Extravagenza

The Department of Ocean Sciences Memorial University participates in "Lab Extravaganza Days" which is organized by the "Lets talk Science" national outreach program.

Let's Talk  Science at Memorial University was started in 1996 by graduate student  Scott Hancock from the Faculty of Medicine and had just 4 volunteers.  Since then the program has grown tremendously and now includes over 200  registered volunteers who reached out to over eleven thousand youth in 2012.

Lenny the seal dies at Ocean Sciences Centre

The Department of Ocean Sciences is sad to announce the death of one of its seals. 

Millennium, nicknamed Lenny, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 6.  Staff and volunteers of the seal facility at the Ocean Sciences Centre are deeply saddened by the loss.

Ocean Sciences researcher receives guest professorship 'by the hand of the King'

The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) has appointed Dr. Ian Fleming the first holder of its Wallenberg Professorship.

Dr. Fleming was invited to KLSA’s 202nd commemorative meeting in Stockholm in late January to recognize the announcement in the presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.


Marine biologist honoured with mentor-student scholarship

M.Sc. Biology candidate, Victoria Howse was honoured as the 2013-2014 recipient of the Dr. Jon Lien Memorial Scholarship during a presentation with the family of Dr. Jon Lien and Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute).

Sustaining Marine Biodiversity in Canada and Globally Seminar

Sustaining Marine Biodiversity in Canada and Globally


Dr. Paul Snelgrove
Director, Canadian Healthy Oceans Network
Professor, Dept. of Ocean Sciences and Biology Dept., MUN

ACOA announces support for Ocean Sciences Centre

Rob Moore, regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador and minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), has announced an investment of $110,000, to allow Memorial University's Ocean Sciences Centre to enhance its capacity to respond to the needs of the provincial aquaculture industry.



Biology PhD candidate to earn degree from two universities

Jake Coates, a PhD student in the Department of Biology has entered into a relatively unique agreement, enabling him to have his PhD degree awarded by two universities – Memorial University and Macquarie University in Australia.


Successful pilot program for schools launched by Ocean Sciences

The Department of Ocean Sciences, in collaboration with the Oceans Learning Partnership (OLP), has successfully pilot tested a new program for high school students on land and at sea.

Partnership to provide ocean education to high school students

Memorial announced a partnership on an initiative to enhance its public education and outreach activities related to ocean education for secondary schools recently.

Led by Memorial's Department of Ocean Sciences, the initiative will provide an expanded program of field trips and hands-on activities for high school students across the province.

Dr. Garth Fletcher, Department of Ocean Sciences.

Memorial announces partnership to provide ocean education to high school students

Memorial University is announcing a partnership on an initiative to enhance its public education and outreach activities related to ocean education for secondary schools.

Led by Memorial's Department of Ocean Sciences, the initiative will provide an expanded program of field trips and hands-on activities for high school students across the province.


Jamie the seal dies at Ocean Sciences Centre

The Department of Ocean Sciences is announcing the death of Jamie the seal on Friday, October 11th. A post-mortem was done on Friday with no cause of death found.

Faculty of Science celebrates academic achievement and service

The Faculty of Science celebrated academic achievement and service last week with the annual Dean’s Awards Ceremony and reception.

Research & Development Corporation invests $3.7 million in research

The Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) is investing $3.7 million in Memorial University to support 34 academic-led research projects aimed at solving technical challenges and closing knowledge gaps.

Three minute thesis comes to Memorial

For the first time, Memorial Univeristy is participating in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competiton.

The Faculty of Science will hold a competition for Science students on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Additionally, the School of Graduate Studies is hosting a university-wide competition on Monday, Oct. 21.


Opening up oceans to province's schoolchildren

The Digital Oceans Project is currently prototyping a web portal for schools that will use real-time data and video content from underwater equipment, offshore vessels and onshore sites, including Memorial’s Bonne Bay Marine Station and the Marine Institute’s Holyrood Marine Base, to allow students to participate in real-life university research.


