Postdoctoral Fellowships:


Nicolas Le Corre                                                   Nicholas Le Corre

Memorial University/DFO (St. John’s)

Coming from Brittany in France, I did my Master’s degree in Bordeaux University and Australia on invertebrates/phytobenthos interactions. Then, I did my Ph.D. in Quebec at Laval and McGill University on recruitment and connectivity of mussel populations. I am now established as a postdoc in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

CHONe Project: 1.2.2. Spatial management strategies for Atlantic populations of northern shrimp in a changing environment

Project Title: Larval dispersal of the northern shrimp on the Newfoundland and Labrador shelf.

Project Description:

The main objective of our project is to develop a biophysical model that will provide a realistic representation of the Northern shrimps (Pandalus borealis and P. montagui) larval dispersal. Using a Connectivity Modeling System and oceanographic data, we will generate different scenarios of larval dispersal and potential production considering the impact of environmental (e.g., temperature, density) and biological drivers (e.g., larval vertical distribution, behavior, growth). This project will help to determine the scale of connectivity and its variability among benthic populations in Eastern Canada water.



Ph.D. Candidates:

Alessia Ciraolo                                                   

Project Title: Cumulative impacts of hypoxia and trawling on seafloor ecosystems


Danielle Quinn                                       

Project Title: North Altantic Fisheries Conservation



Marta Miatta                                         

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Ocean Sciences Department

I am originally from Italy, where I received my M.S. in Marine Biology in 2015, working on meiofaunal biodiversity and sedimentary trophic status in coastal systems. I have always had a strong passion for nature and the ocean and my main interests include benthic ecology, biodiversity and conservation issues related to the marine ecosystems, especially the deep-sea. My favourite part of the job are the endless days at sea collecting mud samples and exploring the ocean’s wonders using ROVs. When I’m not studying or working, you’re likely to find me hiking or playing with my dog, Alaska and taking pictures of the stunning Newfoundland’s nature.

Project Title: Biological and environmental drivers of deep-sea benthic ecosystem functioning

Project Description: The main objectives of my project are to evaluate benthic key functions (oxygen consumption, nutrients fluxes and microbial activity) in different soft-sediment bottom habitats of the North Atlantic (Laurentian Channel AOI, Gulf of Maine) and to evaluate the relationships between ecosystem functioning and benthic diversity (biodiversity and functional diversity of macrofaunal and meiofauna) and environmental factors. The study, sponsored by CHONe (Canadian Healthy Ocean Network), aims to understand how ecosystem functioning is regulated and the role different biotic and abiotic factors play in that. Moreover, the better understanding of benthic ecological processes could be helpful in developing effective conservation strategies for the ocean and for the improvement of MPAs design and monitoring protocols.




Neus Campanya i Llovet                                   

My current research interests include deep-sea community and trophic ecology. Previously my focus was taxonomy of Antarctic echinoderms (Asteroidea) during my undergrad at the University of Barcelona with Dr. Conxita Avila, and reproductive biology of deep-sea echinoderms (Holothuroidea) during my MSc Oceanography at the University of Southampton with Drs. Paul Tyler and David Billett.

PhD project title: Biodiversity and food web patterns in the deep sea: why food quality matters

Project Description: The main objective of my PhD project is to understand how small changes in the quality of the food that reaches the deep sea, can modify the benthic community and food web structure. The project involves a variety of methodologies that span from a “meta-analysis” using published data to correlate food quality variables with feeding guilds, to food enrichment experiments on site with two different algal classes to assess changes in infaunal community structure and epifaunal disturbance. My work also includes community spatial and temporal analyses from chemosynthetic environments (Barkley Hydrates, British Columbia), and biochemical techniques (lipid and stable isotopes) to infer the trophic condition of the sediments and organism’s diets. Expected changes in food supply from the surface waters to the deep-sea benthos with climate change, demands understanding on how food quality influences deep-sea benthic communities.


Salma A.A. Husaien                        

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Ocean Sciences

 I was born in Libya on the one of most beautiful spots on the Mediterranean coast, called Ras Al Hilal, where I found myself interested in a wide variety of topics in marine ecology and biology, which made me increasingly fond of oceanography and the marine environment. I obtained an MSc in Marine Science at the faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Omar Al-Mukhtar, El-Baida, Libya. I specialized in Environmental and Biological Studies on Juvenile Commercial Fish in the nursery habitats on the Mediterranean coast, specifically, the life history pattern of the marine species and its Lessepsian migration through the Suez Canal to the southeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

CHONe Project: The contribution of nearshore coastal zone nurseries to offshore capture fisheries.

