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The Ecology and Evolution of Recovery: Lessons Learned Since the Collapse of Northern Cod


Video credit:

Jazmine Hayden

Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Dr. Hutchings is a world-renowned expert in the life history and evolution of fishes, such as Atlantic salmon, Atlantic cod, and brook trout. He has studied factors causing their depletion and affecting their recovery. His research focuses on questions in the fields of evolutionary ecology, conservation biology, and population biology.

After obtaining a PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland (1991), Jeffrey Hutchings worked at the University of Edinburgh and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (St. John’s) before accepting a position in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University (1995), where he was recently (2016) appointed Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Chair in Fish, Fisheries and Oceans. In addition to this appointment, he holds or has held academic positions at two universities (Oslo, Agder) and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. His work on fish ecology, evolution, and population dynamics has been published in more than 210 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He has served on the editorial boards of eight scientific journals and multiple expert review panels in Canada, Sweden, and the United States.

In addition to undertaking research, Dr. Hutchings has been heavily involved in the provision of science advice to decision-makers. He chaired Canada’s national science advisory body on species at risk (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, COSEWIC), a committee with statutory responsibilities to the federal government. He has been invited to appear before 11 parliamentary standing committees and is Science Advisor to Loblaw Companies Ltd. on its sustainable seafood policies. He has also served, on three occasions, as External Audit Advisor to the Auditor General of Canada. Co-founder and Past-President of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, he chaired the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel (2012) on the effects of climate change, fisheries, and aquaculture on Canadian marine biodiversity. Dr. Hutchings was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Science) in 2015.