Centre for Earth Resources Research (CERR)

Ocean Science Centre



Wright, J.A., B.A.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Toronto, P.Geo.; Professor


The Centre draws on the research expertise of faculty and research staff members in the Department of Earth Sciences as well as other specialists inside and external to the University. For a complete listing of faculty, see Earth Sciences entry.


The CERR was established in 1983 to provide for the co-ordination and promotion of earth resources research and associated work related to the origin, discovery, development, exploitation, and environmental aspects of earth resources.

The Centre promotes, initiates, and co-ordinates research within the earth resources disciplines on the national and international scenes. Researchers interact, when appropriate, with the industrial and government sectors and introduce other organizations to the potential benefits of further research and development in earth resources.

The special facilities of the Centre complement the development of graduate and undergraduate programs in earth sciences and related disciplines at Memorial University of Newfoundland. A further function of the Centre is to contribute to the training of people competent in solving earth resources problems and to encourage personnel exchanges with industry and government.

The Alexander Murray Building houses the Centre, and has laboratories for teaching and basic and applied research.


The Centre is an integral part of the Department of Earth Sciences. The active research of faculty members within, and those cross-appointed to the Department, contributes to programs in the Centre. Increasing collaboration is under way with government and industry in research projects that emphasize earth resources. The work of the Centre addresses problems and opportunities related to mineral resources, petroleum resources, exploration technology, environmental geoscience, and generic research.

The Centre works closely with other local, national, and international research institutes. CERR hosts the geoscience component of the University's Oil and Gas Development Partnership.



Brown, J.A., B.Sc. St. Francis Xavier, M.Sc. Memorial, Ph.D. Queen's; Professor (Research); Interim Director

Avery, T., B.Sc. Guelph, M.Sc. Acadia, Ph.D. Memorial; Computer Resource Specialist

Boyce, D., B.A., M.Sc. Memorial; Aquaculture Development Supervisor, Aquaculture Research and Development Facility

Devereaux, J.; Field and Laboratory Services Supervisor

Downton, E.F.; Technical Services; Marine Services Technician

Nichols, D., B.A., MMS.Memorial; Research Marketing Manager

Walsh, G.; Facilities Management; Resident Engineer

Wheeler, D.; Staff Administrative Specialist, Finance


Driedzic, W.R., B.Sc. York, M.Sc. Toronto, Ph.D. British Columbia; Professor; Tier I Canada Research Chair in Marine Bioscience

Gamperl, A.K., B.Sc., M.Sc. Guelph, Ph.D. Dalhousie; Assistant Professor

Parrish, C.C., B.Sc. Wales, Ph.D. Dalhousie; Professor (Research); Winner of the President's Award for Outstanding Research, 1995-1996; Professor

Rivkin, R.B., B.Sc., M.Sc. City College, New York, Ph.D. Rhode Island; Professor

Schneider, D.C., B.Sc. Duke, Ph.D. SUNY, Stony Brook; Professor

Snelgrove, P.V.R., B.Sc. Memorial, M.Sc. McGill, Ph.D. Woods Hole; Associate Professor; Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Cold Ocean Systems

Thompson, R.J., B.Sc. Bristol, Ph.D. Leicester; Professor (Research)

Wroblewski, J.S., B.Sc. Illinois, M.Sc., Ph.D. Florida State; Professor (Research)


Burton, D., B.Sc. Wales, Ph.D. London; Biology

Crim, L.W., B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D. California

Fletcher, G.L., B.Sc. British Columbia, Ph.D. California

Khan, R.A., B.SA, M.Sc., Ph.D., Toronto; Biology

Adjunct Professors

Anderson, J.T., B.Sc., M.Sc. Guelph, Ph.D. British Columbia; Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Borstad, G., B.Sc. Alberta, Ph.D. McGill; G.A. Borstad Associates, Sidney, BC

Ewart, K., B.Sc. Moncton, Ph.D. Memorial; Associate Research Officer, National Research Council - Institute for Marine Biosciences, Halifax

Huxter, F., P.Eng. Memorial; Senior Engineer, Avalon Regional Office, Work, Services and Transportation

Johnson, S.C., B.Sc. Victoria, M.Sc. Dalhousie, Ph.D. Simon Fraser; Associate Research Officer, National Research Council - Institute for Marine Biosciences, Halifax

McKenzie, C., B.Sc., Ph.D. Texas A & M; Department of Fisheries and Oceans

McKinley, S., B.Sc. Guelph, M.Sc. York, Ph.D. Waterloo; NSERC Industrial Chair and Canada Research Chair; Professor, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of British Columbia

Morgan, J.M., B.Sc. Mount Alison, Ph.D. Queen's; Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Pepin, P., B.Sc. McGill, Ph.D. Dalhousie; Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Whyte, J.N.C., B.Sc., Ph.D. Edinburgh; Research Scientist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, B.C.

