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Stephanie Avery-Gomm

M.Sc. alumni

Web page: Stephanie Avery-Gomm's academic website
Research area: Ecology
Supervisor: J. Richardson
History: B.Sc. Biology, University of Victoria
M.Sc. Zoology, University of British Columbia

For my M.Sc. research I studied the ecology and conservation of an endangered species of freshwater fish Nooksack Dace (Rhinichthys sp). Using a combination of experimental manipulations and field surveys I examined how extremely low summer flow, caused in part by water withdrawals for residential and agricultural use, effects Nooksack dace habitat use, growth rate and survival. I also built a hydraulic model that predicted the relationship between low flow and habitat suitability for Nooksack dace. This information was provided to resource managers at the provincial and federal level as a scientific basis for establishing minimum instream flow guidelines.

I am also interested in issues related plastic pollution in the marine environment. Despite the high profile of this issue in the USA, research in this area was lacking in Canada Pacific waters. In order to address this knowledge gap I initiated a project to investigate the extent and pervasiveness of plastic ingestion among seabirds in the Eastern North Pacific. In collaboration with partners from Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada, the University of Puget Sound and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, we have documented baseline levels of plastic ingestion in 21 marine-associated bird species, including Northern Fulmar, which are an ideal species for monitoring plastic pollution. This research garnered international media attention.

After earning my M.Sc. from UBC in 2013 I worked as a seabird research biologist with Environment Canada. In October 2015 I commenced my PhD at the University of Queensland Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, advised by Professors Hugh Possingham and Richard Fuller. For more details about my current research please visit my academic website (www.stephanieaverygomm.weebly.com).

Last updated 14 April 2016