Pacific salmon have considerable cultural, ecological, and economic impact on the region, and the steady decline of many stocks over the last few decades has been cause for concern among a diverse group of stakeholders. Due to life histories requiring precise navigations through both freshwater and marine environments over extremely large geographical scales, factors impacting their production are complex and interrelated. Pacfic salmon are born in freshwater, then migrate to the ocean to feed for multiple years before initiating a return migration through freshwater to spawn and die at their birthplace. My PhD research focuses on the freshwater migration that adult salmon undertake during the last several weeks of their lives to reach spawning grounds. Specifically, I am studying the effects of stress from rising temperatures, pathogens, and encountering fishing gear. I'm interested in the way these stressors interact and could potentially be mitigated, because adverse cumulative effects often result in en route mortality or failed spawning.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I spent the last several years living at the beach in Texas and abroad and assumed that the atmosphere would be much different in the urban setting here, but I've been pleasantly surprised by Vancouver's strong beach culture (and quality of public recreation areas in general).
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I came to be a part of Dr. Hinch's research program, which provides an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the field due to topical research in an extensive collaborative network. His lab has an amazingly supportive atmosphere and produces quality work. Also, Vancouver is a top-notch place to live!
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like to explore and recreate in the outdoors. Any team sport with a ball or activities like backpacking, fishing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, skiing.