Scientists, Post Doctoral Fellows and Staff

Erin Carruthers

Dr. Erin Carruthers was a postdoctoral fellow with CFER. Erin’s research focused on understanding the impacts on marine ecosystems and discovering ways to mitigate those impacts. During her doctoral research at Memorial University, she identified bycatch mitigation opportunities in swordfish and tuna fisheries using both quantitative models and qualitative data from fishermen interviews. Before coming to Newfoundland, Erin worked as a Research Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the St. Andrews Biological Station. Her research with CFER focused on how changing fishing and ecological pressures impact capelin in Newfoundland and Labrador. Erin now holds the position of Fisheries Scientist at Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW).

Jennifer Doucette

Dr. Jennifer Doucette was a postdoctoral fellow with CFER. Jennifer conducted her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Regina where she studied diet and food web ecology of fish-eating birds, and their impacts on sport and commercial fish species. Before that, Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science (Honours) at Dalhousie University and worked as a Fisheries Technician with the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society in Nova Scotia. Over the years, she has developed an affinity for applied fisheries ecology, food web modeling, and stable isotopes ecology. Jennifer’s research while at CFER involved developing ecosystem models of the southern Grand Banks. Jennifer is a Senior Aquatic Biologist/Project Manager at CanNorth (Canada North Environmental Services). 

Jin Gao Research Scientist

Jin Gao Research Scientist

Dr. Jin Gao is a research scientist at CFER, and a junior Ocean Choice International (OCI) Industrial Research Chair in Fish Stock Assessment and Sustainable Harvest Advice for Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. She is a broadly trained quantitative ecologist who is particularly interested in fishery science.

She develops and applies modern statistical methods to improve stock assessment. Her current work focuses on methods to improve abundance estimates by incorporating developments in spatio-temporal modeling and improve forecasting using equation-free nonlinear time series analysis.

Jin did her second postdoctoral research at a joint position of the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences in the University of Washington and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center of NOAA. She did her first postdoctoral research at the Institute of Oceanography in the National Taiwan University.

She obtained a PhD degree in Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology at Shandong University, China.

Christoph Konrad

Dr. Christoph Konrad was a postdoctoral fellow at CFER. Prior to his appointment at CFER, he worked on the EcoFishMan Project at the University of Aberdeen linking the ecological impact of fisheries and the economic revenue of fisheries in the North Sea.

Christoph was awarded a doctor of philosophy in theoretical ecology as well as a bachelor of science (honours) in zoology at the University of Aberdeen. In between, he received a masters of research at the University of St. Andrews. Christoph's doctoral thesis looked at the development and application of random-walk models. While working at CFER he analyzed cod-tag data from the NAFO divisions 3P4RS and 2J3KL to enhance the understanding of cod stock dynamics such as growth rates, migration patterns and the selectivity of effective gear. Christoph has accepted a position at AMEC.

Rajeev Kumar Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Rajeev Kumar joined CFER as a Post-Doctoral Fellow (PDF) in April 2017. His work is primarily focusing on state-space stock assessment models for Grand Banks American Plaice and Yellowtail Flounder. Before joining MI, Rajeev worked as a PDF at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (formerly, Fisheries Center), the University of British Columbia where he developed a spatial ecosystem model for the east Pacific Ocean off northern British Columbia using Ecopath, Ecosim and Ecospace modelling suite to understand the essential role of forage fish – especially Pacific herring – in social-ecological systems. Rajeev earned his PhD in 2015 in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from UBC, developing an ecosystem model for Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, with an aim to provide various options for the managers in planning and sustainably managing the recreational fisheries of the lake in active collaboration with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Before moving to UBC, he completed his masters on Protonibea diacanthus, a large sciaenid from Mumbai waters (India), focusing on the biology and stock-assessment of the species.

Stephanie Lelievre

Dr. Stéphanie Lelievre was a postdoctoral fellow with CFER. Stéphanie's research focused on snow crab productivity and management targets under changing ocean conditions. During her doctoral research at the IFREMER Institute (France), she identified spawning grounds in the Eastern English Channel and the southern part of the North Sea, using cartography and habitat modelling.

Before coming to Newfoundland, Stéphanie also worked as a researcher at IFREMER on the CHARM project. The project objective is to improve knowledge of the English Channel sea area in order to preserve the fragile environment and help establish sustainable management of resources.

Hannah Murphy

Dr. Hannah Murphy was a postdoctoral fellow with CFER. Hannah’s research focused on fish larval trophodynamics (food-web dynamics). During her doctoral research at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Hannah investigated how zooplankton availability (bottom-up processes) affected larval survival and recruitment of snapper, a temperate marine fish. Before moving to Newfoundland, Hannah lived in Vancouver, British Columbia where she completed a bachelor of science at the University of British Columbia, and in Melbourne, Australia where she completed a bachelor of science (Honours) and a doctor of philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Hannah’s research at CFER focused on how larval growth affects capelin survival and recruitment, as well as an acoustic project on halibut. Hannah has taken a research scientist position at DFO.

