Graduate Student Opportunity at University of Manitoba

A position is available for a graduate student to examine fisheries issuesrelating to fleet dynamics beginning as early as September 1st 2016 (applications due March 1st). This work will be based in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba, but may involve travel to coastal areas for research collaboration. Funding for this position is available through my NSERC Discovery Grant and the University of Manitoba’s GETS program. Funding for students holding external awards will be supplemented, as allowed by the conditions of their award and available funds.

Thesis work will be in support of my research program, focusing on fisheries in Canada (freshwater and marine) and abroad (marine) through ongoing collaborations with provincial, national, and international agencies. Briefly, this program involves the detailed quantitative examination of fish and fishing activities with the goal of improving population estimation and the application of management practices. This M.Sc. project will include aspects of fish population dynamics, harvest strategies and tactics, and the development of novel quantitative analyses (statistics and models) to address the impacts of fisher behaviours within the fishery system.

Previous students have continued in graduate studies or found employment as biologists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Atlantic and Central Canada), First Nations (resource management boards in the Northwest Territories) or NGOs (such as the International Institute of Sustainable Development – Experimental Lakes Area).
Current student projects in my laboratory include: non-linear relationships between catch and nominal effort, the impacts of species targeting on stock assessments, and the application of agent based modelling to the effort dynamics in a fixed gear fishery.

Representative publications fromthis research program include:

Charles, C., Gillis D.M., Wade E. Using hidden Markov models to infer vessel activities in the snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) fixed gear fishery and their application to catch standardization. Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 71:1817 – 1829 (2014).

van der Lee, A., Gillis, D.M., Comeau, P. Comparative analysis of the spatial distribution of fishing effort contrasting ecological isodars and discrete choice models. Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 71:141 – 150 (2014).

van der Lee, A., Gillis, D.M., Comeau, P. and Hurley, P. Fishing the Line:Catch and effort distribution around the seasonal haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) spawning closure on the Scotian Shelf. Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 70:973-981 (2013).

Gillis, D. and van der Lee, A. Advancing the application of the ideal free distribution to spatial models of fishing effort: the isodar approach. Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 69:1610-1620 (2012).

Poos, J.J.,Bogaards, J.A., Quirijns F.J., Gillis, D. M., and Rijnsdorp, A.D. Individual quotas, fishing effort allocation, and over-quota discarding in mixed fisheries. ICES Journal of Marine Science 67:323-333 (2010).

Gillis, D.M., Rijnsdorp, A.D., Poos, J.J. Behavioral inferences from the statistical distribution of commercial catch: patterns of targeting in the landings of the Dutch beam trawler fleet. Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 65:27-37 (2008).

Gillis, D.M, Wade, E., and Swain, D.P. Spatial evidence for information exchange and competition in the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) fishery. Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 63:254-267 (2006).

Gillis, D.M. Ideal free distributions in fleet dynamics: a behavioral perspective on vessel movement in fisheries analysis. Can. J. Zool. 81:177-187 (2003).

Gillis, D.M., and Showell, M.A. Risk and information use in two competing fleets: Russian and Cuban exploitation of silver hake (Merluccius bilinearis). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 59: 1275 – 1286 (2002).

Gillis, D.M., and K.T. Frank. Influence of environment and fleet dynamics on catch rates of eastern Scotian Shelf cod through the early 1980s. ICES Journal of Marine Science 58: 61-69 (2001).

If you are interested in pursuing research of this nature, please contact me directly at dgillis[at]umanitoba with a brief statement of your academic history and research experience.

Sincerely, D.M. Gillis