I am a Research Scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University, and a candidate in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction writing program at the University of King's College.
My research and writing focus on the connections between people and the oceans and how to communicate scientific knowledge to decision-makers and society in support of sustainable oceans.
I grew up surrounded by the tall forests and deep lakes of Northern Ontario, but I always felt pulled toward the sea. I migrated to Canada's Atlantic coast at the first chance and began seeking new ways to explore, interact with, and understand the ocean. I travelled for several years, working as a deep-sea fisherman, diver, and commercial fishery observer, which sharpened my curiosity and interest in global conservation issues and ultimately led me to become a marine scientist.
I received a BSc in marine biology with a minor in oceanography and a Ph.D. in marine ecology from Dalhousie University. My doctoral thesis, Global patterns of marine phytoplankton change over the past century, received the CAGS-Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Award for the top doctoral dissertation across Canada and the Dalhousie Faculty of Graduate Studies Doctoral Thesis Award.
As a post-graduate researcher, I've worked for various national and international non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, including Queen's University, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, The Ocean Frontier Institute, The Ocean Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Oceans North. in 2018, I received the Canadian National Committee for the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (CNC-SCOR) Early Career Ocean Scientist Award for outstanding contribution to the marine sciences within Canada. Over the years, my research has been varied but has consistently touched on the theme of understanding how perturbations, such as climate change and fishing, disrupt marine life, what the consequences are for people and communities and how to develop science-based solutions.
On the creative side of things, I'm interested in knowledge translation and engaging and communicating more broadly about important issues facing our oceans. My writing has appeared in The Conversation, Carbon Brief, and The Globe and Mail. I'm currently undertaking a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction writing at the University of Kings College, and I am writing a book about forage fishes.
Away from science and writing, I'm fascinated to learn about the world and the many different ways that people exist within it. I travel as often as possible, but I'm always excited to return to my home on the rugged, beautiful Nova Scotian coastline, where I'm a dad to two lovely daughters and a husband to a supportive wife. When not crunching numbers or answering emails, I'm often playing Frisbee at the beach with Nemo, my furry four-legged bud, pulling weeds in my greenhouse, shooting hoops, eating cheese, hanging with my kids, or surfing the waves out back.