Directors and Scientists

Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown Administrative Director

Thomas Brown hails from St. Anthony and holds a bachelor of science (Honours) in biology and a master's degree in fisheries resource management from Memorial University. After graduation, Tom obtained contractual employment as an aquaculture project officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and went on to become Newfoundland operations manager for Tavel Limited, a dockside grading company.

In October 2003, Tom accepted a position as assistant director of the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development. In 2010 Tom played an integral role in the development and creation of CFER and has since become administrative director of the Centre.

Noel Cadigan

Noel Cadigan Quantitative Fisheries Scientist

Dr. Noel Cadigan is a quantitative fisheries scientist specializing in statistical methods for fish stock assessment and sustainable fisheries. He has extensive experience in the assessment of Newfoundland fish stocks, and experience with other Canadian, American and European stocks.

He received a doctor of philosophy in statistics in 1999 at the University of Waterloo, a master of applied statistics in 1993 and a bachelor of science (Honours) in 1990 from Memorial University.

He worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Center in Newfoundland from 1990-2011 (with a 2-year break to pursue his studies) and focused on the assessment of Atlantic cod and other groundfish stocks.

Dr. Cadigan is a cross-appointed member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Memorial University and has supervised graduate students in statistics whose research involved applications to stock assessment problems.

Jonathan Fisher

Jonathan Fisher Research Scientist

Dr. Jonathan Fisher is a research scientist with interests in the structure, functioning and dynamics of marine ecosystems. He has research experience in population, community and ecosystem ecology of exploited and unexploited systems in the Northwest Atlantic.

Most recently, Jonathan was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at Queen's University and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. He received his doctor of philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of science from Dalhousie University and a bachelor of science (Honours) from Queen's University.

Jonathan's personal webpage.

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.

Maxime Geoffroy Research Scientist

Dr. Maxime Geoffroy is a research scientist with expertise in bioacoustics, marine ecology and biological oceanography. His research aims at better understanding the ecology of North Atlantic and Arctic pelagic fish in relation to hydrography and climate change. In addition to ship-based surveys, he uses new technology, as unmanned vehicles and active acoustic moorings, to study marine ecosystems.

Prior to working at CFER, Maxime was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology of UiT the Arctic University of Norway. He holds a PhD in oceanography and an MSc in biology from Laval University, and a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Ottawa.

PhD and MSc Students - Maxime Geoffroy

Muriel Dunn, PhD candidate

Muriel DunnMuriel Dunn is a PhD student with CFER supervised by Dr. Maxime Geoffroy and Dr. Geir Pedersen (Institute of Marine Research, Norway). She completed her undergraduate studies in physics and oceanography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia.

After completing her bachelor's degree, she worked as a at-sea fisheries observer for groundfish fisheries on the west coast of Canada and at RBR Ltd. developing data analysis tool for oceanographic instruments.

Muriel completed her master's degree in physical oceanography with a focus on ocean acoustics at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her doctoral thesis is on remote sensing of underwater organisms using active acoustics.

She is working on methods for competing hydroacoustic surveys from autonomous ocean-going vehicles. Her PhD is part of Glider II and Bioglider projects in collaboration with Akvaplan-niva, in Tromsø, Norway.

Eugenie Jacobsen, MSc, Fisheries Science and Technology

Eugenie JacobsenEugenie Jacobsen (she/her) is a Masters of Fisheries Science and Technology student who studies contaminants (mercury and organochloride pesticides) in demersal and pelagic fish from the Labrador Sea and the Canadian Arctic.

One of her study fish includes myctophids (or lantern fish) which are one the most abundant pelagic fish found worldwide yet their ecology remains poorly studied.  Alongside her passion for contributing to innovative research, Eugenie is also passionate about science communication and its role in inspiring the public to become stewards for our natural world.

Jennifer Herbig, PhD candidate, Fisheries Science and Technology

Jennifer HerbigJennifer Herbig (she/her) has a BSc in marine biology from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and an MSc in fisheries from Auburn University. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked as a biologist for the State of Mississippi and the State of Florida assessing the effects of artificial habitat and MPAs on important fisheries species.

Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the Fisheries Science and Technology program at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Center for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) under the supervision of Dr. Maxime Geoffroy and Dr. Jonathan Fisher.

Her research focuses on the effects of environmental variation and bottom-up processes on the abundance, distribution, and movement of Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida) in the Canadian Arctic.

