Polina Orlov is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but spent her early childhood in Moscow, Russia. Growing up in these two landlocked cities, she did not always see herself pursuing a marine-related career, but her interest in the natural environment has slowly led her towards ocean sciences. Polina moved to Vancouver for a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC), graduating in 2020. Living only steps from the beach and being introduced to marine life in many of her courses, she soon developed a strong interest in studying the ocean. She got involved with a research lab doing salmon diet analysis to help understand what juvenile pink and chum salmon are eating on their journey from the Fraser River to the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. She later completed an MSc in Oceanography at UBC in the summer of 2022. The main focus of her research was on salps (Salpa aspera) and other pelagic tunicates. In particular, she examined how these organisms are contributing to organic matter export from the surface to the deep ocean and the quality of food they provide to their predators, such as pelagic fish, turtles, marine birds, and crustaceans. Outside of work, Polina often enjoys walks along the beach, hiking and skiing in nearby BC mountains, and cooking dinners with her friends.
MacKenzie Kermoade is from Washington State, USA. MacKenzie learned to conduct marine scientific research at Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), where she obtained her high school diploma and Associate’s degree. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Soka University of America before studying Global Environment and Climate Change Law at the University of Edinburgh. Since graduating with her LL.M. in Fall 2020, MacKenzie has interned with the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). MacKenzie’s research areas focus on marine environmental law and climate law. When she is not steeped in jurisprudence, MacKenzie loves to hike, tidepool, and compose comedic songs about the environment. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 52.
Minje Choi was born and raised in Busan, Republic of Korea. Since the ocean surrounds Busan, he naturally fell in love with the ocean. While an undergraduate student, he found his passion for sustainable fisheries resources while working as an intern at the Ministry of Fisheries in Fiji. After he graduated from Pukyong National University in 2017 with two bachelors’ degrees in Marine Business Economics and International Development, he decided to continue his studies at graduate school to learn fisheries resource management. During his time at the Pukyong National University, as a graduate student, he participated in several projects relating to fisheries resource management in Korea including “A study on the effects of setting total allowable catch (TAC) and catch limit” where he took a significant role. Minje has published four research papers and most relate to the application of Bayesian statistics to fisheries resource assessment and management. In recognition of his efforts, he received two awards from international conferences—one award was received from the PICES for his research of applying the Bayesian state-space model to the bioeconomic analysis for Korean fisheries. Minje graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration in February 2020 and the main subject of his thesis was the Bioeconomic analysis of small yellow croaker (Larimichthys polyactis) for fisheries management. To see some of what he worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 50.
Andrew Chin was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, where he developed a fascination with fish at an early age thanks to David Attenborough and numerous visits to the local aquarium. This interest grew into a passion while volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium and exploring the Pacific Northwest with the BSA. Andrew earned two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Washington (UW) in spring 2020, majoring in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and Marine Biology. While at the UW, Andrew worked in the lab of Dr. Tom Quinn, where he studied the life history and ecology of Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) from Bristol Bay, Alaska, using otolith microchemistry and stable isotopes. This project is being developed into a research paper with Dr. Quinn and Dr. Morgan Bond. Andrew is also actively involved in scientific communication and mentorship. He was a science communication fellow for Washington Sea Grant, co-editor-in-chief of FieldNotes, an undergraduate research journal at the UW, and has been a two-time speaker at the Seattle Aquarium youth volunteer alumni lightning talks. For his academic achievements, Andrew received the 2020 Undergraduate Dean’s Medal for the UW College of the Environment. Andrew spends most of his summers at sea, working aboard the historic wooden schooner Adventuress as an educator and deckhand in 2017 and as a volunteer in the winter off-season. In 2018 and 2019, Andrew sailed for science, researching biological oceanography in the central equatorial Pacific with Sea Education Association and off the U.S. West Coast at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in the Sponaugle-Cowen lab. During these cruises, he focused on the distribution of fish and crustacean larvae with respect to features such as atolls, seamounts, and continental shelves. Most recently, Andrew worked as a fish passage technician with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He assessed culverts and stream crossings in Puget Sound for salmonid passability and potential spawning habitat gain upstream. The resulting removal of impassable barriers could open habitat for salmon to spawn and rear. In the free time Andrew has enjoys hiking, cycling, running, and cooking. To see some of what he worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 49.
