Principal Investigators


                                                                        Josef Ackerman                                                                           Ackerman Lab Website

Josef Ackerman is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph.  He is a former Canada Research Chair in Physical Ecology and Aquatic Science at UNBC, where he began his academic career.  Currently, he is an Associate Editor of Limnology & Oceanography, Aquatic Sciences, and Wiley’s forthcoming Encyclopedia of Water: Science, Technology, and Society.   He has > 80 peer-reviewed publications in addition to technical reports and conference reports.  Over the past 30+ years, his research has focused on aquatic ecosystems and organisms especially bivalves and aquatic plants.  He has conducted research and published on the early life history of freshwater mussels, their habitats and feeding ecology, produced several status reports on freshwater molluscs for COSEWIC, and is a member of the Ontario Freshwater Mussel Recovery Team.  Ackerman Lab Website


Members of the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and Environmental Management (left to right): Trina Rytwinski, Kent Prior, Steven Cooke, Lisa Donaldson, Jessica Taylor (not pictured: Joseph Bennett, Andrew DrakeAndré Martel)
Cooke Lab Website
Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and Environmental Management Website
Collaboration for Environmental Evidence Website

Steven Cooke is the Director of the Institutes of Environmental Science and Integrated Science, as well as a professor of Environmental Science and Biology at Carleton University. He is a Canada Research Chair in Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. He is the Director of the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and Environmental Management and the North American contact for the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. Steven has over 700 peer-reviewed publications, has lead and coordinated a large number of grants and projects, and served as a science advisor to numerous government bodies and commissions. He is an integrative biologist, conducting research at the interface between behaviour and physiology of fishes.


Mandrak photo bio
Nicholas E Mandrak
Mandrak Lab Website

Nick Mandrak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Since joining the faculty in 2013, Nick developed and implemented a professional Master’s program in Conservation and Biodiversity, which has an annual enrollment of 30 students, and maintains an active research program. The Mandrak lab examines the biogeography, biodiversity, and conservation of freshwater fishes. Prior to joining University of Toronto, Nick was a Research Scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada where he developed and implemented the endangered species program at the Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, and, as Executive Director, developed and implemented a national Centre of Expertise for Aquatic Risk Assessment of aquatic invasive species. Nick is the 2018 recipient of the Christie-Loftus Award for significant scientific contributions toward understanding Great Lakes ecosystems.


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Trevor Pitcher
Pitcher Lab Website

Trevor Pitcher is  an Associate Professor and Director of the Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre (a partnership with the Town of LaSalle) for the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) at the University of Windsor. Specializing in aquatic ecology, Dr. Pitcher’s research focuses on the conservation Great Lakes fishes (e.g. Lake Sturgeon, Atlantic Salmon, Redside Dace) fish aquatic contaminant stress, and restoration ecology. As the Founding Director of the University of Windsor’s Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre (FREC) in LaSalle, Ontario, Dr. Pitcher is currently engaged in scientific research aimed at restoring species of fish in the Great Lakes to self-sustaining population levels. He is a frequently invited conference speaker and has published more than 80 scientific papers on these topics. In addition to research, the FREC hosts many public and school groups to educate them about water quality, invasive species and species at risk in the Great Lakes.

Mark Poesch
Poesch Lab Website

Mark Poesch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. Mark is a quantitative ecologist broadly interested in understanding declines in freshwater fishes, fisheries management, and monitoring and assessment of aquatic ecosystems. His research focuses on: 1) Understanding the mechanisms related to the loss of aquatic biodiversity, 2) Understanding how invasive species can disrupt native communities, 3) developing improved quantitative tools for monitoring and assessing aquatic systems, and 4) restoration and reclamation of aquatic systems.

Anthony Ricciardi
Ricciardi Lab Website

Anthony Ricciardi is Professor of Biology in the Redpath Museum and the School of Environment at McGill University, and a McGill Trottier Fellow in Science and Public Policy. For 25 years, his research has examined the causes and consequences of biological invasions using field experiments, lab experiments, empirical modeling and meta-analysis. He is an editorial board member for the journal Biological Invasions and the journal Diversity and Distributions. From 2006 to 2016, he served on the scientific committee of the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network – a government-funded research group that assessed the risks and mechanisms of invasion in Canada’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters. He is a recipient of the Frank Rigler Award, the highest honour given by the Canadian Society of Limnologists in recognition of major achievements in aquatic science. In recent years, he and his students have sought to identify global patterns and mechanisms that explain variation in the colonization success and impacts of introduced freshwater fishes and invertebrates.

Marco A Rodríguez
Rodríguez Lab Website
GRIL Website

Marco Rodríguez is a Professor at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Research in the Rodríguez lab aims primarily at improving our understanding of spatial and temporal variation in the structure of aquatic populations and communities. Marco relies on quantitative tools, such as Bayesian statistics and dynamic models, to analyse how structure and dynamics relate to environmental features or biotic interactions. His work in Canada and in the neotropics has encompassed a variety of lacustrine and riverine organisms, including microscopic algae, planktonic and benthic invertebrates, and fish. Even though fundamental questions motivate most of this research, results of our studies have relevance for management of species of high economic, subsistence, or conservation value, such as Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout.

Jordan Rosenfeld
Jordan Rosenfeld
Rosenfeld Lab Website
Jordan Rosenfeld Website

Jordan Rosenfeld is a Stream Ecology Scientist with the Conservation Science Section of the B.C. Ministry of Environment, located on the University of British Columbia campus.  He has a broad background of research in running waters, but his central interests are the effects of habitat on ecological processes, and how this information can be used to inform conservation strategies through understanding landscape and microhabitat constraints on fish distribution and abundance.  His specific research is focused on modelling fish habitat, habitat requirements of species at risk, optimal stream flows, bioenergetic modelling of drift-feeding fish growth, and understanding how habitat structure changes along the river continuum.

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Dave Zenatta
Zenatta Lab Website

Dave Zanatta is a Professor of Biology in the Institute for Great Lakes Research at Central Michigan University.  Dave’s research focuses on the evolution and ecology of freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes region. Human impacts have resulted in declines in populations of freshwater mussels, meaning this research has major implications for conservation. Dave earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, a M.Sc. from the University of Guelph, and a B.Sc. from Laurentian University.