Arnault Le Bris

Arnault Le Bris Research Scientist

Dr. Arnault Le Bris is a research scientist with interests in understanding and quantifying processes that drive the dynamics of marine fish and shellfish populations. His past and present work has focused on evaluating how climate variability and change affects the productivity of living marine resources, and how fish migration affects the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

Originally from the Brittany region in France, Arnault first came to Newfoundland in 2009 to pursue his doctoral studies in fisheries ecology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Before joining CFER, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland Maine, USA.

Arnault’s personal webpage

PhD and MSc Students - Arnault Le Bris

Elanor Dillabough, MSc, Fisheries Science

Elanor DillaboughElanor Dillabough is a Master's student enrolled in the Fisheries Science and Technology program under the supervision of Dr. Arnault Le Bris. She has completed both a Bachelor of Technology (Engineering Technology and Applied Sciences) and a Diploma of Technology (Marine Environmental Technology) at Marine Institute.

Her research with CFER is focusing on using drone technology to map eelgrass and determine temporal variations in relation to a green crab mitigation fishery. 

Jordan Woolfrey, MSc, Fisheries Science

Jordan WoolfreyJordan Woolfrey is a Master's student enrolled in the Fisheries Science program being co-supervised by Dr Arnault Le Bris (CFER) and Dr Patrick Gagnon (OSC).

She completed her Bachelor of Science with a focus area in Marine Biology from Memorial University in 2019, then worked as a Climate Change Intern with the University of Belize through MI’s International Youth Internship Program in 2019/2020.

In this position, she worked on reef sedimentation as well as coral bleaching and disease surveys. Jordan’s Masters research is focused on colonization of Reef Ball artificial reefs by local Newfoundland species in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.

Tanya Prystay, PhD Candidate, Fisheries Science

Tanya PrystayTanya’s research interest focuses on fish physiology and conservation ecology. Originally from Ottawa, Tanya completed her B.Sc. in marine biology at Dalhousie University, and her M.Sc. in biology at Carleton University.

For her Ph.D., under the supervision of Dr. Arnault LeBris at the Marine Institute, Tanya is applying drone and snorkel surveys to explore and quantify the provision of eelgrass ecosystem services in Atlantic Canada (e.g., carbon sequestration, fish habitat) and how it varies depending on meadow morphology and surrounding environmental conditions.

Tanya is also part of a team working on restoring eelgrass meadows in Placentia Bay. This work is part of the eelgrass restoration project funded by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Coastal Restoration Fund.

Sherrylynn Rowe

Sherrylynn Rowe Research Scientist

Dr. Sherrylynn Rowe is a research scientist with CFER. Prior to joining the Centre, Sherrylynn was a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

She received a doctor of philosophy from Dalhousie University as well as a master of science and a bachelor of science (Honours) from Memorial University. Sherrylynn's recent scientific efforts have focused on stock assessment and related research involving ecology and life history of groundfish and marine invertebrates.

Her earlier studies examined linkages between spawning behaviour and population dynamics of Atlantic cod and the role of marine protected areas in enhancing lobster populations and fisheries.

Tyler Eddy Research Scientist

Tyler Eddy Research Scientist

Tyler is the team lead at The Life Aquatic and is a Research Scientist at the Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Tyler lectures in the Fisheries Science Graduate Program – he teaches ‘Data Collection, Management, & Display’.

Tyler is interested in past, present, and future human interactions with, and ecology of, marine ecosystems.

Tyler is one of the founding coordinators of the Fisheries and Marine Ecosystem Model Intercomparison Project (FishMIP) and is a Visiting Scientist at the Charles Darwin Foundation, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. 

Tyler was a Research Fellow at the University of South Carolina, US, with the Nereus Program, a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, Canada, with the Nereus Program, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University, Canada, with the Lenfest Ocean Program. Tyler received a PhD in Marine Biology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and an Honours BSc in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University, Canada.

GitHub | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Twitter

Post Doc, PhD and MSc Students - Tyler Eddy

Andrea Bryndum-Buchholz, Postdoctoral Fellow

Andrea Bryndum-BuchholzAndrea is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland, with the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI). For her Postdoctoral Fellowship, Andrea is assessing ecosystem responses within the North Water Polynya (Pikialasorsuaq) to fishing and climate change, by developing an information base and ecosystem model for the region.  

Andrea’s research interests lie in understanding potential future changes in marine ecosystems due to ongoing climate change, and in assessing consequences as well as solutions for fisheries management and marine biodiversity conservation in a changing ocean.