Moronke Harris was born and raised in land-locked Richmond Hill, Ontario, and joins the NPAFC from the Environmental and Community Health Services sectors of the Regional Municipality of York. In 2017, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science at the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario), where she completed studies on furunculosis and cold-water disease diagnosis in brook and rainbow trout. As an avid community volunteer, during her time at the University of Guelph Moronke was a member of Student Volunteer Connections, where she participated as a Volunteer Placement Coordinator and Committee Co-lead for the ‘Do So Much’ Student Awareness Conferences. Moronke’s recent research activities consist of three separate placements. Since 2017, she has worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Guelph using image analysis to investigate whether barnacle microtopography measurements can be used as covariates to increase precision of randomized field experiments involving intertidal littorinid snail populations. In late 2018, she completed a fully funded 3-month internship at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS) after receiving a Canadian Associates of BIOS scholarship grant through a competitive selection process. There, in collaboration with GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research (Kiel, Germany), she studied the effect of climate engineering technology (artificial upwelling) on combating ocean warming near coral reef ecosystems. Most recently, in summer of 2019, she was positioned under the Ocean Acidification and Chemical and Physical Ecology Departments at Mote Marine Laboratory (Sarasota, Florida). Here she performed various chemical seawater analyses, assisted in coastal fieldwork projects including monthly Sarasota Bay Water Quality Monitoring, and completed a study which examined the effect of seagrass bed refugium on mitigating gradual changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. Moronke plans to pursue Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in Oceanography. Outside of professional placements, she is an avid freelance visual artist, scuba diver, and traveler who enjoys volunteering for marine conservation organizations. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 47.
Laura Tessier was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario. She developed her love of fishing and water by spending time with her Grandparents at their house on Chemong Lake. Laura earned her HBSc from Trent University in 2013 and completed her honours thesis in a Fish Ecology lab under the joint supervision of Dr. M. Xenopoulos and Dr. M. Fox. From there, Laura moved to Waterloo, ON and began her MSc at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) with Dr. M. Wilkie in his Physiology and Aquatic Toxicology lab. Laura’s research focused primarily on investigating metabolic scaling physiology of invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) exposed to lampricides in the Great Lakes. Afterwards, Laura continued her studies at WLU and began her PhD in Biological and Chemical Sciences in 2016. Her current project is investigating how the chemistry of the gill microenvironment (pH and alkalinity) of two fishes with different ventilation strategies, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), influences the speciation, uptake, clearance and toxicity of lampricides. When she’s not in the lab, Laura enjoys volunteering with science education and communication programs, and working with organizations to promote aquatic research. Laura served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) from 2017–2019, while also assisting with WLU’s AquaSONG project, which encourages high school students to learn about freshwater ecosystems, field sampling and laboratory analysis. She is passionate about fisheries, Great Lakes, freshwater and marine ecosystems and hopes to pursue a career related to environmental conservation or restoration. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 47.
Nathan Bendriem was born in Paris, France but spent most of his childhood in East Tennessee. Nathan graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in Marine Affairs and Policy in 2015. During his undergraduate study, Nathan spent one summer volunteering at a fish hatchery in Miami, aiding graduate students conducting feed trials in cobia, hoping to get a better understanding of how to minimize the amount of wild fish needed in aquaculture feed. Following his graduation, Nathan took on a three-month internship with The Billfish Foundation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During that time, he created maps of billfish tags and recoveries, illustrating the high migratory patterns of a species with strong ties to recreational fisheries. He was able to engage with different stakeholders at a fishing tournament in the Gulf of Mexico, to talk about the importance of constituent-based tagging programs in proper billfish conservation. Nathan began his Master of Science in September 2016, at the University of British Columbia. His research focused on the use of genomic technologies to provide a cost-effective alternative for assessment and management of wild coho salmon, and to select for broodstock in land-based coho salmon farms. Nathan enjoys skiing in the winter, and backpacking in the spring and summer. As much as he misses the warm waters off Miami, he does scuba dive from time to time near Vancouver. To see some of what he worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 46.
Stephanie Taylor was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario; far away from any oceans. But that didn’t stop her from heading to the ocean anytime she could. Her love for the ocean was reinforced spending summers with her family in Prince Edward Island. She graduated from McMaster University in 2015 with a BSc in Integrated Science and Earth and Environmental Science. While at McMaster she travelled to the Amazon rainforest in northern Peru to study the benthic habitat preferences of Amazonia river dolphins. After McMaster, Stephanie worked as an Environmental Science Instructor at Whale Camp, a marine biology summer camp located on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. She had the opportunity to witness the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale in the wild. After finally living near the ocean, she didn’t want to go back inland and so enrolled in the Masters of Resource and Environmental Management program at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Growing up her younger brother dragged her out fishing often, but it wasn’t until her time at Dalhousie that Stephanie discovered her love of fisheries management. While in Halifax she completed a study on conserving Atlantic Salmon in the maritime provinces of Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island). She also completed an internship with WWF-Canada where she worked on developing a survey of the commercial fishing industry to better understand the interactions between the lobster and Atlantic mackerel fisheries. She continued this work into her capstone research project where she evaluated the management practices surrounding Atlantic mackerel and Atlantic herring in Canada, the United States and Europe. She began working as the North Pacific Coordinator for the International Year of the Salmon (IYS) initiative after completing an internship as the NPAFC Secretariat in December 2018. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 45.