Memorial-led proposal shortlisted for funding by major Canadian institute

A proposal led by Dr. Paul Snelgrove of the Department of Ocean Sciences and Biology Department has been shortlisted for consideration by a major Canadian institute of advanced study.

New students invited to Everything Science 2013

Everything Science 2013 is the Faculty of Science's way of welcoming incoming undergraduate students to the faculty.

The orientation event will take place Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. in the lobby of the Science building.

Introducing ... Dr. Shawn Leroux

What is your name?


What do you do at Memorial?


What is your favorite aspect of your profession?



Researcher wins prestigious award for excellence in ocean sciences

Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced Dr. Paul Snelgrove, a Professor with the Department of Ocean Sciences and Biology Department, and former Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Cold Ocean Systems, has received the 2013 Timothy R. Parsons Medal. The award was established to recognize achievement in ocean sciences.

Paper reveals potential impacts of GM fish interbreeding with closely-related species

A new paper by researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, illuminates an over-looked avenue for ecological impacts should genetically modified (GM) animals unintentionally escape containment.


Celebrate Biodiversity Day at MUN Botancial Garden

Join the Ocean Sciences Traveling Touch Tank at MUN Botancial Garden to Celebrate Biodiversity Day

Come and Explore the Ocean Creatures
Date: May 22, 11 – 3 p.m.
Registration is not required. Everyone is welcome.
Location: MUN Botanical Garden field centre, 306 Mount Scio Road

Winners of the Ocean Sciences Award at the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Science Fair

Congraduations to Kathryn Bowers and Joycelyn Moulton from Holy Spirit High School who recently won the Ocean Sciences award for best oceans related project at the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Science Fair.

Science Rendezvous at Memorial University, St. John’s campus:

Want to have a close encounter with science? Rendezvous with science this weekend at an all-ages event to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry.

Graduate Student Engages Youth in Ocean Sciences

Katie Gale, M.Sc. student with Dr. Annie Mercier helps grade 4 student with school project.


How well do you know faculty, staff and graduate students at Memorial University?

Here's your chance to get to know Andrew Perry, Dive Technician with Field Services Unit, Department of Ocean Sciences.

Public lecture on the beauty and purpose of curiosity-driven research

A leading international expert in molecular chemistry will deliver the 29th Job lecture at Memorial University. On April 29, Dr. Helmut Schwarz will present The Magic of Molecular Soccer: Beauty and Purpose of Curiosity-driven Basic Research.


Acadia University hosts MUN at Science Atlantic conference

Memorial University was well represented at the recent joint Science Atlantic Aquaculture and Fisheries, Biology and Environment Conference in Nova Scotia.

Mark Earle, Sarah Predham, Jason Lewis, Susan Banfield, Garry Dart, Marie Watton and Greg Furey, all from the Department of Biology, along with Jessica Fry and Sabrina Inkpen from the Marine Institute, attended the conference, which was held March 15-17 at Acadia University.

The Department Remembers Dr. Don Steele

Don Steele, one of our emeritus faculty passed away on Saturday evening.  Don was hired in 1962 and retired in 1998; 36 yrs of service to the Department of Biology and Memorial University.  Don’s research specialization was marine amphipods and he had, at least, 79 publications in his career. 


Let's Talk Science!

On February 19th, 2013 high school students from Prince of Wales Collegiate had the opportunity to get up close and personal with sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers and other amazing marine creatures in the Biology Department as part of the program "Let's Talk Science-Lab Extravaganza Day".

New director appointed for the Bonne Bay Marine Station

Dr. Robert Scott, an associate professor of resource management and environmental science at Grenfell Campus, was appointed as director of the marine station at a recent Board of Regents meeting. The marine station is located in Norris Point, Bonne Bay, in the middle of beautiful Gros Morne National Park.


Engage Memorial- A week of events celebrating public engagement at Memorial
Engage Memorial is a series of launch events intended to introduce Memorial’s new Public Engagement Framework, and help educate stakeholders, both internal and external, about what public engagement is about.



