Sarah de Mendonça

PhD Candidate

Current Research

sarah_de_mendonca

I am a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University in the Department of Oceanography under the supervision of Dr. Anna Metaxas. My research project is connected to CHONe (the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network) and aims to support the broader CHONe II goals to develop better ocean ecosystem conservation strategies. My research will use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the distribution of deep-water corals and other epibenthic megafaunal species (such as such as sea pens, sponges, and echinoderms) on the Northwest Atlantic continental slope and the factors that regulate these ecosystems. My main study site is the Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area and surrounding area, where I have completed field sampling using the remotely operated vehicle ROPOS and a drop camera system (Campod). My objectives include, (1) comparing deep-sea monitoring tools, (2) identifying local-scale (0-100s m) spatial patterns and species associations, (3) examining spatial patterns in the abundance of sea pens and species-environmental associations at regional scales (10s-1000s km) including species distribution modeling, and (4) assessing risks and impacts to deep-sea biological communities. Overall, the study intends to draw conclusions relevant to effective multiscale conservation of deep-sea ecosystems globally, as well as inform a monitoring framework for deep-sea Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) such as the Laurentian Channel MPA.

Education 

Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Department of Oceanography
PhD Candidate (Transfer from MSc)
September 2016 – Present

Thesis topic: Spatial analysis of epibenthic megafauna in the deep sea of the Northwest Atlantic for effective management of Marine Protected Areas

Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
B.Sc. Marine Biology Honours Co-op and an Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate
September 2010 – May 2015

Thesis: Flying Squid: Acceleration and Distance of Purpleback Squid (Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis) Flight near Miyake-Jima Island, Japan.
Cameron Conference Poster Presentation 2015
Lett Symposium Poster Presentation 2015

Scholarships and Awards

  • NSERC Doctoral PGS D Award 2019-2021.
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, 2019-2022.
  • First place scientific poster presentation award at Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) 3rd meeting. Ottawa, ON, 2018.
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, 2017-2018.
  • In-Course Yearly Scholarships Dalhousie University, 2012-2015.
  • Dalhousie Entrance Scholarship 2011-2014.

Relevant Experience

Teaching Assistant
Marine Ecology MARI3761, Biology Department, Dalhousie (Halifax, NS).
September 2017- December 2018 

Deep-sea Coral and Megafauna Video Analyst
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Dartmouth, NS)
September 2017- January 2018

Image Analyst (epibenthic megafauna)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Dartmouth, NS).
October 2016-March 2017

Remote Sensing Technician
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Dartmouth, NS)
July 2016 – August 2016.

Marine Biologist and Boat Crew
Island Quest Whale Watching (St. Andrews, NB)
June 2015 – September 2015.

Animal Care Technician
Dalhousie University- Carlton Animal Care Facility (Halifax, NS)
April 2014 – August 2014.

Phytoplankton Ballast Water Research Assistant
Dalhousie University-Dr.Cullen/MacIntyre Laboratory (Halifax, NS)
January 2013 – April 2013.

Aquatron Assistant Summer Biologist
Dalhousie University – Aquatron Laboratory (Halifax, NS)
May 2012 – August 2012.

Other Relevant Activities:

  • Supervisor to undergraduate research assistants (Jan 2018-present)
  • Editor for Current Tides magazine by DOSA, showcasing student research (2018-present).
  • Substitute Lecturer Deep Sea Biology (OCEA 4370/5370), Dalhousie University (Oct 2018)
  • Co-organized, hosted, and fundraised for the Conference of Dalhousie Oceanography Graduate Students (CDOGS), 2017-2018.
  • Member, Dalhousie Oceanography Student Association (DOSA) (2016-present)
  • Chairperson, Dalhousie Association of Marine Biology Students (DAMS) (2011-2013)
  • Workshops:
    • “Spatial Analysis workshop”, as well as discussions on MPA networks and Marine conservation planning. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) meeting, Ottawa, (Dec 2018).
    • “Marine Protected Areas for 2020 and beyond: A DFO and CHONe joint workshop on MPA network monitoring in Canada’s three oceans”, Montreal, QC, (Nov 2018)
    • “World Conference Marine Biodiversity Mentoring program”, Montreal, QC, May 2018).
    • “Beyond Mapping: Analyzing and Understanding Habitat Patterns in Space and Time ” . GeoHab Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, (May 2018).
    • Data Management Workshop and COMPASS Workshop on improving science communication. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) meeting. Gatineau, QC, (May 2018)
    • “DEVOTES Indicators Workshop”, Montreal, QC, (Sept 2016).

