For the last 10 years, NSERC, coupled with CFI-funded infrastructure, has supported critical marine animal tracking and oceanographic research, connecting Canada’s three oceans and beyond. These studies have transformed our understanding of the natural world, provided the foundation for new science-based management, and opened up exciting new avenues for research, collaboration and discovery. 

Modelling the big blue (4.1)

Using observations and mathematical ocean models, this project examined the effects of physical and biogeochemical ocean changes on OTN study species such as American eel, Atlantic sturgeon and Atlantic salmon. Models contributed to understanding the underlying mechanisms of observed movement patterns. Use of these models in several studies had direct implications for more effective management. For example, by combining observations and model-simulated projections of oxygen decline on the Scotian Shelf with known habitat requirements of endangered Atlantic wolffish, researchers showed that oxygen depletion is likely reducing wolffish habitat. Additionally, these models are a) helping in the analysis and interpretation of data from ocean sensors (OTN project 4.1), b) helping determine environmental conditions and their effects upon the swimming ability of adult Atlantic salmon (OTN project 4.4), c) have helped elucidate the effect of currents and oceanographic conditions on American eel migration (OTN project 4.5), and d) are allowing the characterization and prediction of winter aggregation sites of Atlantic sturgeon in the Bay of Fundy (OTN project 4.6).

Roboprobes (4.2)

In 2010, the OTN ocean-observing (glider) component launched one of the first glider-based oceanographic observation programs in Canada. In collaboration with MEOPAR, the glider program currently operates seven gliders: one Liquid Robotics Wave Glider, and six Slocum Gliders. One of the major questions framed by OTN Canada is how oceanographic and environmental features affect animal habitat use, movement and migrations. Gliders collect an array of physical, biological and chemical data and describe key ocean processes relevant to both animal-tracking research and weather and sea-state forecasting. Combined, OTN’s gliders have spent more than 2,000 days at sea, traversing a distance of more than 48,000 kilometres and collecting 70 million data points along the way. OTN and its industrial partners pioneered the autonomous offload of data by the Wave Glider from bottom-mounted acoustic receivers (first achieved in 2014), and the Wave Glider is now a regular, cost-effective alternative to expensive manual data retrieval using ships. Gliders have been deployed on missions in support of the WHaLE project, which passively listens for whales in the rich feeding habitats of the North Atlantic in order to understand critical habitat use and provide real-time monitoring to mitigate ship strikes. Gliders are also used in other OTN studies to track tagged salmon, cod, eels, snow crab, sharks and seals throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic.

Fitbits for animals (4.3)

OTN accelerometry research has led to significant advancements in biologging tag design. Maritime bioLoggers, a spin-off company created and led by two OTN students, has emerged as a leader in Canadian biologging technology development. Within OTN, these tags have been used in a suite of studies that first successfully showed the relation of fish acceleration to changing body size, with the potential to estimate fish growth rates in the wild. Studies were then expanded to examine movement ecology in a range of ocean predators, including Atlantic grey seals, Pacific halibut and North Sea flapper skate. A large-scale study involving researchers across the Atlantic region used accelerometer tags to validate at-sea time budgets and prey-capture events in grey seals (OTN project 4.7). In collaboration with the International Pacific Halibut Commission, accelerometer tags deployed on halibut in Alaska allowed determination of their activity levels in the summer months, prediction of habitat use and importance of the area for adults. Accelerometer tags were also used to assess habitat use of endangered flapper skate in a collaboration with the Scottish Government, with the aim to deliver the scientifically based information required for evaluation and renewal of an MPA in Scotland.

