Coté wins Newman Award for ocean conservation and research

Coté and members of her lab.    Photo credit: Catherine Reynolds

Photo credit: Catherine Reynolds

April 24, 2018

Isabelle Côté’s passion for the ocean and the life within it has been recognized with a Murray A. Newman Award for Aquatic Research from the Coastal Ocean Research Institute of the Vancouver Aquarium.

The award, handed out on April 9, 2018, celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to help advance conservation and research efforts in British Columbia and beyond.

Côté is a professor of marine ecology and conservation in the Department of Biological Sciences and a core member of SFU’s Earth 2 Oceans research group. She is a leading scientist on marine invasions, marine protected areas, and fish behaviour. Her body of research has made substantial impacts on conservation policy in Canada.

Her pioneering work on coral reef bleaching has contributed to international concern about climate change effects on reefs. She has also been instrumental in measuring the ecological impacts of Indo-Pacific lionfish on native Caribbean fauna.

These predatory fish have created massive ecological changes on coral reefs and Côté’s extensive fieldwork has focused on producing sound science to mitigate these impacts.

She is also a keen science communicator, teacher and mentor who has been honored numerous times for her work. She has published more than 170 peer-reviewed papers and numerous book chapters and opinion pieces and gives generously of her time for public outreach.  

Upon receiving the Newman award, Côté said, “It's uplifting to have my research contributions recognized in this way, especially since I'm just doing what I love to do: watching fish and figuring out why they behave the way they do."