Marine Institute PhD grad improves fish stock management
Thursday, June 1, 2023

Dr. Matthew Robertson aims to create fish population models that contribute to better fish harvesting management and, in turn, more sustainable fisheries.Matthew Robertson Convocation 2023

For his PhD thesis, he set out to explain why two species of flatfish – yellowtail flounder and American plaice – followed diverging paths of recovery after the collapse of both stocks in the 1990s.

“The stock assessment models try to track the size of the population over time and, right now, that is basically an exercise in counting fish – how many born, how many die, how many of those deaths come from the fishery,” said Dr. Robertson.

“We know the ecosystem also influences those things. So we’re trying to figure out new ways to include this information because we’re working towards ecosystem-based fisheries management.”

On June 1 he received his doctorate in fisheries science during spring convocation at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. His family travelled from his hometown of Hampton, New Hampshire, to attend the ceremony.

He also has a new job as a research scientist with the Marine Institute’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research where he’ll continue the work he began as a student.

Learn more in the Gazette.