Memorial to honour exceptional faculty and staff at special ceremony
Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial's president, has announced the university’s outstanding educators, researchers and staff members for 2012. The recipients of the president’s awards for teaching, research, exemplary service and exceptional community service will be honoured at an event on Monday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. at Innovation Hall, Bruneau Centre, on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.


RDC Announces Over $1.6 Million in R&D Funding to 18 Newfoundland and Labrador Companies
Making working conditions safer for offshore employees, developing production efficiencies for the lumber industry and advancing healthcare technology are among the 18 business-led projects receiving more than $1.6 million in funding from the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC).
Memorial University receives more than $825,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation
Nine researchers at Memorial University have received a combined investment of $827,954 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support their innovative research programs. The overall value of these research projects is more than $2 million. The funding was awarded through the CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund.


Research & Development Corporation investment supports Memorial researchers
The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is investing more than $5.3 million into research and development (R&D) projects at Memorial University of Newfoundland in areas relevant to offshore petroleum, ocean technology, healthcare, aquaculture and other natural resource industries.
Science holds annual awards ceremony
The Faculty of Science had much to celebrate recently as it recognized the accomplishments of faculty, staff and students. At an awards ceremony on Oct. 3, Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean of science, presented the Dean’s List award, which recognizes the top 10 per cent of students in the Faculty of Science.


Aquarium proposal supported by Memorial
A proposal by the tiny town of Champney’s West to develop a public marine aquarium and touch tank is receiving substantial support from Memorial University.


Discovery could lead to protection for deep-sea corals
A Ph.D. student has discovered that deep-sea cold-water corals are being used as nurseries for certain types of fish. The discovery is making big waves in the ecology community and may lend strength to the argument that these chorals should be protected.
New Department of Ocean Sciences approved
New Department of Ocean Sciences approved For the first time since 1979, the Faculty of Science has added a new department. At a meeting held on May 10, the Board of Regents approved the recommendation of Senate to change the status of the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) from a research unit to an academic unit.


New Department of Ocean Sciences approved
For the first time since 1979, the Faculty of Science has added a new department. At a meeting held on May 10, the Board of Regents approved the recommendation of Senate to change the status of the Ocean Sciences Centre from a research unit to an academic unit.
OSC takes public education program on the road
The Public Education Program (PEP) at the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) can receive more than 15,000 visitors between June 1st and Labour Day weekend. So when construction at the Logy Bay facility shut down public access to the site last summer, the OSC decided to take the show on the road.


Biodiversity Day- Sea of Knowledge
The United Nations proclaimed May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This is a day to reflect on the state and value of biodiversity. The theme for 2012 is "How Much Life is in the Sea?"


Deep-sea corals a growing area of expertise at Memorial
Memorial University made an excellent showing at the recent International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals. All of the Canadian attendees were directly connected to Memorial University.


RSC expert panel releases final report
The Royal Society of Canada expert panel looking into Canada’s marine biodiversity has released their final report. Dr. Ian Fleming of the Ocean Sciences Centre was one of 10 experts chosen to sit on that committee.


Faculty of Science releases strategic plan
The Faculty of Science has just approved a new strategic plan. The document was approved at a Faculty Council meeting on Dec. 21. The purpose of the plan is to provide guidance to the Faculty of Science for the next decade and anticipate and plan for research, teaching and service in the ever-changing environment within Memorial University and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, says Mark Abrahams, dean of science.
Major upgrades equals improved research capabilities
On-going construction at the OSC will result in new, leading edge facilities for research on cold-water and deep-sea organisms and ecosystems. The new upgrades, which cost approximately $20 million are broken-down into six components ;



$2.5 million federal investment in researchers at Memorial
Five top researchers at Memorial University have received a total of $2.5 million in funding from the federal government's Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program.


Dr. William R. Driedzic appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
Dr. Driedzic was honoured with the appointment to the CFI Board of Directors on September 12th in Ottawa by Dr. Kevin P. D. Smith, Chair of the Board of Directors.


Ocean Sciences

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