Current Lab Members


Kaitlin Baril

Kaitlin’s excitement for nature and wildlife conservation led her to complete her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Environmental Biology. Kaitlin recently moved west from Montreal to Vancouver to pursue her MSc in Ecological Restoration. In the summer of 2021, she will be travelling to Saturna Island for her applied research project. She will be studying cetacean activity and vessel traffic within Boundary Pass through her partnership with SIMRES.


Madie Bouvier

A recent graduate from the University of Victoria, Madie's passion for marine life conservation led her to the MSc of Ecological Restoration. She brings with her multiple years of experience educating the public on conservation and sustainability. In July 2021, Madie will be travelling up to West Cracroft Island to observe Northern Resident Killer Whale behaviour in Robson Bight Ecological Reserve in partnership with Cetus Research and Conservation Society and DFO Scientists Dr Sheila Thornton and Dr Harald Yurk. Madie will study true and false positive whale observations from humans (visual sightings) and underwater hydrophones (acoustic detections). She will use these data to compare communication of killer whales when anthropogenic noise pollution is present and absent.


Laurence Cojocaru

Laurence is an SFU undergrad student majoring in statistics. Laurence is working as a research assistant helping with building tools for data visualization and machine learning for cormorant rookeries around the Salish Sea.


Joseph Cormier

Joseph studied Environmental Biology with a specialization in Wildlife Biology at McGill University. He joined the Ecological Restoration Master's program in 2021. For his thesis, he'll be installing seal-pupping platforms in Port Moody to replace the log booms that were recently removed. The goal of this project is to bring back the seals in the Port Moody marine environment.


Azi Gheibi

Azadeh (Azi) Gheibi is an MSc student in the Ecological Restoration program. Her background is in Marine Biology and she has experience working in coral reef systems. Her research interests have led her to working on a marine mammal conservation science project in Boundary Pass in collaboration with the Port of Vancouver's ECHO Program and the Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society.


Olivia Murphy

Olivia has always had an interest in exploring the ocean and marine life around Vancouver Island. She completed her BSc undergraduate degree in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem Biology at Vancouver Island University. Now, Olivia is excited to bridge her interest in the marine environment with her area of research in the MSc Ecological Restoration program. She plans to spend the summer of 2022 on Saturna Island researching whales in Boundary Pass with her research partner, SIMRES. Specifically, she will be researching whale behaviour around marine vessels using drone footage and land-based observations.


Dr. Paul Nguyen Hong Duc

I am a postdoctoral fellow jointly hosted at Carleton University and Simon Fraser University. I am working on the development of deep learning models to help identify Southern Resident Killer Whale vocalizations in the Salish Sea. I have a background in image and signal processing and I did my doctoral research project at Sorbonne Université in France. The aim was to deal with the lack of annotated data (weak supervision) for underwater acoustic scene or event detection and classification in a Big Data context. My research interests in the marine environment include characterizing a soundscape, and developing detection and classification models for underwater sounds. I am also interested in understanding annotation behaviors, in using new techniques to synthetically increase training data (data augmentation) for deep learning models and in using multimodal data to help build better deep learning models


Dr. Marine Randon

Shipping traffic continues to grow in the Salish Sea, with future projections worldwide indicating this trend will continue. With more ships comes an increase in the risk of cetaceans being struck by vessels and/or colliding with their propellers. Key amongst these cetaceans is the endangered population of killer whales, the southern resident killer whales. Using existing acoustic hydrophone nodes operating in the Salish Sea, as well as visual observer data from experts in the field, Marine is working with Dr Mike Dowd to develop the methodological framework for a stochastic movement forecast model as an advance warning system for commercial ship pilots.

Marines Website


Varsha Rani

After completing a BSc in Applied Animal Biology at the University of British Columbia, Varsha has spent 3+ years working with numerous aquatic and terrestrial species in a research setting. With an interest in marine life, she is drawn towards the prospect of studying and understanding killer whales and their critical habitats. For her SFU research project, in the summer of 2021 Varsha will be collecting locational data on whales and commercial vessels in the Robson Bight Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve. She will also be collecting data on the behaviour of the killer whales in regards to the vessels in partnership with the Cetus Research and Conservation Society and Dr. Sheila Thornton (DFO).


Rachel Stapleton

Rachel received her Bsc in Biology from Dalhousie University with a minor in Oceanography. Her passion for nature conservation led to her enrolment into the Masters of Ecological Restoration program at Simon Fraser University and BCIT. For her thesis, Rachel will be GPS tagging Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants that have been nesting within the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge in Vancouver. She will also be collecting photographic imagery from other nesting sites to gather information on the status of cormorants within the Salish Sea. The Double-crested Cormorant is a vulnerable species within British Columbia, and collecting data on their life habits will help in understanding why their populations have been declining.


Rose Wilkin

Rose is using GoPro, Gigapan, and drone photography of Double-crested cormorant nesting colonies to compare phenology and nest success between human-made structures and natural cliffs. Hir work focuses on the nesting colonies on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, Gabriola Island, and Mitlenatch Island. The timing of some life cycle events differs between the colonies, and Rose aims to document and interpret these differences. Rose has partnered with Greg McClelland in the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Jenna Cragg in the Ecosystems Branch of the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD).


Teng-Wei Lin

Teng-Wei is an MSc student in the Statistical program at SFU. With an interest in natural phenomena, he finished his BSc and MSc degree in Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering at National Taiwan University. Teng-Wei's previous works focused on hydrological frequency analyses which led him to be interested in the statistical mechanisms behind environmental events. Now, he is pursuing an MSc degree in Statistics at SFU to learn statistical perspectives and to understand this world more.


Dr. Jennifer Wladichuk

Jen is a biologist and acoustician working collaboratively with the HALLO project to develop an open-source algorithm to automatically detect and classify killer whale calls for use in vessel avoidance in the Salish Sea. Jen is a joint post-doctoral fellow with the University of Victoria where she is leading a study funded by DFO on investigating noise masking of SRKW echolocation. She also works for JASCO Applied Sciences where she conducts acoustic monitoring and modelling to investigate impacts to marine life.


Alumni: Graduates of 2021


Kathleen Meszaros

Kathleen Meszaros 2021

Macus Ong

Macus Ong MSc 2021

Lucy Quayle

Lucy Quayle MSc 2021


Alumni: Graduates of 2020


Okezi Akporuno

Okezi Akporuno MSc 2020

Maddie Edmonds

Maddie Edmonds MSc 2020

Alex Harris

Alex Harris MSc 2020