Dr Natalie C. Ban
Natalie joined the School of Environmental Studies in January 2013. Trained in geography, resource management and environmental studies, Natalie Ban draws upon many disciplines from natural and social sciences in her work. Her research interests span ethnoecology, conservation biology, marine spatial planning, conservation planning and implementation, and evaluation and mapping of cumulative impacts, all mainly in marine and coastal systems. Natalie’s current research focuses on identifying options for management and conservation of biodiversity whilst respecting people’s needs and uses of resources.
Students, postdocs, and research assistants
Charlotte joined the lab as a PhD student in in September 2014. She hails from the mountains of Whistler, but spent much of her youth indoctrinated in marine conservation issues and environmental education while being raised on a sailboat. Her interests lie in identifying marine conservation planning solutions for temperate coastal ecosystems that consider the effects of global climate change, as well as the needs of local communities. While her work at UVic is in its early days, she hopes to integrate her academic experience with her passion for the BC west coast by working in Haida Gwaii and along the north coast, areas of rich ecological and cultural diversity. Her work will contribute to the field of marine ecology and social-ecological systems planning in a warming global climate.
Prior to starting her PhD, Charlotte completed her MSc at the University of British Columbia where she studied the effects of climate change on juvenile sockeye salmon population diversity in the Fraser River. She has worked as a biologist locally in BC with municipal government and First Nations groups as well as with artisanal farmers in sustainable aquaculture development in SE Africa.
Chris started his PhD in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria in September 2013. He earned his MSc in Sweden, where he studied strategic leadership towards sustainability at the Blekinge Institute of Technology. His MSc thesis focused on applying the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development – a science-based whole systems approach to addressing society’s current sustainability challenge – towards engendering more sustainable food habits. Chris’ ten years of experience leading river rafting expeditions in the Arctic and abroad have inspired his interest in human relationships with natural ecosystems. His PhD research explores the concept of shifting baselines syndrome in coastal First Nations communities in British Columbia, and how culture affects our perceptions and connections with the world around us.
Elena is a second year Master’s candidate. She completed her BSc at the Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Elena has a lifelong passion
for marine conservation. Before attending graduate studies at UVic, she worked for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Shark Specialist group where she completed elasmobranch Red List status reassessments for the European Union. Currently, she works with the Songhees First Nation on creating a marine use plan that aims at garnering official conservation status for part of Songhees traditional territory. As part of this project, she will employ an underwater drone to survey culturally important species in the marine environment as well as assist in conducting interviews with Songhees traditional knowledge holders. Elena has also been involved as a director, diver and dive coordinator with the Marine Life Sanctuary Society of British Columbia since 2013. In her free time, Elena enjoys exploring the subtidal waters around Victoria, yoga and meditating.
Jaime joined the Lab as a Ph.D. student in September 2017. He is from Patagonia, Chile. He is a marine biologist and he did a Master’s degree in management and conservation. His experience of research has been on three topics: i) Coastal Ecology of Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments, he has worked on spatial and temporal scales with macroalgae, mollusks, fish, and seabirds. ii) Ethno-ecology, he has had the opportunity to work with first nations and artisanal fishermen on the southern tip of South America, observing their biocultural interactions with marine ecosystems. iii) Environmental ethics, he has investigated the links between ecological science and philosophical research. Currently, its objective is to contribute to the management of marine protected areas in Chile and Canada.
Kim-Ly’s Masters research with the Marine Ethnoecology Research Group is centered on community-based marine ecosystem management on the North Coast of British-Columbia. In partnership with the Gitga’at First Nation, she hopes to understand the ways in which Local and Traditional Knowledge is being, or could be, integrated with Western Scientific Knowledge to inform local marine monitoring, management, and governance. The humbling cetaceans and cedar-lined fjords first drew her to the North Coast during research she conducted while earning a B.Sc. in Biology at McGill University. Its dynamic ecology and communities have kept her coming back since. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue learning with and from a place and people that have taught her so much.
Rafael joined the lab as a Postdoctoral visiting scholar earlier in 2017. His work is focused on integrating catastrophic events related to mining disasters in conservation planning. Rafael finished his PhD in February 2016 at ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (James Cook University). In his PhD he investigates ecologically-meaningful ways of integrating ecological processes related to connectivity and climate change into conservation planning. The thesis produced 5 scientific papers, all already published. Rafael has also been working at the Brazilian Ministry of Environment since 2007. His work focuses on attempting to integrate scientific-based approaches into the decision-making process. He is passionate about nature and loves spending time outside.
