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COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005

Appendix IV: Biosketches

                                  British Columbia, new alternate member

                                  Recommendation: Susan Pollard


 Susan Pollard completed her B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the University of Guelph, specializing in salmonid population genetics.  She spent the following 8 years with the Government of British Columbia as a fish biologist developing and coordinating the provincial fish conservation genetics program for freshwater fishes.  She recently began a new role as the Aquatic Species At Risk Specialist for BC.  The focus of this role is to oversee provincial aquatic species at risk activities from status assessment to recovery and stewardship.  However, Susan Pollard is also developing a freshwater aquatic invasive species program, and will be involved in other more general aquatic conservation and management initiatives.

Susan Pollard has a broad range of experience dealing with freshwater fisheries and conservation issues.  She has coordinated research projects dealing with mixed-stock fisheries problems and population structure, conducted hatchery program reviews and

developed captive breeding and conservation-type hatchery guidelines.  She has assisted in developing provincial policy relating to fish conservation and management.  Susan also has experience in status assessment and recovery planning.  Most recently, she assisted the Province of Alberta in developing recovery plans for 3 fish species at risk.

                         Co-chair, Plants & Lichens Specialist Subcommittee

1. Recommendation – Dr. Erich Haber (renewal)

Dr. Erich Haber is well known to COSEWIC members. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (A Biosystematics Study of Eastern North American Species of the Genus Pyrola). He worked 22 years as a botanist with the Canadian Museum of Nature and spent the last 11 years as a biological consultant. His recent consulting work has dealt extensively with species at risk and invasive species. He has an extensive report and publication list which spans the entire range from referred journal publications, popular articles, technical reports and online databases.

Dr. Erich Haber has shepherded over 150 COSEWIC reports through the system in his 23 year association with us, which include a term as COSEWIC's chair. He has extensive knowledge of the flora of Canada and conducted field work in eastern Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and the high Arctic. His work has involved systematics, ecology and Erich's contribution to Canadians has been widely acknowledged and awards have included the Roland Michener Conservation Award in 2000 and a service award from COSEWIC in 1998.

                        Co-chair Freshwater Fishes Specialist Subcommittee

                               2. Recommendation –Dr Robert Campbell (renewal)

Dr. Robert (Bob) Campbell is the incumbent Freshwater Fishes Co-Chair.  He has proven to be highly effective in this position over the last four years.  Bob Campbell has a PhD in environmental physiology and ecology from the University of Guelph and has a sound and broad working knowledge of conservation biology, systematics/taxonomy, ecology, population biology, genetics, and wildlife management.  Bob Campbell has developed an excellent understanding of conservation issues related to the freshwater fishes in Canada through his work at various levels of government, as CITES Management Authority for Canada, and through his many years of work with COSEWIC.

Dr. Campbell has a significant amount of scientific writing experience, with articles published in many peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed texts.  He also has significant editorial experience working for some time as the associate editor of the Canadian Field-Naturalist and also as stand-in-editor for the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.  Throughout his career, Bob Campbell has also been very successful in leading consensus seeking teams and has shown great enthusiasm in his leadership role with the Freshwater Fishes SSC despite a daunting workload.  As Co-Chair, he has successfully managed to bring a large number of status reports through the jurisdictional and committee review processes and to the COSEWIC table. 

                        Co-chair, Terrestrial Mammals Specialist Subcommittee

                               3. Recommendation –Dr. Mark Brigham (new)

Dr. Brigham has a BSc from Queen's University, a MSc from Carleton and a PhD from York University. He is currently a Professor of Biology at the University of Regina. Over the last 17 years, Dr. Brigham has conducted research on the ecology, behaviour and conservation of bats, as well as a variety of bird species. Although bats are the focus of Dr. Brigham's research, he has a broad knowledge of terrestrial mammals, particularly those found in grassland habitats of western Canada. Dr. Brigham also teaches Conservation Biology at the University of Regina, and so has current knowledge in this area.

Dr. Brigham has experience in assessment techniques and in formulating status recommendations. He has been a member of COSEWIC's Terrestrial Mammals SSC for over five years and has also served on the Province of Saskatchewan's Scientific Committee, which provides status recommendations for plants and animals in the province. 

Finally, Dr. Brigham has extensive experience both in writing and reviewing scientific articles. He has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers, is an associate editor of the "American Midland Naturalist" and has conducted reviews for over 30 journals and several granting agencies. He has also reviewed numerous status reports as a member of the Terrestrial Mammals SSC.

                      Co-chair, Marine Fishes Specialist Subcommittee

                               4. Recommendation –Dr. Howard Powles(new)

Dr. Powles has by far the strongest record of government service and in fisheries and endangered species management of any of the candidates. He received his Ph.D. in 1975 and just retired after a 27-year career in the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans during which he rose to become Director of the Biodiversity Science Branch and more recently Head of the Species at Risk Secretariat. He was a member of COSEWIC from 1998 through 2004 and actively contributed to the formulation of the new COSEWIC under SARA.  He chaired COSEWIC's criteria working group that pioneered the use of the IUCN-like criteria system we now employ.  He is not an academic and therefore his publications output is not in the same league as the other candidates, both university professors. He has, however, produced over 30 technical reports on fisheries subjects.  Given his career path, his output of scientific papers is respectable. 

His knowledge of DFO, government, fisheries science and management, COSEWIC, and how to run a committee are all extremely important and valuable to have in a co-chair of this subcommittee.  Because of his experience, Dr. Powles would bring to COSEWIC much knowledge of both marine fish and invertebrates.  He has worked in many areas of the world and was involved with both CITES and the Convention on Biodiversity.  In addition, he was Treasurer of the  Canadian Conference of Fisheries Research.  His involvement in this scientific society means that he is familiar with many Canadian Academic researchers and is witness to his interest in research on fisheries. As a member of COSEWIC, he contributed actively and constructively to discussions of Status Reports on species other than fish.  Dr. Powles' contribution to COSEWIC as Marine Fish SSC Co-Chair would therefore not be limited to the assessment of fishes. 

Finally, through his involvement in several committees, Dr. Powles revealed an uncommon ability to work to achieve consensus.  He can express a contrary view while showing much professional respect for those he disagrees with, raising the quality of the discourse in discussions involving strong opinions.  That is a key quality of a COSEWIC member.

                      Co-chair, Marine Fishes Specialist Subcommittee

                               5. Recommendation –Dr. Paul Bentzen (new)


Paul Bentzen is Professor of Fisheries Resource Conservation Genetics at Dalhousie University. He has 21 years of professional experience with marine fishes in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans but also has considerable knowledge of other organisms, having published on crustaceans, birds, mammals, molluscs and freshwater fishes.  He has extensive knowledge of salmonids.  His technical expertise encompasses molecular population genetics, particularly the use of DNA microsatellite markers in understanding the population biology of fishes. He has an excellent publication record and maintains a very active and well-funded research program. 

Dr. Bentzen has a good record of University and professional service, having chaired numerous departmental and faculty committees and is a member of COSEWIC's Marine Fishes Subcommittee.  He teaches courses in Molecular Ecology, Marine Conservation Genetics, and Evolution.  Prof. Bentzen's expertise, stemming from a career devoted to population ecology and genetics of fishes and other aquatic animals, as well as his abilities to work with others on conservation issues make him a prime candidate for a Co-Chair's position. Those who know him consider him energetic and likely to contribute actively to discussions, working groups and assessments. 

Curricula vitae for all nominees and current members are on file with the COSEWIC Secretariat.