Welcome to the Metaxas Lab!


We are looking for a new MSc student!

MSc student – Marine Ecology/ Conservation
Project title: Ecological connectivity of macrofauna in kelp ecosystems

Project description: Kelp beds are important ecosystem engineers that support healthy coastal ecosystems. In some regions of the world, they have been declining because of stressors such as heatwaves and invasive species. Dramatic shifts in kelp beds in the southwestern coast of NS have been recorded for several decades. Transitions between kelp beds and urchin barrens in the shallow subtidal region were documented every 5-10 years and were attributed to cycles between urchin grazing fronts migrating to shallow depths and consuming all kelp along the way followed by mass mortalities due to a pathogen and recovery of the kelp beds. The cycle was disrupted by an invasive species which impacts the structural complexity of the kelp and has led to the near complete defoliation of kelp beds in some areas and their replacement by turf algae. Luxuriant kelp beds persist in Nova Scotia, in the Eastern Shore Islands Area of Interest, currently being considered as a potential Marine Protected Area (MPA). We have been describing the population dynamics of these kelps beds and exploring factors that may be contributing to their resilience to stressors. This project will explore ecological connectivity through the movement of macrofauna (including sea urchins) across the offshore boundary of the kelp beds. We will use Baited Remote Underwater Video Surveys (BRUVS), a method that has recently grown in popularity to assess, count, and size demersal fish and mobile macrofauna. BRUVS can be easily deployed offering a cost-effective way to rapidly collect data that is non-destructive, making it suitable for use in sensitive benthic ecosystems. This project will inform monitoring strategies for the proposed MPA.

• BSc Hons in Marine Ecology or Ocean Sciences
• Strong quantitative background
• Previous field experience desired
• Strong teamwork skills

Location: Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Start date: September 2022

To apply: send CV, Statement of Research Interest and unofficial copy of full transcript to Anna Metaxas at metaxas@dal.ca

If you are interested in joining our lab, please send me an email describing your research interests and include a current copy of your curriculum vitae and transcript.

Website updated: April 30, 2022