Andrea Buchholz

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology

Citizenship: Köln, Germany

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Aquatic Ecology - Lund University, Sweden

Past to Future - Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries in the North Atlantic - Responses and Management Implications Under Climate Change -

Major biological changes in marine ecosystems have been associated with a changing climate both in the past and into the future. These changes have significant consequences for marine ecosystem structures and functioning, associated ecosystem services, and marine conservation measures. How these changes may play out on regional or ocean-basin scale is still largely unknown. My Ph.D. research addresses expected future changes in ecosystem dynamics and marine fisheries in the North Atlantic Ocean using meta-analytical techniques, spatio-temporal trend analysis, and mapping approaches. In this context implications for marine management and conservation on regional and trans-Atlantic scales will be identified in order to inform the development of effective management and adaptation policies.

Kristina Börder

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology

Citizenship: Bremen, Germany

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Marine Biology - University of Bremen, Germany

Effects of Large Marine Protected Areas on Global Fisheries

For my PhD project I focus on how large Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) influence ecosystem services and fisheries activities. I am looking at effects of the establishment of MPAs on fishing fleet behaviour such as a possible relocation of fishing efforts to other areas or to the borders of MPAs to benefit from spillover effects. It is important to understand the fishermen’s reactions to protected areas in order to develop a functional network of High Seas MPAs protecting marine resources from overexploitation.


Gennavieve Ruckdeschel

M.Sc. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: New York, United States

Accreditation: B.Sc. Honours in Marine Biology - Dalhousie University, Canada

Acoustic characterization of zooplankton transport and retention processes over the Scotian Shelf

My project will use Slocum ocean gliders with an integrated 300 kHz echosounder to study the distributions, mechanisms for distribution, and trophic connectivity of zooplankton over various locations on the Scotian Shelf.

Heba El-Swais

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology

Citizenship: Amman, Jordan

Accreditation: M.Sc in Biology - University of Concordia, Canada

Effects of micronutrients on trophic interaction between phytoplankton and bacteria in the North West Atlantic

My project will implement quantitative mass spectrometry to clarify key microbial processes that occur in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Using both lab-based culturing methods and field-based protein analysis, I will quantitatively investigate the role of micronutrients in mutualistic, competitive and commensal relationships between bacteria and phytoplankton. I will also investigate the role of trace metal micronutrients in these trophic interactions.

Mirjam Held

Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary PhD Program/Marine Affairs Program

Citizenship: Basel, Switzerland

Accreditation: MMM Marine Management - Dalhousie University, Canada

Understanding how the Western and Inuit knowledge systems can improve the sustainability of fisheries in Nunavut, Canada

My PhD research is part of the Fish-WIKS (Fisheries – Western and Indigenous Knowledge Systems) project which explores Western and distinct indigenous knowledge systems to inform fisheries governance and management in Canada. I will investigate how the different processes by which Inuit and Western science acquire, transmit, value and use knowledge can be harnessed to enhance the current regime of decision-making and consequently improve fisheries management in Nunavut.

Jonathan Lemay

M.Sc. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: New Brunswick, Canada

Accreditation: B.Sc. in Marine Biology and Oceanography - Dalhousie University, Canada

Inter-annual variability of carbon on the Scotian Shelf

My research is currently focused on the inter-annual variability of carbon on the Scotian Shelf.  My methods for data collection are twofold.  The first being a buoy ~30km off Halifax harbour collecting hourly measurements of pCO2.  The second is water collection along 4 major transects across the Scotian Shelf.  These water samples are analysed to get dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA), and DI13C values.  Using this data I hope to make inferences on what regulates inorganic carbon cycling on the Scotian Shelf over seasonal to annual time-scales.


John Christopher L’Esperance

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Nova Scotia, Canada

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Chemical Oceanography - Dalhousie University, Canada

Monitoring the dispersion of the intentionally released tracer, SF5CF3, with an instrumented unmanned surface vehicle

I am interested in Ocean Biogeochemistry, Ocean acidification and the development of analytical instrumentation.  My Ph.D. research involves the development of an unattended, gas chromatograph (GC) system for the detection of the conservative tracer, SF5CF3.  The system will be integrated with the snorkelling semi-submersible, Dorado vehicle (International Submarine Engineering, Port Coquitlam, B.C.) in support of intentionally released tracer studies.


Lorenza Raimondi

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Napoli, Italy

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Marine Science - Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy

Focusing on the connection between the surface carbon uptake and storage in the deep water along the Labrador Sea, and how deep convection works for the uptake of the atmospheric CO2

My PhD project is part of the VITALS program (Ventilation, Interaction and Transport Across the Labrador Sea), whose principal aim is to understand the dynamics of gas exchange between deep ocean and atmosphere through the Labrador Sea. My research activity focus on the connection between the surface carbon uptake and storage in the deep water along this area, and how deep convection works for the uptake of the atmospheric CO2.