Lives of Atlantic salmon   (4.4)

Unlike their Pacific counterparts that spawn and die after a single seaward migration, Atlantic salmon can migrate to the ocean multiple times and return to natal rivers to spawn again. The brackish waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes in Cape Breton are a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, connecting to the Atlantic Ocean through three narrow channels. The area was once known for its robust Atlantic salmon populations, but salmon have experienced troubling declines in recent years. Via partnerships with Eskasoni First Nation, DFO, local angling groups and conservation societies, OTN’s tracking infrastructure has monitored salmon migrations between inland rivers, the Bras d’Or Lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean. For juvenile salmon, the Bras d’Or was identified as an important rearing habitat—of 159 smolts acoustically tagged between 2012 and 2016, half remained in the lake, while others migrated to the Atlantic and onwards towards marine pastures off Greenland. The decision to stay in the lakes was linked to a more robust body condition; thus, direct migration to sea may reflect immediate nutritional needs. For adult salmon, the movements of 60 individuals tagged after spawning in a natal river draining to the lakes showed that those in good physical condition tended to spend the winter in the river, with out-migration to the lake and Atlantic Ocean in spring. By contrast, energy-depleted fish moved back to sea in autumn immediately after spawning. Survival was highest when the fish overwintered in the rivers, and low when they left the river quickly after spawning. Once in the ocean, adult salmon also migrated to Greenland through the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s Strait of Belle Isle. Results from both studies show marked seasonal and spatial variation in the way that salmon use the Bras d’Or Lakes, which has implications for their survival and management.

The mysterious migrations of American eel (4.5)

The long-distance migrations of endangered American eels have puzzled and fascinated scientists for over a century— no adult has ever been caught in the open ocean or at their putative spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea. The movement patterns of juvenile (yellow) and adult (silver) eels from the St. Lawrence River to the Sargasso Sea were investigated beginning in 2010. Multiple complementary approaches were used, including acoustic and satellite telemetry, numerical modelling (OTN project 4.1) and chemical analysis. Acoustic receivers were deployed from the upper St. Lawrence River to the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where 604 eels were acoustically tagged to determine the timing and pathways of this migration segment. Although detection rates were unexpectedly low, data revealed extensive variability and downstream migrations of more than 200 kilometres over 13 to 67 days using nocturnal ebb-tide transport to leave the Gulf. The oceanic migrations of adult eels were investigated using pop-up satellite archival tags, which recorded eels’ positions over a three-month period before releasing from the eels and transmitting their archived data via satellite. Data from 60 satellite-tagged adult eels revealed substantial predation by porbeagle sharks before exiting the Gulf. The at-sea trajectories were reconstructed for 27 eels, including five tracked all the way to the Sargasso Sea, providing the first formal observation of adult eels entering their spawning grounds. These tags recorded epic oceanic migrations of more than 2,700 kilometres using similar paths and against ocean currents, indicating a degree of consistency but also complexity in the orientation and navigation mechanisms employed throughout the migration. Findings resulted in extensive media coverage, including in National Geographic.

A ‘tail’ of two sturgeon: part I   (4.6)

Sturgeon are long-living, late-maturing animals with a complicated anadromous life cycle (living mostly at sea, and returning to freshwater to spawn). This OTN project primarily studied threatened Atlantic sturgeon in two areas of the Bay of Fundy—Minas Passage, Nova Scotia, and the Saint John River, New Brunswick. This research program has filled critical knowledge gaps on sturgeons’ complex life history and population dynamics, spatial and temporal movement patterns, overwintering areas, growth, diet, survival and abundance. In Minas Passage, data have provided insight into the controversial overlap of the sturgeon population with deployed and proposed in-stream tidal turbines. This is helping researchers and managers assess potential negative impacts of tidal power infrastructure on these and other species of concern. The results are being used directly by DFO and other regulators to improve management regimes for conservation and protection of Atlantic sturgeon. In the Saint John River, studies have revealed the distribution and timing of migrating adult Atlantic sturgeon to and from the river, as well as the timing and location of spawning. In addition, studies of both Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon determined movement and aggregation areas of juveniles within the Saint John River, which offered the first evidence that overwintering juveniles made regular movements among sites and suggested competition for foraging areas and prey existed between the two species. These studies provided the basis to develop the OTN project on Pacific white sturgeon in the Fraser River, British Columbia (OTN project 4.14), and to incorporate accelerometry studies (OTN project 4.3) into sturgeon research.

