SFU Principle Investigators

Jon Moore

Professor, Biological Sciences/School of Resource and Environmental Management

Jonathan Moore is an aquatic ecologist who aims to do research that helps inform the conservation and management of salmon-bearing watersheds. Jon does much of his work in the freshwaters that Pacific salmon call home.

He and his research group (the Salmon Watersheds Lab) do both focused field research on emerging management challenges in aquatic ecosystems, from estuaries to headwaters, as well as broader-scale syntheses and theory of ecological dynamics using a combination of field experiments, field observations, collaborative engagements, and modeling. General interests include cumulative effects, proactive conservation, climate change transformations, river and watershed dynamics, salmon management, and global change.

Chelsea Little

Assistant Professor, Environmental Science/School of Resource and Environmental Management

Chelsea Little is a community and landscape ecologist with research interests in the linked terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems that make up watersheds. The Little Ecology Group asks questions like, what drives ecosystems’ functioning? And how does landscape structure affect what plants and animals are found where, and what they’re doing there? 

Dr. Little and the Little Ecology Group use a combination of laboratory experiments, field experiments, observational data, and data synthesis/meta-analysis in their research. Using these approaches, they consider how communities of organisms assemble, the interactions between organisms of similar and different trophic groups, and how their traits contribute to ecosystem function. Dr. Little is also fascinated by the way that ecosystems are intrinsically connected: by organismal movement and dispersal, and by the flows of materials (for example, resource subsidies) across ecosystem boundaries. Research partnerships often consider how communities and ecosystem processes respond to anthropogenic pressure or can be used as indicators of human impacts.

John Reynolds

Professor, Biological Sciences

Dr. Reynolds’ research program focuses on connections between species and their ecosystems, with an emphasis on conservation. Dr. Reynolds and his research group, the Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation Lab, are currently focusing on conservation and ecology of Pacific salmon with an emphasis on their ecosystems, including connections between marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats.

Dr. Reynolds and his team use field studies and experiments to understand how various human impacts on salmon and their habitats translate into population declines and recovery. Much of his research is in Heiltsuk territory on the Central Coast, including ongoing studies of 50 watersheds since 2007. The aim of his research is to inform more holistic management of salmon and aquatic habitats.

Brett van Poorten

Assistant Professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management

Dr. van Poorten is a fisheries scientist who studies fisheries management decisions by merging concepts from recreational and commercial fisheries with human dimensions and management science. His research includes decision analysis and structured decision making to address management issues, development of novel techniques for monitoring fishing effort, and developing and applying social-ecological systems models to better understand interrelationships between management, fish, and fishers.

Dr. van Poorten and the Fisheries Management Lab work directly with management agencies to address pressing issues, including assessing data needed to assess prawn fisheries, co-management of arctic fisheries, setting appropriate regulations to balance social and ecological needs. These projects include time with communities and management agencies, field work, and lots of computer modelling to understand all aspects of a system and how it works. The ultimate goal of this work is to better integrate existing or required information directly into the decision-making process to make well-informed decisions.

Scott Harrison

Senior Lecturer, School of Resource and Environmental Management

Scott Harrison is a terrestrial ecologist interested in applying the concepts of ecological resilience and Adaptive Management to improve the sustainable use of natural resources. His research has focused on wildlife and the ecosystems that support wildlife populations. Scott has studied a variety of species but is particularly interested in large carnivores and the dynamics of predator-prey systems. His landscape-level research with comparative treatments provided field data to support quantitative population models in an Adaptive Management framework so that decision-makers could test the effects of different resource-use scenarios.

Along with his ecological research, Scott draws on his experiences in business and government to examine the suite of ecological, economic, and social opportunities and constraints that drive decisions about resource use.

Sam Wilson

Research Scientist, School of Resource and Environmental Management

Dr. Wilson is a quantitative ecologist/data scientist who uses large datasets, cutting-edge analytical tools, and collaborative approaches to understand how anthropogenic activities impact individual survival and population productivity of Pacific salmon. By better understanding the links between environments, traits, and survival, her research aims to inform conservation priorities and sustainable fisheries development.