Anna Olafsdottir

Dr. Anna Olafsdottir is a Ph.D. graduate in Biology from Memorial University, St. John’s, Canada. She convocated with a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from University of Iceland, Reykjavik in 1999. Prior to entering graduate school in Canada she worked at the Marine Research Institute, in Reykjavik, as a research technician. Anna finished a M.Sc. in biology from Memorial University in 2005 where she investigated environmental effect on daily growth of capelin (Mallotus villosus) larvae. Her doctoral thesis focuses on how the capelin spawning migration searches for appropriate spawning locations and what cues instigate the migration. After graduation, Anna worked as a research scientist at the Pelagic Division, Faroe Marine Research Institute. Currently, Anna holds a position as a fisheries scientist at the Marine Research Institute (MRI) in Reykjavik, Iceland. Anna works in the pelagic department where she is responsible for research, stock assessments and scientific advice of Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou).

Clara Penny

Clara Penny acted as the administrative assistant for CFER. She has worked with both the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology and the Office of the Registrar during her time at the Marine Institute. Clara has experience editing websites and publications and has an English, Physical Education and Education background. Currently, Clara works with the School of Ocean Technology at the Marine Institute. 

Dominique Robert

Dominique Robert

Dr. Dominique Robert is a research scientist with interests in understanding bottom-up processes driving the recruitment of marine fish populations. A large portion of his past and current work has focused on the relationships linking zooplankton prey production to larval fish feeding success, growth and survival.

Prior to joining CFER, Dominique was a research fellow with the ArcticNet NCE, investigating the impact of climate change on Arctic cod populations in the Canadian Arctic based on otolith microstructure analysis and acoustic detection. Hailing from Quebec City, he received his doctor of philosophy from Université Laval, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Kyoto University. Dominique has accepted a position at the University of Quebec in Rimouski.

Dominique's personal webpage

George Rose

George Rose

Dr. George Rose has worked in the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries for almost 30 years. George was the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada chair of Fisheries Conservation at the Marine Institute prior to becoming director of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER).

A Newfoundlander by birth, he obtained his doctor of philosophy from McGill University focusing on the Labrador fisheries, and a master of science from Laurentian University and a bachelor of science (agriculture) in fisheries management from the University of Guelph.

He has worked for provincial, federal and international fisheries organizations. Dr. Rose has published more than 100 papers on the North Atlantic fisheries, an award winning book on the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries ecosystems, and is currently editor-in-chief of the international journal Fisheries Research.

Ed Stern

Ed Stern has a background in small vessel marine systems, an undergraduate degree in human ecology and a masters degree in fisheries management. He was previously a boatbuilder’s apprentice in Maine, a groundfish manager with NOAA Sustainable Fisheries in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and an Alaska commercial salmon fisherman for five years. Ed has policy research experience on Alaska’s halibut fisheries and groundfisheries in New England and Newfoundland. He has participated in fisheries from Newfoundland to Alaska including crab, surf clam, salmon, halibut, sablefish and groundfish. Currently, Ed is the Fisheries Policy Officer at the Fisheries Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden. Ed works with sustainable fisheries policy in the EU, with a focus on the Baltic area.

Ilhan Yandi

Dr. Ilhan Yandi was a postdoctoral fellow with CFER. Before joining the Centre, he was a Maritime Faculty scientist at Recep Tayyip Erdogan University. He holds a doctor of philosophy in Marine Ecology, specializing in marine fish larvae, from Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey. During his doctoral research, he examined RNA, DNA and protein content of larval horse mackerel and anchovy hatched from field-captured eyed eggs.

Ilhan collaborated with Dr. Robert on developing a technique for rearing larval capelin, a forage fish of high economic and ecological importance in Northwest Atlantic marine ecosystems. Results of this study will uncover factors that control growth and survival, and will validate otolith usage in estimating age and growth history of early larvae.

Dr. Fan Zhang Research Scientist

Dr. Fan Zhang Research Scientist

Dr. Fan Zhang is a research scientist at CFER, and a junior Ocean Choice International (OCI) Industrial Research Chair in Fish Stock Assessment and Sustainable Harvest Advice for Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. His research mainly focuses on the spatio-temporal recruitment dynamics of important fish species on the Grand Banks, which will contribute to improve stock assessment models for important Northwest Atlantic Fisheries. He is interested in a holistic approach to fisheries problems by combining ecological and social aspects of fisheries systems. He aims to study fish recruitment dynamics in the context of complex adaptive social-ecological system, and most of his research involves developing and/or improving statistical and mathematical models as well as computer simulations.

Fan did his postdoctoral research with the Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph. He obtained a PhD degree in integrative biology from University of Guelph, a Master’s degree in fisheries resources and a Bachelor’s degree in marine biological resources and the environment from the Ocean University of China.

Dr. Nan Zheng OFI Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Nan Zheng joined CFER as an OFI Post-Doctoral Fellow in September 2017. His work is primarily focusing on developing spatial stock assessment models for Grand Banks flatfish.

Nan Zheng earned his MSc. in 2013 and PhD in 2017 from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at MUN. His MSc. work was in financial time series, and his PhD work was in semi-parametric fixed and mixed models for longitudinal discrete data. He was awarded the Dean's Award for 2013-17 as well as the titles of Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies 2013-14 and 2017-18 for his MSc. and PhD studies respectively.

Nan Zheng received his BSc. degree from Zhejiang University in China. His previous work was in general relativity, solid state physics, and optics.