Manuel Dureuil

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology

Citizenship: Radevormwald, Germany

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Biological Oceanography - Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany

Spatial ecology of North Atlantic shark populations

My PhD project aims at understanding the spatial ecology of North Atlantic shark populations in order to provide a scientific basis for top predator restoration programs and an ecosystem based approach in shark conservation. As part of the project, spatial distribution, migration patterns and critical habitat areas will be identified and the overlap with human activities such as fishing as well as the effect of oceanographic or prey species changes will be investigated. The results will help to develop comprehensive protection measures of threatened North Atlantic shark populations.

Masoud Aali

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Earth Sciences

Citizenship: Iran

Accreditation: M.Sc in Exploration Geophysics - Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas

Hybrid Seismic Imaging on the Inner-Middle Shelf of the New Jersey (NJ) Continental Margin

The primary goal of my PhD studies is to use state-of- the-art geophysical and petrophysical methods in order to study sea-level change and constrain the complex forcing functions tying evolution and preservation of the margin stratigraphic record to base-level changes.

Nadine Lehmann

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Bern, Switzerland

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Marine Biology - University of Rostock, Germany

The application of nitrogen isotopes to study physical processes and nitrogen transformation in the Arctic Ocean

As part of the Canadian Arctic GEOTRACES program, a research project on marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes, the focus of my work will be the cycling of nitrogen and the geochemical modification of waters as they flow from the Pacific to the Labrador Sea. I am interested in using the N and O isotopic composition of nitrate as a geochemical tracer to describe both nutrient cycling and water mass distributions in the Ocean.

Patrick Duplessis

M.Sc. Candidate, Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science

Citizenship: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Accreditation: B.Sc. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences - Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), Montréal, Quebec

Understanding the formation, duration and density of marine fog

My project aims to investigate the microphysical properties of marine fog droplets and to understand why some aerosols activate into condensation nuclei and some others don’t. Data will be collected during a field campaign on the coast of Nova Scotia that will be deployed in late spring consisting of in-situ measurements and samplings.


Jenni-Marie Ratten

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology

Citizenship: Preetz, Germany

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Immunology - Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany

The isolation and characterization of novel phototrophic and heterotrophic diazotrophs in the Atlantic Ocean

I study the distribution and characterization of marine nitrogen fixers (also called diazotrophs). This is a distinct group of prokaryotic and archaeal microorganisms that can turn dinitrogen gas into biological available ammonium. Until about a decade ago it was believed that the majority of dinitrogen fixation in the ocean was performed by Trichodesmium. However, recent phylogenetic studies show that the diazotrophic diversity is much greater.

Ricardo Arruda Monteiro da Silva

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Assis, São Paulo, Brazil

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Physical, Chemical and Geological Oceanography (FURG) - University of Rio Grande, Brazil

Air-Sea CO2 Fluxes Spatio-Temporal Variability in the North Atlantic Ocean

My Phd project will use new field data from Volunteer Observing Ships (VOS), sea gliders, wave gliders and moorings to estimate air-sea fluxes of CO2 in the NW Atlantic Ocean.  These new data, combined with existing data, will be used to establish accurate, year-round estimates of air-sea CO2 fluxes.  My project will also explore value of these new data constraints for biogeochemical models designed to track inter-annual variability of the air-sea CO2 flux in the North Atlantic, and investigate the main processes and drivers affecting  pCO2 spatio-temporal variability.

Irena Schulten

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Haselunne, Germany

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Marine Geosciences - Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany

Submarine landslides on the St. Pierre Slope/Grand Banks

I am highly fascinated by the multidisciplinary field of marine geosciences and its unexplored depths. Geophysical techniques offer the unique possibility to collect, analyse and interpret data from areas, which are too extensive for high resolution sampling or difficult to access. I am especially interested in their application to potential high risk areas, such as submarine slides on continental shelves.Therefore my PhD-thesis will be focussed on the analysis of seismic and hydro-acoustic data in order to analyse and interpret seafloor structures and possible submarine hazards.

Yuan Wang

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Yun-Gui Plateau, China

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Oceanography - School of Marine Sciences, USA

The modelling study of the circulation variability in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean with NEMO

The Eastern Canadian shelf has demonstrated as the most variable area of the North Atlantic Ocean, with the largest variations in water temperature reaching 16 Celsius degrees over Scotian Shelf. I am looking into the circulation variability of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean with NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean).

Rui Zhang

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Oceanography

Citizenship: Shandong Province, China

Accreditation: M.Sc. in Integrated Management of Marine Resources and Rights - Ocean University of China, China

Using a physical-biogeochemical model to study variability of physical and ecosystem conditions in the Northwest Atlantic

For my PhD I will apply physical-biogeochemical models (based on ROMS and coupled biology model) to study variability of physical and ecosystem conditions in Northwest Atlantic. For example, to quantitatively evaluate how the transport of shelf break current impact the hydrographic properties and how those factors further interact with different trophic levels in marine ecosystems.