Cross-Appointed Faculty

Dr. D. Barker; Fisheries and Marine Institute

Dr. M.P. Burton; Department of Biology

Dr. N. Gogan; Department of Chemistry

Dr. R. Haedrich; Department of Biology

Dr. R. Helleur; Department of Chemistry

Dr. W. Montevecchi, Department of Psychology

Dr. F. Shahidi; Department of Biochemistry

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Chamberlain, J., B.Sc.(Hons) Sri Lanka, Ph.D. Ediinburgh

DuRan, M., Ph.D. Massachusetts

Hale, M., B.Sc., Ph.D. Flinders University, Australia

Murray, H., B.Sc. Memorial, M.Sc. UPEI, Ph.D. Memorial

Park, Heum G.I., Ph.D. National Fisheries University, Pusan, Korea

Trela, P., M.Sc. Gdansk University, Poland, Ph.D. Dalhousie

Yaskowiak, E., B.Sc. Southampton, Ph.D. UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Research Associates

Puvanendran, V., B.Sc. Sri Lanka, Ph.D. Memorial

Shears, M., B.Sc. N.B., Ph.D. Memorial

Research Assistants

Jones, D., B.Sc. Saskatchewan

King, M.J., B.Sc. Memorial

Lee, S.H., B.Sc., M.Sc. Memorial

Short, C., B.Sc. Memorial

The Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) provides scientists at Memorial University of Newfoundland and other organizations with first-rate facilities for research in cold ocean sciences. In addition, the OSC supports quality graduate education in a broad range of marine science and related disciplines. Located on the most eastern coast of Canada the Centre lends itself to the shore-based study of cold ocean processes, and sub-arctic and arctic fauna and flora. Current research foci are aquaculture, biological and chemical oceanography, and fundamental principles of behaviour, biochemistry, and physiology that underlie the first two themes.  The OSC is a key player in AquaNet, Canada’s first federal Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) devoted to aquaculture. The OSC is an AquaNet Core Facility, as well as its Administrative Centre.

Located at Logy Bay, 9.6 km from the main campus, the OSC has an excellent unpolluted sea water supply that is the lifeline of the centre. There are 35 laboratories (22 provided with running seawater) and facilities for microscopy, histochemistry, analytical chemistry, radioisotope counting, physiological work, and standard analyses for oceanography. Large holding areas permit scientists to maintain a variety of marine organisms for long periods at ambient and controlled water temperatures. The Seal Research Facility offers research opportunities on North America’s only population of captive harp seals. The Field Services Unit provides extensive resources for field studies including: year round SCUBA diving, small research vessels, a tank truck for the transportation of live specimens, and a wide-range of oceanographic and collecting equipment.

The Logy Bay complex includes machine, woodworking and electronics shops, computer resource personnel, and a multimedia classroom. Desktop computers are linked to the mainframe cluster on campus, with high-resolution printing and graphics, and an image analysis facility.

The Aquaculture Research and Development Facility provides state-of-the-art facilities designed to support research, training, pre-commercial production, and small-scale commercial trials, on alternative species for marine aquaculture. A critical component of the new facility is a sea water system designed to deliver high quality, temperature controlled, flow through and re-circulating water. There are areas for broodstock conditioning, hatchery and nursery operation, first-feeding, on-growing, and live food production. Under investigation are: Atlantic halibut, Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon and smaller flounder species.

Research Themes

- Aquaculture nutrition and production
- Reproductive biology of finfish and molluscs
- Development and behavioral ecology of larval and juvenile fish
- Survival of marine organisms without oxygen
- Antifreeze proteins and cold adaptation in fish
- Biological production and the ecology of cold oceans
- Transport and fate of lipids in cold ocean ecosystems
- Physiology of feeding and digestion in marine invertebrates
- Marine biotechnology
- Fisheries oceanography
- Quantitative biology and population interactions

Last modified on June 4, 2003 by R. Bruce

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