Seal scientists (4.7)

The bioprobe project advanced the concept of using large aquatic animals to carry tags that collect biological and oceanographic data while tracking interactions between predators and other tagged species in the Northwest Atlantic. This project also helped advance analytical methods, including modelling and visualization tools, for OTN data (OTN project 4.8). Beginning in 2009 and working closely with DFO, researchers equipped seals with satellite-GPS tags (recording transiting and diving), environmental sensors (measuring oceanographic characteristics), VEMCO Mobile Transceivers (transmitting acoustic signals and logging detections from other tagged animals), accelerometers (OTN project 4.3, measuring fine-scale behaviour and jaw movement), and even animalborne cameras for short periods to validate behavioural inferences and consumption of specific prey. In addition, acoustic tags were deployed on more than 1,200 Atlantic cod over the same period. To date, data have been retrieved from 104 seals (85 per cent) tagged on Sable Island and from an additional 18 seals deployed with specially developed bluetooth-enabled tags in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This long-term program documented how seasonal oceanographic features (temperature, phytoplankton biomass) and depth influence seal movement, as well as the links between environmental change and impact on top marine predators. Data have helped elucidate interactions of tagged individuals with other seals, and between seals and other tagged species of potential prey (Atlantic cod, salmon, eel, snow crab, lobster) as well as competing predators (bluefin tuna, sharks). For instance, encounters between seals and tagged cod did not record predation events but suggested co-occurrence in ocean ‘hotspots’—areas of high productivity where many species forage. Better understanding of such relationships between top predators and potential prey is critical for effective policy decisions and resource management.

Data modelling and visualization  (4.8)

The efforts of the OTN modelling and visualization group focused on developing statistical models to analyze data across OTN. Initial work concentrated on studies of grey seal–cod interactions (OTN project 4.7, tag detection efficiency, species movement and predictions of movement behaviour, predator-prey encounter-rate probability), and on survival rates of tagged Atlantic salmon smolts leaving fresh water for the sea. These earlier efforts led to the formalization of a dedicated OTN visualization and modelling component, which continued its integration with the grey seal bioprobe project, but also significantly expanded efforts to develop complex statistical tools and models across all OTN projects. The group did extensive coaching in their methods, holding Network-wide workshops and training sessions. These important efforts helped advance OTN’s research goals, as well as establish collaborations across projects both within the pan-Canadian research Network and internationally, enhancing member engagement with the OTN Data Centre. Annual data and modelling workshops by this group began in 2014, and acquainted participants with state-space modelling and computer programs to help researchers better analyze their complex animal-tracking data. A major workshop was held during the OTN-hosted 3rd ICFT (2015) in Halifax and included many international participants. A 2017 workshop held in Oaxaca, Mexico, brought together members of OTN and international experts in modelling animal movement and fisheries science. One of the main goals of this workshop was to identify future research directions that will benefit OTN, its researchers and other partners as OTN moves forward as a Canadian Major Science Initiative (2017-2022).

Connecting species, habitats and people (4.9)

Little is known about the relative habitat use of different species of anadromous salmonids in areas where their distributions overlap, particularly in the North. Predicted effects of climate change, such as reduced anadromy, altered growth and changing species mix, have increased the need for understanding comparative ecology of anadromous species. These species are central to recreational and subsistence food fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as the Arctic. The first component of this OTN project focused primarily on Arctic char and Atlantic salmon, species historically divided by resource and habitat preferences. The work was carried out in several nearshore river systems in northern Newfoundland and Labrador. The distributions of these animals are shifting due to climate change, with the southern salmon pushing north into char habitat. Using acoustic and archival geolocation tag technology, the project characterized overwinter movement and diel (24 hour) activity patterns, thermal habitat use and dispersal rate of Arctic char, which revealed correlations of movement with daylight, temperature and body size. Likewise, in Newfoundland Atlantic salmon, movement patterns, residency, feeding ecology and survival were quantified for the first time in relation to life stage and spawning history. The studies provided insight into how climate change may affect individual fitness and on the relative competitive abilities of these salmonids. The second project component focused on understanding the patterns and consequences of Arctic char dispersal, the most northerly distributed freshwater fish, in the Arctic region of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Key findings revealed clear preferences of char for coastal, surface waters when in the marine environment; regular and lengthy forays into estuaries throughout the summer; extensive stock mixing, including in freshwater; and that the largest (and most heavily fished) lake in the region appears to be used as an overwintering area for fish from many rivers in the region. These findings will guide future management for these species in the region.

