Michelle Nelson

 

 

Current position: PhD just obtained!

 

Degrees: BScA (UBC)

MES (York University)

 

Email: michelle_nelson@sfu.ca

 

 

In July 2014 I defended my PhD, which was done in partnership with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation in the Great Bear Rainforest on the central coast of BC. The alarming, well-documented reduction in salmon abundance in the Pacific Northwest over the last century and resulting loss of nutrient deposition has drawn a lot of attention for conservation, both for the sake of salmonid species, as well as to protect the stability of ecosystems relying on these energy inputs. One remarkable interaction is between adult spawning salmon and juvenile anadromous salmon hatching and rearing in freshwater streams, where carcasses and eggs provide high energy nutrients during the short growing season for juvenile salmonids. It has been hypothesized that the availability of these nutrients may be critical to the population dynamics of stream-rearing juveniles, although the effect of these nutrients at the population level has not been well studied. I discovered that nutrients from carcasses of pink and chum adults provide benefits to juvenile coho growth and population densities.  My first publication on this came out recently in PLOS ONE.