Project Title: Testing the Junk-food Hypothesis on age 0-1 Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua: Effects of Fatty Acid Contents, Prey Density & Prey Size on Growth and Survival.

Project Description: My project aims to explore some of the factors affecting the growth and survival of the Atlantic Cod in Newman Sound, a small, protected fjord located in Bonavista Bay off the NE coast of Newfoundland coastal. I will try to explore some ways in which these areas could be used without causing harmful biological effects. A key element in trying to rebuild the population is to understand how food availability and nutrition behavior affect productivity. Since the junk-food hypothesis is a highly relevant factor in relation to sustaining ecosystem resilience and is an important consideration in ecosystem management, the quality of the food may also be critically important for some marine species at the juvenile stage. Because of this factor, I will suggest this hypothesis as a potential explanation for the dramatic decline of the population of Juvenile Atlantic Cod communities in Newman Sound, one of the important nursery habitats on Newfoundland coastal, and it may be possible to predict that Juvenile Atlantic Cod will be particularly sensitive to their habitats’ food quality. I anticipate that this information will be used to explore ways in which such nursery areas can be maintained and, where appropriate, restored in such a way as to allow coastal communities to benefit from them.

The specific project/thesis aims are:
1- to explore, using this hypothesis, the factors affecting the growth and survival of Atlantic Cod in a coastal nursery habitat of Newfoundland.
2- to explore ways to minimize adverse effects of these factors on habitat sustainability and explore restoration options.
3- to provide scientific information to support effective management of Atlantic fisheries.
Through the study of potential effects on the growth and survival of juvenile Atlantic Cod and in Newfoundland coastal habitats.
This research project will examine the growth and bioenergetic response of juvenile Atlantic Cod to conditions expected to affect their survival in the marine environment. This research will use an empirical approach to these hypotheses by collecting juveniles in the ocean environment using targeted seine surveys.



MSc Candidates


Catie Young             

Project Title: Labrador Benthic Food Webs



Emma Cooke                                                   

Memorial University, Department of Ocean Sciences

I love everything to do with travel and nature, but especially water – whether it’s swimming, fishing, scuba diving, boating or paddling, and I’m lucky enough to get to do some of these things while discovering what’s going on beneath the surface. My previous research looked at how freshwater protected areas can influence the evolution of fish behaviour, and now I’m looking forward to studying fish in the marine environment!

CHONe Project: 1.2.1: The contribution of nearshore coastal zone nurseries to offshore capture fisheries

Project Topic: Environmental and biological influences on Atlantic cod.

Project Description: Many wild fish species are being overfished around the world, which can lead to the collapse of certain populations. Unfortunately, many of these fish species are incredibly valuable not only for the ecosystem, but also for a source of food, income and livelihood for millions of people worldwide. A well known fish species that has historically been overfished is Atlantic cod in Newfoundland, Canada. In addition to overfishing, the changing environment has a large impact on cod populations. Nursery habitat, such as eelgrass, is vital for the survival of juvenile cod by giving shelter and food. As well, juvenile cod growth decreases with extreme temperatures, which lowers chance of survival during the first year of life. Juvenile cod are sensitive to both nursery habitat cover and temperature changes, both of which are critical to survival.

My project will look at how juvenile cod data can help predict adult cod populations and what environmental factors are involved. I will use seven long term datasets (22+ years) containing information on juvenile cod, adult cod, temperature, and nursery habitat cover along the coast of Newfoundland.

Atlantic cod populations are slowly rebounding, but being able to understand and predict the future status of fish populations will help plan for socio-economic impacts of low fishing years, climate change, and loss of habitat.




Emilie Geissinger                                            

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Ocean Sciences

Hello! My name is Emilie Geissinger and I grew up in Connecticut, USA. Before coming to Memorial University of Newfoundland, I was a Biology teacher and swim coach. I was also a research intern at Cape Eleuthera Institute, which is where I discovered I wanted to pursue a career in research. When I’m not studying or working, I am off hiking or reading a book.

CHONe Project: The contribution of nearshore coastal zone nurseries to offshore capture fisheries.

Project Title: The effects of temperature on size-specific overwinter survival of age-0 Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Project Description:

My project focuses on the effect temperature has on size-specific survival of juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) over the winter season in Newman Sound, NL. I will be applying a matrix population model to age-0 Atlantic cod to determine the role temperature plays on survival and growth. This model will also assess the contribution of coastal juvenile populations to offshore fisheries. In conjunction with my empirical study, I will be conducting a mark-recapture study from October-May to determine the natural survival rate of age-0 cod and assess if migration between sites occurs in Newman Sound. Lastly, I will be looking at the role temperature and food availability have on the condition of age-0 Atlantic cod.

