Simon Courtenay

Simon Courtenay

519-888-4567, ext. 45796
Environment 2, room 2013

Simon is interested in the uses that fish and invertebrates make of aquatic ecosystems from freshwater streams through rivers to the ocean and particularly estuaries, where the rivers meet the sea. Simon’s research involves students at all levels from undergraduate to postdoctoral fellow. Past research has included describing where and when striped bass spawn in the Miramichi River estuary and how some species of fish leave the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and move into the estuaries to overwinter. Other students have looked at how this aquatic ecology is affected by human activities including pulp and paper production, seafood processing, construction of breakwaters, commercial peat moss harvesting and offshore oil and gas production. Simon served as Scientific Director of the Canadian Water Network 2013-2017 during which time he built a research program to develop monitoring tools and frameworks in support of cumulative effects assessment for watersheds. In the Northumberland Strait region students are examining fish, invertebrates, eelgrass, sea lettuce, and waterborne nutrients and oxygen as potential indicators of estuarine health. We work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability who coordinate the Community Aquatic Monitoring Program in which volunteers sample estuarine fish, invertebrates and water quality throughout the summer months. In Saint John Harbour other students are caging mussels and sampling sand shrimp to assess the health of the harbour. Closer to home, students are developing a monitoring framework and indicators for the lower Grand River and researching associations between coastal habitat and fish assemblages in the Great Lakes.