The Herd

Current members

Graduate Students

Amelia Hesketh | PhD student

Amelia is investigating the effects of ocean acidification on Crassostrea gigas among other things. Her experiments involve field work in Strait of Georgia, which has naturally variable pH, and examining how acidification affects susceptibility to disease through a mesocosm study. You can occasionally find her on Twitter @invertebroad and can find more details about her on her personal website.

Sandra Emry | MSc student

Sandra is broadly interested in how anthropogenic change is affecting coastal communities. Her research is focused on looking at how the ecophysiology of various habitat forming seaweed species such as Nereocystis luetkeana, will respond to multiple stressors, including identifying critical thresholds and implications for community structure.

Cassandra Konecny | MSc student

Cassandra is interested in how communities will respond to climate change. More specifically she is investigating how increased thermal variation will influence community structure and composition in tidepools. She is combining field manipulations with mesocosm experiments to see how thermal variation will influence algal-herbivore interactions and ultimately the composition of these communities. Check out her website here!

Fiona Beaty | MSc student

Fiona is interested in how local adaptation to marine environments may impact species responses to multiple climate-linked stressors. For her Masters research, Fiona will study the physiological and ecological responses of two populations of Nucella lamellosa, an intertidal predatory snail, to ocean acidification and ocean warming. She will use field surveys, laboratory experiments, and population genetics to investigate her questions. Follow her on twitter @fionabeaty

Postdoctoral Researchers

Alyssa Gehman

Alyssa is interested in the interactions between infected hosts and their communities, and the impact of temperature and ocean acidification on host-parasite interactions. For her postdoctoral research Alyssa is using the mussel-endolithic cyanobacteria system to evaluate the effects of multiple environmental stressors on host-parasite interactions over space and time using museum and private collections, field surveys and manipulative field experiments.

See Alyssa’s web page for more details.

Colin MacLeod

Colin’s research integrates parasite ecology and global change biology in the marine environment. Parasitic infection can alter every aspect of host physiology and behaviour, from reproduction to survival, and from predator evasion to resource competition. Any of these infection-mediated effects could be significantly modified by changes to the abiotic marine environment. During his postdoctoral fellowship at UBC, Colin will investigate the combined effects of ocean acidification, ocean warming, and trematode infection on the physiology and behaviour of four species of littorinid snails found in Barkley Sound and the Strait of Georgia.

Angela Stevenson (@deepseaslug)

Angela decompressing after a dive into the mesophotic

Glass sponges are cosmopolitan in the deep sea (>70 m), but uniquely form dense reefs as shallow as 30 m in British Columbia. Angela uses mesocosm experiments to understand the sensitivity and resilience of reef building glass sponges to ocean warming and acidification. She also uses field and mesocosm experiments to study the impacts of thermal stress on arm regeneration of crinoids (intra- and interspecific), with broader implications for paleoecology, species resilience to climate change, and cascading effects on the benthic community. She uses extensive diving technologies to access specimens from shallow to mesophotic depths.

See Angela’s blog to learn more about sponges, crinoids and the mesophotic.

(W)undergraduate Students

Carli Jones | Undergraduate researcher

Charlotte Matthews (@charmatthews_)

Charlotte is interested in subtidal ecology and the impact of climate change on these sensitive habitats. Her undergraduate research experience, under Dr. Angela Stevenson, includes observing crinoid infestor diversity and distribution along the bathymetric gradient in the Philippines. As well as, testing the effect of thermal stress on assimilation rates of our local crinoid, Florometra serratissima. 

Emily Lim

Emily is a URSA student studying the effects of ocean acidification on an invasive parasite. They were previously researching the direct and indirect effects of ocean acidification on caprellids, a marine amphipod. Find Emily on twitter @sea_en_emily or check out their blog here.

Emma Foxcroft

Emma is in her third year of honours animal biology, and has enjoyed volunteering with Dr. Stevenson and helping with her research on glass sponges and feather stars. She is interested in looking at the impact of climate change on marine communities, and hopes to focus on this in her honours thesis project next year.

Graham Brownlee

Graham is an undergraduate student interested in how climate change can impact intertidal communities through trophic interactions. He is currently researching indirect and direct effects of ocean acidification and warming on whelks, mussels and endolithic cyanobacteria through mesocosm experiments, as well as examining how parasitic cyanobacteria impact mussel condition and growth with field experiments taking place at Bamfield and Calvert Island, BC.

Josianne Haag

Josianne is an undergraduate student interested in the human impacts of re-suspension of sediments and acidification on glass sponges in Howe Sound.

Maya Brassard

Maya is an undergraduate student interested in the how biodiversity or lack thereof  affects people’s overall health in Indigenous communities within Canada. She is interested in learning more about how the environment can influence the social determinants of health and hopes to better connect the biological to the social.

Mikalyn Trinca Colonel

Mikalyn holding two feather stars in Malatapay, The Philippines

Mikalyn is an enthusiastic undergraduate student who is fascinated in all thing’s subtidal ecology and environmental science. Her research experience under Dr. Angela Stevenson, has brought her to the depths of Philippine’s oceans working on feather star community ecology. She is currently interested in the impacts which marine plastics have on the glass sponge reefs of coastal British Columbia.

Veronika Franzova

Veronika is an undergraduate student avidly and hectically pursuing a degree in Marine Biology. She is currently working on a project looking at the effects of climate change on trematode parasites collected on Vancouver Island.

Past members

Gillian Trotter | Undergraduate researcher

Emma Green | Undergraduate researcher

Emma was a USRA summer student looking at how climate change warming may affect different populations of two species of intertidal snail, Littorina sitkana and Littorina scutulata, along the BC coast.