Arctic interactions (4.10)

The high Arctic is a region that is experiencing increasing stress due to rapid climate change and human activity. Research in the nearshore environment from 2010 to 2015 in Resolute Bay used a combination of acoustic and satellite telemetry, isotope analysis, oceanography and traditional ecological knowledge to study movements and interspecies interactions of key Arctic fish and marine mammals. Underwater acoustic noise and marine mammal vocalizations showed that beluga were only present in periods of low ice concentration, while bearded and ringed seals remained throughout the entire year. Arctic cod, a key prey of seabirds and marine mammals, collectively left nearshore areas when ice formed, changed habitats to avoid invasive jellyfish and vessel traffic, and made long-range migrations of more than 180 kilometres, revealing the first large-scale movements of individual cod. Shorthorn sculpin, a common benthic fish, were shown to have different movement patterns that related to foraging and feeding. Large-scale movements, presumably directed migrations, also occurred, and movement patterns of the fish changed when vessels were present or moving. The data collected on oceanographic characteristics, ocean noise and high-resolution fish movement are among the most intensive ever collected in the Canadian Arctic. This has provided new insight into the relationship between predators and prey and the influence of environmental and anthropogenic disturbance on animal behaviour in a rapidly changing and vulnerable high Arctic ecosystem. This in turn is improving equitable access to local resources for Inuit, as well as guiding sustainable fisheries management and tourism practices. In addition to the natural science conducted, OTN Arctic studies generated innovations in technology that increased acoustic detection in challenging Arctic environments, expanding animal-tracking range in some monitoring areas.

Emerging Arctic fisheries  (4.11)

Nunavut fisheries are rapidly developing, and managers in the region frequently have little biological information to guide their decisions. To address this, OTN researchers conducted novel studies on the population structure, movement ecology and depth preferences of commercially important Greenland halibut (as well as two common commercial bycatch species, Greenland shark and Arctic skate) around the Baffin Island coastal region. Interactions with marine mammals were also studied. In Cumberland Sound, a Greenland halibut fishery had been established, which was divided into northern and southern sectors by an arbitrary management boundary and regulated as if the two sectors had separate fish populations. However, OTN’s telemetry data revealed that the fish were a single population that regularly crossed the boundary and that, overall, the Sound’s halibut population was dwindling. In 2014, OTN Arctic researchers, working with Indigenous communities, successfully influenced the relocation of the management boundary to the entrance of the Cumberland Sound, which has helped guide more sustainable and effective management of the resource and ensured fair access to the fishery by local Inuit. Results also showed extensive migrations of Greenland sharks between Greenland and Canada and produced altered handling practices for bycaught individuals. As in other Arctic projects (OTN project 4.10), marine mammals were tracked by listening for their calls. The data revealed that narwhal and bowhead whales were only present before full ice cover developed in fall, while seals and walruses remained after ice formation. This project provided multiple discoveries about the secret lives of deepwater Arctic species and involved exceptional collaboration with local stakeholders and the government of Nunavut.

Commercial and First Nations fisheries  (4.12)

