The SFU School of Environmental Science is pleased to announce the Fall 2023 Seminar Series featuring renowned researchers and scientists on some of the world's most pressing environmental concerns.


When:  Every second Tuesday starting September 19th and ending November 28th, 2023.
Start & End Time: 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM [PST]
Location: ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus


If you have any queries regarding the seminar series or require administrative support, please contact You can also subscribe to the seminar calendar below. 

Sept 19, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM [PST]
ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus

Orcas on the Move: Building an Operational Forecast System for Southern Resident Killer Whale Movement in the Salish Sea

Speaker: Ruth Joy

About the Speaker

Dr. Ruth Joy - School of Environmental Science, SFU

Dr. Joy is a Statistical Ecologist in the School of Environmental Science and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Statistics at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on computational and statistical tools that help to manage and minimize anthropogenic stress in marine mammals and seabirds.

*CANCELLED* Oct 17, 2023

The Expansion and Contraction of Intermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams: New insights from high-resolution mapping

Speaker: W. Jesse Hahm

About the Speaker

Dr. W. Jesse Hahm - Department of Geography, SFU

Dr. Hahm is an Assistant Professor in Geography at SFU, and a hydrologist interested in understanding streamflow and forest health in the context of droughts. His background in geology and geomorphology informs his approach to field and modeling studies.

Oct 31, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM [PST]
ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus

Topic: From Concentrations to Context: Approaches for translating sensor network data into meaningful outputs

Speaker: Naomi Zimmerman

About the Speaker

Dr. Naomi Zimmerman - Department of Mechanical Engineering, UBC

Dr. Naomi Zimmerman is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at UBC and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability. Prior to UBC she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and also holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the measurement of air pollutants in complex environments to better understand the health and climate impacts of new technologies and policies, with a focus on the transportation and energy sectors. Dr. Zimmerman is also a lead investigator of the Rapid Air Improvement Network (RAIN).

Nov 14, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM [PST]
ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus

Topic: Heatwaves and River Flows: The changing role of extreme heat under climate change

Speaker: Sam Anderson

About the Speaker

Dr. Sam Anderson - School of Environmental Science, SFU

Dr. Sam Anderson has a BSc in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta, specializing in nanoelectronic engineering, and has finished his PhD in Geophysics at UBC in 2022.  In his PhD, he used data analysis and deep machine learning to gain insights into the role of glaciers as modifiers of streamflow in Western Canada, including identifying the most vulnerable communities to the loss of glaciers.  Outside of research, he writes and publishes essays that explore the personal dimensions of climate change.

Nov 28, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM [PST]
ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus

Topic: Width and Slope in Self-Formed Channel Flows

Speaker: Eric Deal

About the seminar

Self-formed channelized flows such as rivers, glaciers, and lava channels are found across the surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies in the solar system. These channels shape landscapes, and record information about the past, contained both in the network morphology itself and the sedimentary records they build.

Despite occurring in incredibly diverse environments, there are striking similarities in the geometry of self-formed channels, most importantly in their widths and slopes. Dr. Deal will present a theory of self-formed channel geometry which identifies how different kinds of self-formed channels are different, in what ways they are all similar, and allows for first-order estimates of channel geometry with very little information.

About the Speaker

Dr. Eric Deal - Lecturer - ETH Zurich

Originally from Vancouver, Eric completed his bachelor’s degree in geophysics at UBC. Since then, he has studied surface processes while living abroad for the last 10 years, mostly in the European Alps.

Dec 5, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM [PST]
ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus

Topic: Tracking Elusive Forest Ninjas: Using multi-method approaches to predict fisher responses to landscape change

Speaker:  Joanna Burgar

About the seminar

What do kittens, ninjas, sly tricksters, and warriors have in common? Why, they are all mesocarnivores, of course! Mesocarnivores are majestic, enigmatic animals that have inspired storytellers for generations. With the help of our partners we are working to ensure that we can also tell their ecological stories.

This talk will delve into how we are integrating data from past and current telemetry studies with observational data to predict how local fisher (Pekania pennanti) populations may respond to changes caused by management decisions (e.g., trapping closures, forest harvesting, and wildfire).

About the Speaker

Dr. Joanna Burgar - Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, BC

Joanna’s interest is wildlife interactions across human influenced landscapes, particularly the use of applied ecology and adaptive management to conserve biodiversity. Joanna has extensive experience working with terrestrial mammals, ranging from the furry fliers (bats), spirits of the dead (lemurs), and Canadian icons (caribou), and has dipped her toes in the marine world doing a stint as a leatherback turtle research supervisor in Grenada, West Indies.

She did her BSc at UVic, MSc at Oxford, PhD at Murdoch Uni (Australia), and a post-doc at UVic and UBC, with focuses on resource management, conservation biology, and restoration (wildlife) ecology. Joanna appreciates the interconnectedness of species interactions and likes to use novel approaches and funky stats to determine how shifts in species abundance and community composition vary across landscapes.