Olivia Schaefer | Undergraduate researcher

Heather Reid | Undergraduate researcher

Jenny Hwang | Undergraduate researcher

Norah Brown | PhD student

Norah is working on the effects of climate change on fouling communities, with an emphasis on the effects of invasive species. She has manipulated carbon dioxide in the field using mesocosms and measured the resulting changes in community structure. Norah is now expanding her work to naturally acidified sites in the Mediterranean Sea.

See Norah’s web page for more details.

Carla Di Filippo | Undergraduate researcher

Kat Anderson | PhD student

Kat was interested in the effects of anthropogenic stressors, particularly ocean acidification, on plant-herbivore interactions. Her experimental work included laboratory investigations of algal growth and invertebrate feeding rates and field manipulations of carbon dioxide concentrations in artificial tide pools.

See Kat’s web page for more details.

Gabby Doebeli | Undergraduate researcher

Sarah Endenburg | Undergraduate researcher

Sachi Ouchi | Undergraduate researcher

Sharon Kay | Undergraduate researcher

Sharon studied how the intertidal sea star community of the Burrard Inlet changed following sea star wasting disease. She specifically looked at how differential disease susceptibility may result in disproportional declines of certain sea star species, and even indirectly benefit some sea star populations.

Sarah Ho | Undergradaute researcher

Sarah was interested in studying human impacts on marine ecosystems and how we can reduce these threats. Her honours thesis focused on the effect of human trampling on rocky intertidal communities in Taiwan.

Kelsey Flynn | Undergradaute researcher

Katie Marshall | Postdoctoral researcher

Jake Dytnerski | Undergraduate researcher

Jennifer Jorve | PhD student

Jenn was interested in the effects of climate change on marine algae, particularly kelp. She studied the ability of seaweeds to adapt to climate stress. She was co-supervised by Patrick Martone.

Rebecca Kordas | PhD student

Becca studied the ecological impacts of climate warming by experimentally increasing temperature in the field. She was interested in the effects of global warming on interspecific interactions such as competition, facilitation, and herbivory, and on ecological processes such as succession. She was co-supervised by Ladd Johnson.

Manon Picard | MSc student

Manon investigated the impacts of ocean acidification on the early life stages of oysters, which are important for aquaculture in British Columbia. Much of her research was based in situ at the Island Scallops aquaculture facility on Vancouver Island. Personal website here.

Laura Tremblay-Boyer | PhD student

Laura was our resident fisheries biologist. She studied the ongoing range contraction of large pelagic predators in the Pacific Ocean, and conducted research in New Caledonia. She was co-supervised by Steve Martell.

Megan Vaughan | MSc student

Megan worked on the effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions. Her species of interest included the sunflower star and the red sea urchin, and she investigated the impacts of OA on their behaviour and feeding rates. Personal webpage here.

Theraesa Coyle | Undergraduate researcher

Theraesa was a USRA / honors student who studied the effects of regional variation in salinity on plant-herbivore interactions. She combined field manipulations in West Vancouver, Lions Bay, and the Gulf Islands with laboratory studies on the physiological tolerances of limpets, snails, and seaweeds.

Jessie Clasen | PhD student

Jessie’s research interests included the diversity and functioning of microbial communities, and how these communities were related to other components of nearshore ecosystems (e.g., kelp beds). Her work complimented ongoing work on the re-establishment of sea otters in British Columbia (BCCES).

Jocelyn Nelson | MSc student

Jocelyn studied invasive tunicates in the framework of multiple stressors. She deployed settlement plates throughout British Columbia and as far south as California to better understand how factors like temperature and salinity facilitate or limit the spread and impact of these invasive species.

Heather Kharouba | PhD student

Heather worked on the impacts of climate change on butterflies, moths, and their host plants, with a particular interest in how warming affects the phenology of these species and their interactions. She was co-supervised by Mark Vellend.

Rebecca Gooding | PhD student

Becca’s research focused on the impacts of climate change on a predator-prey interaction: the sea star Pisaster and the mussel Mytilus. She showed that the sea stars actually grow faster in future climate conditions, and that these effects were likely to impact prey populations via changes in predation rates.

Rebecca Martone | Postdoctoral researcher

Rebecca co-coordinated an interdisciplinary project (BCCES) examining ecosystem service production in nearshore coastal ecosystems in response to sea otter reintroduction. Her work focused on the productivity, diversity, and stability of subtidal communities in response to trophic cascades in kelp forest ecosystems. Rebecca now works for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Ryan Crim | MSc student

Ryan investigated the effects of temperature and ocean acidification on marine invertebrates, particularly endangered abalone. His work ranged from climate change impacts on fertilization to larval development to adult growth and performance, and is showing that important non-additive effects emerge when temperature and carbon dioxide are manipulated simultaneously.

Kyle Demes | PhD student

Kyle worked on seaweeds – particularly kelps – at the intersection of biomechanics, ecology, and evolution. His work included studies of evolutionary context of variation in morphology and material properties across taxa, and on kelp phenotypic plasticity, growth, and survival in the field.

Sarah Nienhuis | MSc student

Sarah studied the effects of ocean acidification on calcifying marine invertebrates. Her research has examined the effects of OA on sea urchin growth, consumption, and population dynamics, and the effects of OA on calcification in dogwhelks.

Gerald Singh | PhD student

Gerald studied the productivity and diversity of intertidal communities, particularly mussel beds, in the context of sea otter reintroduction to areas they were formerly extirpated. He sought to provide policy relevant results that can help resolve disputes between resource extraction and species conservation. Gerald is now working on his PhD at UBC with Kai Chan.

Penny White | MSc student

Penny studied edible seaweeds in the genus Porphyra. She characterized the seaweed’s genetic population structure in British Columbia, and investigated the use of Porphyra by First Nations peoples. She was co-supervised by Sandra Lindstrom.