The specific project/thesis aims are:

Determine the effect of temperature on size-specific overwinter survival of age-0 Gadus morhua and how the coastal juvenile populations contribute to offshore fisheries
Mark-recapture study of age-0 G. morhua over winter season
Assessing condition of age-0 G. morhua in winter conditions
This project links with the broader CHONe goals by studying the impact climate change has on coastal zone fisheries and determining juvenile contribution to offshore fisheries.




Evelyn MacRobert                                    

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Department of Biology

Having always enjoyed being around water, my gravitation to marine ecology is no surprise. I received my Bachelors of Science from the University of Guelph, majoring in Marine and Freshwater Biology. My interests include predator-prey interactions and habitat quality.

CHONe Project: 1.2.1: The contribution of nearshore coastal zone nurseries to offshore capture fisheries

 Project Title: Spatial risk: Influence of piscivorous fish on selection of nursery habitat by Age-0 juvenile cod

Project Description: Juvenile fish experience a high rate of mortality and most of this mortality is due to predation. In Newfoundland Atlantic (Gadus morhua) and Greenland (G. ogac) juvenile cod settle into eelgrass beds which serve as nursery habitat, providing food and shelter from predation. I am interested in understanding the importance of eelgrass nursery habitats to the survival of juvenile cod. Specifically, I aim to
1. Determine the distribution of age-0 juveniles within eelgrass patches, and
2. Determine the habitat areas that hold the highest predation risk, based on where predators occur.
With this project, I hope to provide insight into how important eelgrass beds are to the growth and survival of juvenile cod.



Rebecca Steinhart                                                    

Project Title:

Natural and anthropogenic drivers of sedimentary communities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence


Victoria Howse                                                          

Project Title:

Assessing the efficacy of the Eastport Marine Protected Area to enhance local lobster fisheries as it relates to growth rate, reproductive potential, and habitat use

Lab Alumni


completed 2016 Mallory Van Wyngaarden M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2016 Renald Belley Ph.D. Advisor
completed 2016 Ryan Stanley Ph.D Advisor
completed 2016 Melanie Rossong Ph.D. Co-advisor
completed 2015 Dustin Schornagel MSc Co-advisor
completed 2015 Ashley Robar M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2013 Melanie Shapiera M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2013 Krista Baker Ph.D., Part time Co-advisor
completed 2013 Corey Morris Ph.D., Part time Advisor
completed 2011 Louise Copeman PhD Co-supervisor
completed 2010 Victoria Burdett-Coutts M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2009 Mary Ryan M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2009 Ryan Stanley M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2009 Ashlee Lillis M.Sc. Advisor
completed 2009 Kelly Carter M.Sc. Co-advisor
completed 2009 Michael Kelly M.Sc. Advisor
completed 2007 Lu Guan MSc Advisor
completed 2006 Jared Crawford Master’s of Marine Studies Advisor
completed 2004 Pedro Quijon Ph.D. Advisor
completed 2003 Harshana Rajakaruna MSc Co-advisor
completed 2002 Danielle Nichols Master's of Marine Studies Advisor
completed 2001 Andrea Carew Master's of Marine Studies Co-advisor
completed 2001 Barry McCallum Master's of Marine Studies Advisor
completed 2001 Patricia Ramey M.Sc. Advisor
completed 2000 Ian Bradbury M.Sc. Advisor
completed 1999 Gina Billard Master's of Marine Studies Advisor


2016-2017 Barbara Neves Co-supervisor
2016 - 2018 Nicolas LeCorre Co-supervisor
2013 – 2015 Richard Allen Co-supervisor
2011 – 2014 Chih-Lin Wei Co-supervisor
2010-2011 Colleen Mercer-Clark Co-supervisor
2007-2008 I. Bradbury Co-supervisor
2004-2005 K. Alexandra Curtis Co-supervisor


Completed 2017 Chelsea Bloom
Completed 2011 Victoria Howse
Completed 2009 Rebecca Doyle
Completed 2008 Larina Carroll (Co-supervised) Krista Boland
Completed 2007 Margaret Warren (Co-supervised) Candice St. Germain Karla Short
Completed 2006 Stephen Cole Stephen Chung Kate Gardiner
Completed 2002 Kelly Carter (Co-supervised)
Completed 2001 Krista Park
Completed 1999 Jonathon Martin Thomas Brown



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