Sarah started her MSc research in September 2016. Coming from a biology background, she is keenly interested in the intersection of natural science and social science. She has been working in coastal British Columbia for years as a researcher, educator, and scientific diver. Over this time, she has become passionate about the conservation of these waters and the threats that they face. Her research focuses on temporal connectivity in BC’s marine protected areas (MPAs), particularly how climate change may impact MPA effectiveness.
Tanya joined the lab in September 2017. She earned her BSc Biology from McGill University in 2011, and a Diploma in Integrated Environmental Planning from Selkirk College in 2016. Her experiences in academia, government, and non-profit sector has shaped her beliefs in the importance of involving community within environmental management. For her MSc, Tanya hopes to learn how indigenous-led protected area frameworks can be an effective alternative to conventional protected areas and empower indigenous communities within BC. She is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate to create something meaningful for communities while earning her degree. Outside of school, Tanya is an avid eater, baker, and food-sharer and loves being outside in the water or among the trees.
Aerin’s postdoctoral research evaluated and mitigates environmental and economic trade-offs among marine uses and activities on the Central Coast of British Columbia, co-supervised by Chris Darimont. She completed her PhD at McGill University on tropical rainforest ecology and restoration in Uganda. Her outreach work includes advocating for evidence-based decision-making, helping to develop Canadian climate change policies, and science communication through social media and storytelling. Aerin is currently working for the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative.
Darienne completed her Masters in Environmental Studies working with Dr. Natalie Ban in 2015. Her thesis used coastal trail camera monitoring and surveys to quantify levels of illegal recreational fishing in Rockfish Conservation Areas in the Southern Gulf Islands and Victoria area. She also assessed levels of recreational rockfish bycatch and perceptions of rockfish conservation among fishers. Darienne also worked in the MER lab analyzing central coast rockfish video data for the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance. Darienne also works as the diver in charge and research assistant for a joint Galiano Conservancy Association/UVic ecological assessment of rockfish abundance in the Southern Gulf Islands. An avid diver, Darienne also volunteers with the Fish Eye Project as an underwater live dive host, streaming educational underwater video into schools and IMAX theatres. She worked with Coral Cay Conservation in the Philippines, and is currently a BC Parks ranger on the Sunshine Coast.
Georgina completed her PhD candidate at James Cook University, Australia,in 2015, co-supervised by Natalie. She is from Tasmania, where she completed her BSc in Marine, Freshwater and Antarctic Science. Preferring tropical rather than Antarctic waters for diving, she headed north to do her Honours research in the Philippines, where she used bio-physical simulation modelling to explore potential reef futures under multiple management and climatic scenarios. Georgina’s experiences in the Philippines inspired her to pursue a PhD in understanding the human dimensions of marine resource management. Supervised by Bob Pressey, Natalie Ban, Josh Cinner and Nadine Marshall, her research focused on how social factors can be incorporated into several stages of systematic conservation planning with two key aims. First, she is investigated how to explicitly integrate fisheries livelihood objectives into spatial prioritization procedures to enable MPA designs to be better aligned with the needs of local stakeholders. Second, to inform the selection of contextually appropriate conservation actions, she explored the social impacts of MPA management, and the relative role of multiple-scale factors in influencing stakeholders’ engagement in collective MPA management. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at James Cook University.
Lauren is pursuing a Master’s in Science under the guidance of Dr. Natalie Ban. After an undergraduate career at the University of Notre Dame replete with diverse ecological field experiences around the globe, Lauren’s exposure to the wisdom of local communities motivated her to delve into interdisciplinary conservation in ethnoecology, which values local and traditional knowledge systems alongside empirical scientific studies for successful and inclusive resource management. This research brought Lauren to the Central Coast of BC, where she works collaboratively with Coastal First Nations (Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Wuikinuxv, and Nuxalk) to bolster local Marine Use Plans and understand changes to groundfish populations over the last century. She is endlessly inspired by the “sea-marrying-cedar” vistas and wildlife adventures that the Great Bear Rainforest provides, as well as the wisdom and welcome emitted by the First Nations she works with. Lauren is now embarking upon a PhD with Chris Darimont.
Tammy joined the School of Environmental Studies in September 2014 after completing her PhD at the University of St Andrews and Institute of Zoology (UK). Her main research interests focus on how an interdisciplinary approach can be used to develop locally specific and sustainable conservation management solutions. Tammy developed an interest in this area after working for a marine conservation NGO in Madagascar and witnessing the conflict between restrictive conservation measures and the food security of local people. Since then, Tammy has been involved in numerous conservation-focused research projects, including her PhD which assessed the relationship between biodiversity and poverty in the context of land use change, in a remote and poorly studied region of the Solomon Islands. She is now working for Birdlife International in the UK.
Others will be listed here as they join the research group.