The OTN Pacific Arena research (OTN projects 4.12-4.15) focused on anadromous Pacific salmon and white sturgeon due to their ecological, cultural and socioeconomic importance; public concern (sockeye salmon declines in the Fraser River in particular were flagged for action by the Cohen Commission); and their use of both inland and marine waters. The work depended on using a variety of tagging technologies (including acoustic, radio, Passive Integrated Transponder and biologgers) to track fish. The project documented movements and survival of the fish across spatial scales that previously were unattainable. To understand the effectiveness of regulations that required that non-target bycatch species be released when they were accidentally captured in authorized fisheries, OTN researchers studied post-release delayed mortality rates, behaviour and injury to four species of salmon on the coast of British Columbia. Bycaught chinook, coho, chum and sockeye salmon were examined in relation to different capture methods (beach seine, gillnet and purse seine), handling, recovery and environmental characteristics. Employing special gear and practices used by commercial and First Nations harvesters, researchers tested and identified realistic and sensible strategies for improved fish recovery. This enabled them to provide best practice recommendations to stakeholders and minimize mortality of these species upon release. Findings suggest that, contrary to current belief, assisted ventilation (manoeuvring fish to move water over the gills) prior to release has limited beneficial effects. Several studies on telemetry and tagging techniques, principally maximum tag load, were conducted to advance telemetry science and practices in the wild. OTN researchers made major contributions to a DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat report that provided the latest scientific information to stakeholders and decision-makers on the survival rates of coastal migrating salmon, and assisted fisheries managers with decisions related to salmon conservation.

Catch 22 (4.13)

Three popular sport fish (Atlantic salmon, Arctic char and coho salmon) served as the models of this OTN study, which investigated stressors associated with recreational catch-and-release fishing. It focused on the impacts of handling of the fish during capture and the influence of environmental characteristics such as water temperature and pathogen presence. This study provided the first post-release data for both Arctic char (Cambridge Bay) and coho salmon (Lower Fraser River). The work collaborated with an OTN Atlantic salmon study (OTN project 4.9) to include fish angled in lower river areas soon after sea entry and those caught in the nearshore coastal environments. This is one of the first studies to link health and pathogen presence to different fisheries stressors. Coho salmon mortality was low and treatment-specific impacts were negligible, presumably reflecting that fish were in a mature state in the final phases of their migration. Arctic char also had high levels of survival. Atlantic salmon had a high survival rate after release (approximately 93 per cent), although higher mortality was associated with warmer waters. Post-release mortality was independent of fishing gear, fish size and fight time. Anglers who used best practices could expect released fish to survive overall, although fly fishing yielded a higher number of survivors than lure fishing. Duration of air exposure was a good predictor of fish mortality after release. No standard for air-exposure maximums exists and many species can tolerate different exposure times. This study has resulted in numerous recommendations for best practices in recreational fisheries.

A ‘tail’ of two sturgeon: part II (4.14)

The Lower Fraser River white sturgeon population is complex and poorly understood, with portions of the population being found at varying times and seasons in the marine environment, in large lakes and in flowing sections of rivers. White sturgeon in the Lower Fraser River are listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, and face various threats such as poaching, habitat destruction and loss of prey. Yet beyond mandatory catch-and-release fishing, there are few regulations on angling activity. This study in collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations filled knowledge gaps about white sturgeon movements and reproductive patterns, and investigated the effects of stress from capture by angling on survival rates. Starting in 2013, researchers tagged 174 adult white sturgeon with long-life acoustic transmitters that will be monitored well beyond 2018. Sturgeon were captured via angling. Blood samples were taken to assess their physiological stress state at the time of capture. Nearly all of the acoustically tagged fish were detected at multiple locations after release, many traveling more than 125 kilometres and at known or suspected spawning channels. Results indicated a high recapture rate in the fishery, but also suggest rapid recovery from stress and high post-release survival. Many fish were recaptured by anglers more than once. The OTN white sturgeon project directly contributed to federal management by gathering data on key aspects of sturgeon biology and movement, advised fishers and fisheries managers on post-angling mortality and identified areas and times of year when sturgeon were most susceptible to disturbance and stress.

