Introducing the first edition of The BMSC Star 

Since 1972, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) has been weaving together an extraordinary scientific community of students, researchers, staff, and alumni.
We invite you to stay connected with what we are doing on Vancouver Island's west coast and beyond.

Director's message
Dr. Sean Rogers

Welcome to our Newsletter!

One of my favorite parts about working at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is explaining who we are and what we do.

I proudly say that we are a not-for-profit society and that this wonderful facility has been supporting life-changing exploration and discovery in coastal and marine sciences for over 48 years. BMSC is shared by five western universities (the University of Calgary, University of Victoria, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University) that partnered to support the vision of a marine field station. Board representation includes financial oversight responsibilities and our member universities provide annual financial support to cover basic administration and operational costs.

We are delighted to launch this newsletter as a means to stay connected with BMSC users, partners and alumni. Bamfield has an amazing track record of supporting the next generation of marine scientists, from those that have never seen the ocean before to renowned international marine biologists and other expert scientists. As you will see in our newsletter, our students and researchers continue to embark on journeys of life-changing exploration and discovery, and we couldn’t be more proud. I would like to thank our dedicated and passionate staff and take this opportunity to thank all of our BMSC visitors for their support.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones from your friends at the BMSC and best wishes for 2020 – we hope to see you in Bamfield.

BMSC Post Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Kaitlin Gallagher

BMSC welcomes Dr. Kaitlin Gallagher, who completed her PhD in June 2019 at the University of Connecticut. Kaitlin joined the BMSC in August 2019, and is studying sea lice of Pacific salmon and whales in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Cameron (Université de Montréal).  Katilin will examine the water flow and drag experienced by these ectoparasites in response to flow velocity, parasite size, shape, conformation, spatial distributions and clustering on the hosts. This study will provide a novel tool to easily and precisely quantify the stress (drag) that ectoparasites cause their hosts. This stress will be comparable between individuals, across species, and over time as  parasite loads change in a warming ocean.

Kaitlin is also the 2019 Fall Semester Directed Studies course instructor.

Read more

BMSC Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Chelsea Bennett & Rebecca Waines

The BMSC Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a competitive award to support a student’s return to BMSC for a short time during a subsequent semester (typically less than 4 weeks), to complete research started  during a BMSC course. Individual students and teams of students are eligible.

This summer, Rebecca Waines and Chelsea Bennett, 2018 Fall Program Alumni and University of Victoria students, returned to BMSC to conduct follow-up research inspired by their Directed Studies project. Working with Nova Harvest, they investigated several methods for removing unwanted crab larvae from oyster seed. Hopefully, their results will help aquaculture facilities minimize the risk of spreading the invasive European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas) during shipment of oyster seed to farms and markets.

Historical Ecology & Coastal Archaeology
Significant archaeology field school discoveries in the Broken Group Islands

Undergraduate students have had the opportunity to gain first hand Archaeology experience on Tseshaht Traditional Territory for the third summer in a row. The UVic Archaeology Field School has partnered with BMSC, Parks Canada, Tseshaht First Nation, and the Hakai Institute for this exciting experiential learning partnership project.

Read about their recent discoveries in The Tyee

Undergraduate student publication
How does angling-induced injuries affect feeding and swimming ability?

BMSC's annual accredited courses facilitate hands on collection of data by students that directly contributes to valuable long-term coastal data sets; students learn to be scientists by actually doing science.

A study led by University of Alberta undergraduate student Melissa Thompson, was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, and received widespread attention. Her research examined the impacts of angling-induced injuries on feeding performance and hydrodynamics in the marine shiner perch. Melissa collected much of the data used in this paper during her class project in the 2017 Biology of Marine Fishes course at the BMSC, highlighting the potential of this kind of experiential learning.

Read more

Calgary Connect Charter School
Inspiring future generations of scientists

Our educational field programs, funded in part by NSERC Promoscience, and the Wendy and Leslie Rebanks Bursary,  have been providing multi-day field trip experiences for students of all ages since 1975. These experiences touch the lives of over 3000 visitors every year, inspiring many young students to become marine scientists.

"Students really appreciated the wealth of knowledge and passion that they received from the instructors. THANK YOU" - Connect Charter School

"BMSC is right at the summit for an entire positive learning experience for our students. Thank you!"  - Ucluelet First Nation

Learn more

Collecting seawater samples for Fukushima InFORM
Citizen science at BMSC

In November 2014, the first seawater samples to be analyzed to look for the presence of Fukushima derived radionuclides was collected with the help of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.

Since then, BMSC has collected seawater samples for this project each month. We are ideally located off the west coast of Vancouver Island to collect offshore samples.

Read more

Select 2019 BMSC Publications

Predicting the fate of eDNA in the environment and implications for studying biodiversity

Jori B. Harrison , Jennifer M. Sunday and Sean M. Rogers

Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2019

Habitat alteration by invasive European green crab (Carcinus maenas) causes eelgrass loss in British Columbia, Canada

Howard, B.R., Francis, F.T., Côté, I.M. and Therriault, T.W.

Biological Invasions, 2019

The evolution of gametic compatibility and compatibility groups in the sea urchin Mesocentrotus franciscanus: An avenue for speciation in the sea

Levitan, D. R., Buchwalter, R. and Hao, Y. 

Evolution, 2019

Environmental Heterogeneity Mediates Scale-dependent Declines in Kelp Diversity on Intertidal Rocky Shores

Samuel Starko , Lauren A. Bailey , Elandra Creviston , Katelyn A. James , Alison Warren , Megan K. Brophy , Andreea Danasel , Megan P. Fass , James A. Townsend , Christopher J. Neufeld

PLOS ONE, 2019

Remarkably Loud Snaps During Mouth-fighting by a Sponge-dwelling Worm

Ryutaro Goto, Isao Hirabayashi and A. Richard Palmer

Current Biology, 2019

Thank you to the WCUMSS Management Council for their continued support.

The Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society (WCUMSS) was established in 1972 to provide a permanent base for marine and coastal-oriented field operations on the west coast of Canada.

Dr. Jon Driver, SFU

WCUMSS President
VP-Academic and Provost pro tem

Dr. Martin Pochurko, SFU

WCUMSS Treasurer
VP-Finance & Administration

Dr. Meigan Aronson, UBC

Dean of Science

Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, UAlberta

Dean of Science

Dr. Lesley Rigg, UCalgary

Dean of Science

Dr. Robin Hicks, UVic

Dean of Science (Acting)

Dr. Barbara Hawkins, UVic

Biology, Chair

Dr. Vanessa Auld, UBC

Zoology, Head

Dr. Isabelle Côté, SFU

Biological Sciences, Chair 

Dr. David Coltman, UAlberta

Biological Sciences, Chair

Dr. Cathy Ryan, UCalgary

Faculty of Science, Associate Dean

We wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation to long-serving WCUMSS members:

Clair Cupples (SFU)
John Holmes (UAlberta)
Micheal Caldwell (UAlberta)
Frank Marsiglio (UAlberta)
Peter Vize (UCalgary)
George Bourne (UCalgary)
Ken Barker (UCalgary)
Robert Shadwick (UBC)
Simon Peacock (UBC) 
Barry McBride (UBC)
Gayle Gorrill (UVic)
Robin Dyke (UVic)
Peter Sanderson (UVic)
Steve Gorham (UVic)

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Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

100 Pachena Road,
Bamfield, B.C. VOR 1B0

+1 (250) 728-3301

The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is dedicated to 
life-changing exploration & discovery.

BMSC is a registered Canadian charity.