Canadian research – NSERC projects
From 2008-2018, the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) built an international interdisciplinary network supported principally by NSERC. During this phase, researchers utilized OTN’s global infrastructure, analytical tools, and expertise to address key scientific questions of both national and international concern and relevance. The research was focused in the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans to address and respond to questions facing these vastly different ocean ecosystems.
Since the conclusion of the NSERC-funded phase in 2018, OTN and its affiliated researchers have continued building on research studies and results, and embracing new and emerging opportunities for investigation.
Research methodology under the NSERC-funded Canadian research network 2008-2018
The initial OTN Canadian research network addressed one multifaceted question across Canada’s three oceans: what are the movements of marine animals and what are the consequences of environmental change on these species’ interactions, distributions and abundances?
Framework questions were:
1. How do oceanographic and environmental features (both physical and biological) affect animal habitat use, movement and migrations?
2. How do species interactions relate to habitat use, movement patterns, and biotic/abiotic features?
3. How do human activities and industrial development influence aquatic animal behaviour and ecology?
As OTN grew, the framework questions expanded the scope of the research within Canada and internationally, and cross-cutting activities (e.g. assimilating animal tracking data with coastal and offshore oceanographic models) stimulated interactions and collaborations within the Network. This approach fostered effective communication among researchers and laboratories, provided extraordinary training opportunities for students, and advanced the development of novel technology.
Cross-cutting activities were:
1. Assimilating animal tracking data with coastal and offshore oceanographic models
2. Visualization and modelling of complex aquatic and marine observations
Linking oceanographic features with animal migrations and movements.
3. Advancing animal tracking technology and tagging techniques
4. Transferring research into policy and management, and fostering linkages between scientists and stakeholders
[Read Aquatic animal telemetry: A panoramic window into the underwater world Science, 12 June 2015]