Pavel Emelin was born and raised in Vladivostok, Russia and could never imagine being away from the sea. In 2011, being a third-year student of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Pavel began to participate in marine expedition research of Pacific Research Fisheries Center (TINRO-Center). Pavel graduated with a master’s degree in Ecology—the main subject of his undergraduate thesis and graduate work was study of the composition and dynamics of abundance of the epipelagic nekton of the Bering and Okhotsk seas. In 2013 he took up a full-time engineering position (now a research scientist). In the same year, Pavel started a full-time postgraduate study at TINRO-Center specializing in Ichthyology. The main direction of Pavel’s work is the study of composition, structure and long-term dynamics of the epipelagic nekton of the Sea of Okhotsk. This work is important in the context of studying the biological environment of Pacific salmon, and their role in functional processes of the epipelagic nektonic community. Pavel has spent most of his time on the water aboard scientific research vessels. However, he enjoys being on the water just on the board. If a good wave – on the surfboard, if the water is frozen – on a snowboard.
Caroline Graham was born and raised in the landlocked United States but was always looking for opportunities to get out on the water, whether it was a lake, river, or pool. She graduated from a small school in the cornfields of Iowa, called Grinnell College, with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2016. During her time at Grinnell, she participated in a joint marine science and policy program run by the Sea Education Association, during which she sailed from Puerto Rico to Bermuda to New York on a tall ship studying microplastic pollution and high seas policy. This sparked her interest in marine/aquatic science, as well as international policy, which led to a string of other adventures. These included invasive fish removal in the Grand Canyon, tow net surveys in Puget Sound, salmon habitat assessments in the rivers of Alaska, and finally a year in Mexico studying the impacts of seaweed on coastal ecosystems. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 43.
Madeline Young was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and developed a strong attachment to the ocean while spending childhood summers fishing with her family on the Sunshine Coast. Madeline obtained a BSc in Marine Biology from the University of British Columbia where she studied morphological and molecular techniques to better understand the evolution and taxonomy of coralline algae in the Pacific Northwest. While contemplating her next step, Madeline came across a new Coastal and Marine Management program run by the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður, Iceland. Drawn to the idea of a small, international, interdisciplinary program taught in a remote fishing town just below the Arctic Circle, she moved to Ísafjörður to complete her Master’s degree. During this time, she developed an interest in studying ways to reduce entanglements and bycatch in fisheries and aquaculture operations and completed a study of whale, porpoise, and turtle entanglements in mussel aquaculture gear for her thesis. Afterwards, Madeline returned to British Columbia with her new dog, Trítla, and helped to spawn and raise coho salmon and white sturgeon at a land-based hatchery and grow-out facility in Sechelt. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 41.
William (Bill) Stanbury was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and graduated from both the University of British Columbia with a BA in History and from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Technical Diploma in Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation. Bill has completed invasive species mapping projects and mapped local trails with community groups. He has worked in a turtle hatchery enhancement program to rehabilitate sub-populations of the Western Painted Turtle, a protected species in BC, and reared hatchery coho salmon. Since 2015, he has worked as a hydroacoustics technician with the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC), an organization formed by Canada and the United States to cooperatively manage Pacific salmon, where his responsibilities included enumerating and sampling returning adult Fraser River sockeye salmon. Bill spent his youth heavily involved in soccer and hockey, activities he continues as an adult. He kayaks, hikes, and had the exciting experience of bobsledding at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Whistler, BC. To see some of what he worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 41.
Minho Kang graduated from Pukyong National University in Busan, Republic of Korea, with a MSc in 2007 and from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, United States, with a MSc in oceanography in 2014. Since 2004, he has conducted research on a variety of subjects including DNA stock identification of chum salmon, adaptive responses of chum salmon growth to environmental changes, multispecies biomass dynamics models, including species interactions of predation and competition, and employing other statistical applications to commercially important fish populations. To see some of what he worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 39.
Yulia Simakova started her internship in September 2014 and completed it in February 2015. Yulia graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia, and after completing her internship, she has returned to Moscow State University to continue her studies. To see some of what she worked on while at the Secretariat, see Newsletter No. 37.
Yuka Ogata came to the Secretariat while on leave from her PhD program at the University of Tokyo in the Department of Global Agricultural Sciences. After she finished her internship, she returned to Japan and completed her degree. Read more about Yuka’s activities after her internship in Newsletter No. 35.