CORAL Researchers

Rosaline Canessa
Director

Dr. Canessa's research interests include integrated coastal management, multiple use planning, marine protected areas, collaborative and participatory GIS, marine geovisualisation, community mapping and, Marxan and Marxan for Zoning. Current research projects include: collaborative GIS using Marxan for MPA zoning; seascape visualisation of Bowie Seamount; place attachment and coastal community mapping of Saanich Inlet, British Columbia; and protected areas and poverty reduction in Canada, Tanzania and Ghana.

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Lauren McWhinnie
Postdoc Researcher

Lauren received her PhD from Heriot-Watt University, where her research focused on developing tools using GIS to aid Marine Spatial Planning and aquaculture site selection. Since joing the CORAL research group she has been working on the MEOPAR funded NEMES project that is mapping marine acoustic noise from shipping using acoustic and AIS data, the impacts this has on marine mammals and potential mitigation and management scenarios for minimising noise pollution.

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Michele Patterson
PhD Candidate

Michele works full-time in Vancouver Island University’s Institute for Coastal Research (ICR) as both Program Manager and as the lead of ICR's Aquatic Foods Initiative (AFI). She is also Adjunct Faculty in VIU’s Geography Department. Prior to coming to VIU in 2010, Michele spent 10 years with WWF-Canada, first as Conservation Director and then as Acting VP, Pacific Region, developing broadly supported, science-based conservation solutions to support sustainable coastal communities in BC.

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Molly Fraser
MSc Candidate

Molly was born and raised on the west coast of Vancouver Island in a remote community. Growing up in this community, Molly was fortunate enough to be surrounded by the incredible wildlife that Vancouver Island boasts. She acquired an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Victoria in 2018, with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Her love for wildlife, especially cetaceans, has continued to grow over the years and has led her to pursue a masters degree within the CORAL. Mollys masters thesis focuses on small vessel interactions with cetaceans within the Salish Sea, aiming to help reduce impacts on cetaceans from small vessels.

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Ben Morrow
MSc Student

Ben has a background in Geography, acquiring an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria in 2016, with a focus on environment and sustainability and coastal conservation. His interests lie in the spatial and temporal trends of marine activities, specifically relating to small vessel activities in the Salish Sea. Ben's masters thesis exploring these activities using photogrammetric and AIS data at specific locations that are considered key feeding areas for Southern resident killer whales.

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Norma Serra
Researcher

Norma's research interests include spatial analysis and visualization for marine pollution monitoring and risk assessment, specifically oil pollution from anthropologic marine activities. She currently works as program manager and Marxan trainer for the Pacific Analysis and Research Association. Norma has a strong background in GIS and marine biology, and her previous work includes a GIS Specialist for Environment Canada and Project Manager for the Oil in Canadian Waters project.

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Charles Burnett
Affiliated Researcher

Charles has a background in remote sensing and conservation GIS. His current research interests include disconnections between `western`and indigenous geographies as expressed in geographical knowledge transfer, especially the different aspirations each group has for the next generation of GIS tools. Charles also explores collaborative mapping, community engagement using maps, landscape scale forest ecology, ecoforestry, public participation GIS.

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Ken Josephson
Affiliated Researcher

Ken Josephson works in communications and community mapping in the geography department, and much of what he does is create the visual representations used for public-engagement and community-consultation processes. Through the graphics he provides, people are able to make connections they might not otherwise see or think of or remember, and thus they’re prompted to share key information and intriguing stories that become part of the community record. Main fields of research interests are in encouraging participatory action using maps and art.

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Patrick O'Hara
Affiliated Researcher

Patrick O’Hara is with Environment Canada based at the Institute of Ocean Sciences (DFO). Current interests include spatially explicit modeling of risk of impact associated with human activities and pollution; and predictive modeling of seabird distributions, which primarily will be used to identify characteristics of key foraging habitats that are used by seabirds to fuel migration, feed chicks, or simply survive winter. Patrick co-supervises undergraduate and graduate students in Biology (Dr. Dower) and Geography (Dr. Canessa).

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Robert Newell
Affiliated Researcher

Robert completed his doctoral research, examining the potential immersive virtual environments have for facilitating decision-making around marine and coastal resources. Robert has also worked as a research associate for the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development program, and one of his responsibilities was exploring creative and interactive ways of disseminating research ideas and getting the greater public involved with the research program. 

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Andrea Nesdoly
MSc Student

Andrea......

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Nicole LeBaron
Affiliated Researcher

Nicole......

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