Publications

Carr, H., Abas, M., Boutahar, L., Caretti, O.N., Chan, W.Y., Chapman, A., de Mendonça, S.N., Engleman, A., Simmons, K., Verdura, J., Zivian, A., & Ferrario, F. (submitted) The Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Achievements for marine conservation and priorities beyond 2020.

Metaxas, A., Lacharité, M., & de Mendonça, S.N. (2019). Hydrodynamic connectivity of habitats of deep-water corals in Corsair Canyon, Northwest Atlantic: a case for cross-boundary conservation. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 159.

de Mendonça, S.N., MacIsaac, K., and Johnson, C.L. (in prep.) Analysis of surface microplastics in Canadian northwest Atlantic shelf and slope waters. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Other research).

de Mendonça, S.N., Metaxas, A. (2018). Final Deliverables: Gulf of Maine Video Analysis of Bigelow 2017 Cruise [Technical Report for Fisheries and Oceans Canada] 57 pages.

de Mendonça S.N., Metaxas A. (2018) Incorporating spatial analyses into conservation and monitoring of deep-sea megafauna in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) [Published Abstract]. PeerJ Preprints  6:e26808v1. https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.26808v1.

de Mendonça S.N., Metaxas A. (2018). Incorporating spatial analyses into conservation and monitoring of deep-sea megafauna in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) [International Conference: Abstract]. GeoHab (Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping) Abstract Program, Sanata Barbara, CA (MSc. Work).

Presentations

de Mendonça S.N.*, Metaxas A. (2019). Conserving the deep sea: a spatial analysis of deep-sea epibenthic megafauna in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean [Conference: Oral Presentation]. Conference of Dalhousie Oceanography Graduate Students (CDOGS). Halifax, NS.

de Mendonça S.N.*, Metaxas A. (2018). Spatial analysis of deep-sea epibenthic megafauna in the Laurentian Channel. [National: Poster Presentation]. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) 3rd meeting. Ottawa, ON.

de Mendonça S.N.*, Miatta M., Boulard M., Greeley K. (2018). Project 1.2.4 Evaluating the effectiveness of a deep-water MPA: the Laurentian Channel AOI. [National: Oral Presentation]. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) 3rd meeting. Ottawa, ON.

de Mendonça S.N.*, Metaxas A. (2018). Incorporating spatial analyses into conservation and monitoring of deep-sea megafauna in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) [International Conference: Oral Presentation]. World Conference of Marine Biodiversity, Montreal, QC

de Mendonça S.N.*, Metaxas A. (2018). Incorporating spatial analyses into conservation and monitoring of deep-sea megafauna in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) [International Conference: Oral Presentation]. GeoHab (Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping), Santa Barbara, CA.

de Mendonça S.N.*, Metaxas A. (2017). Spatial Distribution and Monitoring of Sea pen Closures in the North Atlantic Ocean [International: Invited Oral Presentation and Scientific Advice provided to report]. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Working Group on Ecosystem Science Assessment (NAFO WGESA) Meeting. Dartmouth, NS.

de Mendonça, SN.* (2017). Developing effective monitoring techniques for deep-sea Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): using population dynamics and spatial distribution modeling in the Northwest Atlantic [National: Poster Presentation]. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) 2nd meeting. Gattineau, QC.

de Mendonça, S.N.* (2017). Deep-sea population dynamics and spatial distribution modeling in the Northwest Atlantic [National: Oral Presentation]. Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe)  Imagery workshop. St. Andrews, NB

de Mendonça, S.N. (2016). Megafaunal species distribution in deep-sea conservation areas: Sea Pens in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean [National: Oral Presentation]. Strategic Network Enhancement Initiative (SNEI) Indicators, Montreal, QC.

de Mendonça, S.N.*, O’Dor, R. (2015). Flying Squid: Acceleration and Distance of Purpleback Squid (Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis) Flight Near Miyake-Jima Island, Japan [Institutional: Conference Poster Presentation]. Lett Symposium. Halifax, NS.

de Mendonça, S.N.*, O’Dor, R. (2015). Flying Squid: Acceleration and Distance of Purpleback Squid (Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis) Flight Near Miyake-Jima Island, Japan [Institutional: Conference Poster Presentation]. Cameron Conference. Halifax, NS.

Contact Information

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sarahdemendonca
sarah.de.mendonca@dal.ca
Twitter: @sarah_aquatic

Dalhousie University, Department of Oceanography
LSC Ocean Wing, 1355 Oxford St.
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2