Doug Bertram

Adjunct Professor

Research interests and projects:

My research interests include life history ecology and evolution, and conservation biology. From 1996-2001, I directed the seabird program for the Centre for Wildlife Ecology (CWE) at Simon Fraser University and focused on the populations on Triangle Island, the largest seabird colony in Western Canada. Coupling the recent and historical seabird data from Triangle Island to build a time series spanning 3 decades facilitated the examination of the consequences of ocean climate variation for reproduction and survival of several colonial marine bird populations. A major grant from the Nestucca Oil Spill Trust Fund allowed formation of a partnership between the Centre for Wildlife Ecology, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The DFO scientists established a ship sampling “cross shelf’ transect in the region of Triangle Island in 1998 which is ongoing (

My current research involves population ecology of the Marbled Murrelet and focuses on estimating population trends and determining their causes. Unlike most seabirds which nest on colonies, the Marbled Murrelet nests solitarily at very low densities in coast old growth forests, up to 50 km from the ocean. I am currently Marine Bird Conservation Biologist for Canadian Wildlife Service in the Pacific Region and Chair of Canadian Marbled Murrelet Recovery Team

Selected Publications

Blight, L.K., D.F. Bertram, T.D. Williams and L. Cowen. 2010. Interannual variation in egg neglect and incubation routine of the rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) during the 1998/1999 El Nino/La Nina event. Marine Ornithol. 38: 11-15.

Mather, M., T. Chatwin, J. Cragg, L. Sinclair and D.F. Bertram. 2010. Marbled Murrelet Nesting Habitat Suitability Model for the British Columbia Coast. BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management 11: 91–102

Bertram, D.F., N.E. Philips, and R.R. Strathmann.  2009. Evolutionary and experimental change in egg volume, heterochrony of larval body and juvenile rudiment, and evolutionary reversibility in pluteus form. Evol. and Devel. 11:  728-739

Bertram, D.F., A. Harfenist and A. Hedd. 2009. Seabird nestling diets reflect latitudinal temperature-dependent variation in availability of key zooplankton prey populations. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 393:199–210.

Gaston, A.J., D.F. Bertram, A.W. Boyne, J.W. Chardine, G. Davoren, A.W. Diamond, A. Hedd, W.A. Montevecchi, J.M. Hipfner, M.J.F. Lemon, M.L. Mallory, J.F. Rail, G.J. Robertson. 2009. Changes in Canadian seabird populations and ecology since 1970 in relation to changes in oceanography and food webs.  Environ. Rev.17: 267-286.

Gutowsky, S., Janssen, M.H., Arcese, P., Kyser, K.T., Ethier, D., Wunder, M., Bertram, D.F.,  McFarlane-Tranquilla, L., Lougheed. C., and D.R. Norris.  Concurrent declines in nestling diet quality and reproductive success of a threatened seabird over 150 years. Endang Species Res Preprint doi: 10.3354/esr00225

Hamel, N., Burger A., Charleton K., Davidson, P., Lee, S., Bertram, D.F., and  J.K. Parrish.  2009.  Bycatch and Beached Birds:  Assessing mortality impacts in coastal net fisheries with marine bird strandings.  Marine Ornithol. 37: 41-60.

Hatch, S.F. (Ed.),  Bertram, D.F., Bower, J., and P. D. OHara. (Guest Eds.) 2009. The Salish Sea Ecosystem: Status and Impacts of Changes on Marine Birds.  Marine Ornithol. 37: 1-76

Janssen, M.H., Arcese, P., Kyser, T. K., Bertram, D.F. McFarlane-Tranquilla, L. Williams, T.D., and D.R. Norris. 2009. Pre-breeding diet, condition, and timing of breeding in a threatened seabird, the Marbled Murrelet, Brachyramphus marmoratus Marine Ornithol. 37: 33-40.

Sydeman, W.J., K.L. Mills, J.A. Santora, S.A. Thompson, D.F. Bertram, K.H. Morgan, M.A. Hipfner, B.K. Wells, S.G. Wolf.  2009.  Seabirds and climate in the California Current a synthesis of change. CalCOFI Report 50: 1-23

Boyd, W.S., L. McFarlane Tranquilla, J.L. Ryder, S.G. Shisko and D.F. Bertram. 2008. Variation in marine distributions of Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) breeding at Triangle Island, British Columbia. Auk 125:155-168.