Pacific salmon: surviving the journey (4.15)

This project used acoustic transmitters to tag sockeye smolts in British Columbia’s Chilko Lake. OTN researchers examined how environmental and genetic characteristics influenced salmon migration, behaviour and survival as the fish moved from rivers to the open ocean. This was one of the first studies to use new miniaturized transmitters in a large-scale (more than 2,500 tagged salmon) tracking project of juvenile salmon. The project revealed the technical feasibility of tagging the smaller smolts with the new tags; previous models were too big for 98 per cent of the population. Results indicated that more than half of the tagged fish did not survive river movements to enter the open ocean, a distance of more than 1,000 kilometres. Further results showed distinct patterns in both behaviour and survival—in small, clear, upper-river reaches, downstream migration largely occurred at night at speeds of up to 50 kilometres per day and coincided with poor survival. Only 60 to 80 per cent of smolts survived the first 80 kilometres of their downstream journey. A parallel laboratory study of tagged fish documented high short-term survival and unhindered swimming ability, eliminating negative effects of tagging as a mortality cause. This suggested that, in nature, predation was the main source of mortality in smolts. Additional field work documented largescale predation by adult bull trout, which fed almost exclusively on sockeye smolts. Yearly workshops put on by the OTN Pacific salmon group include other academic stakeholders, government, community, and ENGOs. This group has also helped author CSAS reports in order to improve management of Pacific salmon at the federal level.

From science to society (4.16)

A key goal of practical research is the uptake of novel information by end-users. This OTN project investigated stakeholder perceptions of biotelemetry, a disruptive new technology, and the uptake of information from biotelemetry studies for use in management and decision-making. OTN social scientists interviewed 110 individuals involved in the decision-making process (fisheries managers, senior bureaucrats, and stakeholders involved in co-management arrangements) in the British Columbia Lower Fraser River, the site of several OTN Pacific salmon studies. Findings suggested these groups had different expectations of scientific knowledge and its potential uses, with managers focusing on the immediate utility of the data to solve known problems, while stakeholders tended to see scientific knowledge as part of larger conversations about best practices. Respondents were also supportive of researchers’ generation of original telemetry data; however, they were concerned about the relatively short battery lives of tags, which limited the durations of studies, and the time it took to retrieve data from receivers. These findings were shared with DFO (Pacific region) and are helping to refine the decision-making process regarding Fraser River fisheries. The OTN social science component also investigated other aspects of knowledge mobilization and transfer, including factors and processes driving data sharing in the global telemetry community. More broadly, the pros and cons of science communication among different stakeholders and the public were explored. This included investigating the exploitation of telemetry technology by poachers and wildlife photographers, and envisioning the future of aquatic telemetry science and application.


The lists below include past and present NSERC research network members, Council, SAC and ISAC members, as well as headquarters staff.

Don Bowen

Eddy Carmack

Martin Castonguay

Steve Cooke

Glenn Crossin

John Cullen

Mike Dadswell

Terry Dick

Julian Dodson

Tony Farrell

Katja Fennel

Steve Ferguson

Aaron Fisk

Ian Fleming

Joanna Mills Flemming

Bruce Hatcher

Daniel Heath

Dave Hebert

Kevin Hedges

Scott Hinch

Sara Iverson

Matthew Litvak

Kristi Miller

Michael Power

Tetjana Ross

Jinyu Sheng

Peter Smith

Mike Stokesbury

Chris Taggart

Ross Tallman

Keith Thompson

Richard Thomson

Svein Vagle

David VanderZwaag

Fred Whoriskey

Nathan Young

Present Council Members

Alice Aiken

Nikki Beauchamp

Steve Cooke

Jim Hanlon

Peter Harrison (Chair)

Nancy Hayter

Amy (Ryan) Hill 

Beth Hunter

Sara Iverson

Stefan Leslie

Nigel Lloyd

Chris Moore

Leo Muise

Christine Penney

Louie Porta

Anja Samardzic

Brendal Townsend

Wendy Watson-Wright

Fred Whoriskey

Zdenka Willis

Past Council Members

Keith Alverson

Tim Brodhead

Ken Burt

Bill Casey

Martha Crago

Terry Dick

Katja Fennel

Albert Fischer

Aaron Fisk

Olivier Gagnon 

David Gillis

Tom Gross

Margie Hall

Ian Hill

Scott Hinch

Alison Janidlo

Kyle McKenzie

Siddika Mithani

Kes Morton

Ron O’Dor

Ian Smith

Iain Stewart

Kevin Stringer

Trevor Swerdfager

Keith Thompson

Doug Wallace

David VanderZwaag

Present SAC Members

Chris Barnes

Nikki Beauchamp

Steve Cooke (Chair)