Andrea is a member of the Fisheries and Marine Ecosystem Intercomparison Project (FishMIP). Andrea is interested in finding unconventional outlets to communicate her research, is a passionate writer, and has been an academic writing advisor for the past three years.

Andrea was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University, Canada. She received a PhD in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University, Canada, an MSc in Aquatic Ecology from Lund University, Sweden, and an Honours BSc in Biology from the University of Tübingen, Germany.

Google Scholar | ResearchGateTwitterWebsite

Matthew Robertson, PhD Candidate, Fisheries Science

Matthew RobertsonMatt is a PhD Candidate in Fisheries Science at the Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. For his PhD research, Matt is modelling the spatial, predation, and population dynamics of two flatfishes – American plaice and yellowtail flounder, on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Matt was awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for this research.

Matt’s research interests lie in answering macro-scale ecological questions in fisheries, and how those questions can be addressed in ways that can be used to improve advice for ecosystem management.

Matt runs an eponymous contracting business that focuses on creating and improving quantitative ecological models. Thus far, these projects have involved applying state-space methods developed for fisheries to other ecological arenas.

Matt completed an MSc in Oceanography and Coastal Studies at Louisiana State University, US, and an Honours BSc in Marine Biology at Dalhousie University, Canada.

GitHub | Google ScholarTwitterWebsite

Raquel Ruiz-Díaz, PhD Candidate, Fisheries Science

Raquel Ruiz-DíazRaquel is a PhD Candidate in Fisheries Science at The Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. For her PhD research, Raquel is working on ecosystem model development for the Newfoundland Grand Banks to apply to climate change and fisheries management questions.

Raquel’s main research interests are understanding the effects of climate change on fish population dynamics, how climate affects their distributions and growth rates, and the socio-economic implications for harvesters and managers.

Raquel has worked on adaptation of coastal communities to climate change within the framework of the ERC CLOCK project at the University of Vigo, Spain. She is a contributing author of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and has been involved in initiatives such us Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative (GAMI).

Raquel completed an MSc in Marine Biological Resources with a Specialization in Fisheries Management at Ghent University, Belgium and an Honours BSc in Marine Science at University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

GitHub | ResearchGateTwitterWebsite

Abe Solberg, PhD Candidate, Fisheries Science

Abe SolbergAbe is a PhD Candidate in Fisheries Science at The Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. For his PhD research, Abe is working on ecosystem model development for the Newfoundland and Labrador shelf and developing methods to incorporate fisher’s and Indigenous ecological knowledge.

Abe's primary research interests are integrating non-traditional information sources, such as fisher's and Indigenous ecological knowledge, into ecosystem models and single-species population models.

Prior to starting his PhD, Abe worked as a data scientist for Displacement Prevention and Public Housing in New York City. Abe has developed a Shiny app for FishBase and an R package to query the IUCN information for species listed in the Seabird Mapping and Information for Fisheries Database by the American Bird Conservancy.

Abe completed an MA in Geography, with a Specialization in Natural Resource Management, at McGill University, Canada, and an Honours BA in Geography at the University of Colorado, US.

GitHub | ResearchGateTwitter  

Rioghnach Steiner, MSc, Fisheries Science

Rioghnach SteinerRioghnach is an MSc student in Fisheries Science at the Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. For her MSc research, Rioghnach is investigating the use of plastic collars on snow crab pots as a way to reduce capture of sub-legal and soft shell crab in the commercial fishery.

Rioghnach’s research interests include investigating new fishing gear to help improve fisheries capture efficiency.

During Rioghnach’s time at the Fisheries & Marine Institute, she participated on the research expedition of the RV Ludy Pudluk in Nunavut, researching fisheries development to help minimize food-insecurity in the Canadian Arctic. 

Rioghnach completed a BSc in Wildlife and Fisheries at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada.


Alannah Wudrick, MSc, Fisheries Science

Alannah WudrickAlannah is an MSc Student in Fisheries Science at the Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. For her MSc research, Alannah is adding spatial and temporal resolution to ecosystem models for the Newfoundland and Labrador shelf and Grand Banks.

Alannah’s research interests include using models to project ecosystem responses to climate change to help inform fisheries management policies.

Alannah has published a technical report based on work she did with the Benthic Ecology Division of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The report describes the benthic communities observed during the 2010 ROPOS video transects of Orphan Knoll and Orphan Seamount, off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Alannah completed an Honours BSc in Marine Biology at Dalhousie University, Canada.