Thayer, J.A., D.F. Bertram, S.A. Hatch, M.J. Hipfner, L.Slater, W.J. Sydeman and Y. Watanuki. 2008. Forage fish of the Pacific Rim as revealed by diet of a piscivorous seabird: synchrony and relationships with sea surface temperature. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 65:1610–1622

Norris, D.R., P. Arcese, D. Preikshot, D.F. Bertram and T.K. Kyser. 2007. Diet reconstruction and historic population dynamics in a threatened seabird. J.Appl. Ecol. 44:875-884.

Gjerdrum, C., G.M. Yanega and D.F. Bertram. 2006. Bill harnesses on nestling Tufted Puffins influence adult provisioning behaviour. J. Field Ornithol. 77:329-334.

Hedd, A., Bertram, D.F. Ryder, J.L., Jones, I.L. 2006. Effects of inter-decadal climate variability on marine trophic interactions: rhinoceros auklets and their fish prey. Marine Ecology Progress Series 309:263-278.

Bertram, D.F. A. Harfenist, and B.D. Smith. 2005. Ocean climate and El Niño impacts on survival of Cassin’s Aukets from upwelling and downwelling domains of British Columbia. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 62:2841-2853.

Gjerdrum, C., A.M.J. Vallée, C.C. St. Clair, D.F. Bertram, J.L. Ryder, and G.W. Blackburn. 2003. Tufted puffin reproduction reveals ocean climate variability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100: 9377-9382.

Bertram, D.F., A. Harfenist, G. Davoren, T. Golumbia, and J. Brown. 2002. Short visits reveal consistent patterns of interyear and intercolony variation in seabird nestling diet and performance. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 2190-2199.

Hedd, A., J.L. Ryder, L. L. Cowen, and D.F. Bertram. 2002. Inter-annual variation in the diet, provisioning and growth of Cassin’s Auklet at Triangle Island, British Columbia: responses to variation in ocean climate. Marine Ecology Progress Series 229: 221-232.

Bertram, D.F., Mackas, D.L. and, McKinnell, S.M. 2001. The seasonal cycle revisited: interannual variation and ecosystem consequences. In Pacific climate variability and marine ecosystem impacts from the tropics to the Arctic. Edited by S.M. McKinnell, Brodeur, R.D., Hanawa, K. Hollowed, Q.B. Polovina, J.J. and C.-I. Zhang. Progress in Oceanography 49: 283-307.

Vanderkist, B.A., T.D. Williams, D.F. Bertram, L. Lougheed, and J. L. Ryder. 2000. Indirect, physiological assessment of reproductive state and breeding chronology in free-living birds: an example in the Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). Functional Ecology 14: 758-765.

Drever, M.C., K.A. Hobson, L.K. Blight, and D.F. Bertram. 2000. Predation on seabird eggs by Keen’s Mice (Peromyscus keeni): using stable isotopes to decipher the diet of a terrestrial omnivore on a remote offshore island. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78: 2010-2018 .

Bertram, D.F., I.L. Jones, E. Cooch, H. Knechtel, and F. Cooke. 2000. Survival rates of Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets at Triangle Island, British Columbia. Condor 102: 155-162.

Blight, L.K., J.L. Ryder, and D.F. Bertram. 1999. Predation on Rhinoceros Auklet eggs by a native population of Peromyscus. Condor 101: 871-876

Bertram, D.F., L. Cowen and A. Burger. 1999. Use of radar for monitoring colonial burrow-nesting seabirds. Journal of Field Ornithology. 70: 145-157.

Bertram, D.F. and R.R. Strathmann. 1998. Effects of maternal and larval nutrition on growth and form of planktotrophic larvae. Ecology 79: 315-327.

Bertram, D.F., T.J. Miller, and W.C. Leggett. 1997. Individual variation in growth and development during the early life stages of winter flounder. Fishery Bulletin. 95: 1-10.

Bertram, D.F., C.V.J. Welham, and R.C. Ydenberg. 1996 . Flexible effort in breeding seabirds: Adjustment of provisioning according to nestling age and mass. Can. J. Zool. 74: 1876-1881.

Bertram, D.F. 1996. Size-dependent predation risk in larval fishes: mechanistic inferences and levels of analysis. Fishery Bulletin 94: 371-373.

Bertram, D.F. 1995. The roles of introduced rats and commercial fishing in decline of Ancient Murrelets on Langara Island, B.C.  Conservation Biology 9: 865-872.

Bertram, D.F. and D.W. Nagorsen. 1995. Introduced rats on the Queen Charlotte Islands: implications for seabird conservation. Canadian Field-Naturalist 109: 6-10.