Aaron Fisk

Ian Fleming

Michelle Heupel

Amy (Ryan) Hill

Scott Hinch

Sara Iverson

Alison Janidlo

Anja Samardzic

Mike Stokesbury

Brendal Townsend

Svein Vagle

Alain Vezina

Nathan Young

Dale Webber

Fred Whoriskey

Past SAC Members

Terry Dick

Katja Fennel

Kyle McKenzie

Kes Morton

Ron O’Dor

Keith Thompson

Daniela Turk

Kim Aarestrup (Denmark)

Steve Cooke (Canada)

Paul Cowley (South Africa)

Aaron Fisk (Canada)

Robert Harcourt – Chair  (Australia)

Kim Holland (U.S.)

John Kocik (U.S.)

Joanna Mills Flemming (Canada)

Svein Vagle  (Canada)

Amy (Ryan) Hill

Sara Iverson

Kyle Mckenzie

Kes Morton

Fred Whoriskey

Present Staff

Lenore Bajona, Director of Data Management

Duncan Bates, Lead Field Technician

Nikki Beauchamp, Communications Advisor

Angela Dini, Data Analyst

Nathan Glenn, Field Technician

Amy (Ryan) Hill, Network Program Officer

Sara Iverson, Scientific Director

Brian Jones, Lead Developer

Marta Mihoff, Database Programmer

Alex Nunes, Solutions Engineer

Jon Pye, Assistant Director of Data Management

Joe Pratt, Technician

Tracy Rounds, Office Manager

Anja Samardzic, Communications Manager

Naomi Tress, Data Acquisition Coordinator

Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director

OTN/MEOPAR Glider team

Tyler Byrne, Glider Technician

Adam Comeau, Senior Glider Technician

Brad Covey, Ocean Data Manager

Richard Davis, Glider Team Lead

Sue L’Orsa, Glider Technician

Jude Van Der Meer, Glider Technician

Past Staff

Ian Beveridge, Field Technician

Bob Branton, Director of Data Management

Susan Dufault, Field Operations and Data Acquisition Coordinator

Margie Hall, Senior Project Manager

Stéphane Kirchhoff, Field Technician

Kes Morton, Senior Project Manager

Ron O’Dor, Initial Project Leader

Dustin Schornagel, Field Technician

Mike Stokesbury, Interim Project Manager

Ellen Walsh, Administrative Assistant

Aarhus Universitet

Acadia University

Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar



Atlantic Salmon Federation

Australian Institute of Marine Science

Cape Breton University

Carleton University

Canadian Securities Institute

Dalhousie University

East Carolina University

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Falkland Island Fisheries Department, UK

Government of Nunavut

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

James Cook University, Australia


LGL Limited

MacQuarie University, Australia

Margaree Salmon Association

Maritime BioLoggers

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Mount Allison University

Montana Rural Water Systems

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

Nova Scotia Salmon Association

Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

NYU Langone Medical School

Ontario Power Generation

Oregon State University

Pacific Biological Station

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Pacific Salmon Commission

Québec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife

Restigouche River Watershed Management Committee, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Sea Mammal Research Unit

University of California Irvine

St. Francis Xavier University

University of Maine

Technical University of Denmark

University of Victoria

University of Massachusetts

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Abernathy Fish Technology Center

Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources

University of Northern British Columbia

Université Laval

University of British Columbia

University of Delaware

University of Manitoba

University of Ottawa

University of Quebec at Chicoutimi

University of Victoria

University of Waterloo

University of Windsor

University of Prince Edward Island Veterinary College

United States Geological Survey


Virginia Commonwealth

University of Waterloo

Western University

University of Windsor


With additional support from the Nova Scotia Research Trust (formerly NSRIT)

Produced by Nikki Beauchamp and Anja Samardzic

Designed by Christel LeBlanc, Forest Friend Creative Projects

Ocean Tracking Network

General inquiries:
+1 (902) 494-4101

Found equipment
+1 (902) 494-2357

Media inquiries
+1 (902) 494-4405