Careers in science

Welcome to the rewarding world of scientific research and exploration in the Ecosystems & Oceans Science Sector (also known as the “Science” Sector) of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Imagine a career devoted to expanding knowledge about our oceans, and the health, diversity and sustainability of ocean and freshwater species. Furthermore, imagine mapping the depths of our oceans and freshwaters to enable safe navigation at sea and on our Great Lakes and rivers.

The Science Sector is an active part of Canada’s science and technology community. We are close to 1800 scientists, biologists, researchers, oceanographers, research technicians and support staff in pursuit of scientific excellence in service to Canadians. Our mandate includes a vital responsibility for the conservation and sustainable use of Canada's fisheries resources while continuing to provide safe, effective and environmentally sound aquatic services that are responsive to the needs of Canadians in a global economy.

Why work for DFO’s Science Sector?


Because we:

  • Conduct leading edge research in fisheries, aquaculture, oceans and habitat management;
  • Promote collaborative research and development projects with universities and research institutes, industry, federal science-based departments and agencies and other stakeholders such as provincial and territory governments and museums;
  • Collaborate and work with scientific peers across the country and around the world. Click here for more information on the international role of DFO's Science;
  • Have leaders that recognize and support our research and science;
  • Are known for our scientific peer review process;
  • Support publishing and communicating our scientific research and findings;
  • Promote access to all scientific data and to advanced technologies;
  • Support learning and career development;
  • Are committed to building an inclusive workforce that reflects Canada's diversity;
  • Offer meaningful and rewarding work while providing a safe, healthy and respectful work environment.

As an employee in the Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, you can join the Science Early Career Network (SECN), which engages early career science professionals in strengthening science through innovation, collaboration, and peer-supported professional development. The Network’s vision is to establish a strong and connected workforce, benefiting the Sector as a whole, through activities such as mentoring and training opportunities, armchair discussions, and regional social events.

Leading edge research is conducted in science facilities from coast to coast to coast in six regions: Newfoundland and Labrador; Maritimes; Gulf; Quebec; Central and Arctic; and, Pacific, and the headquarters of the Science Sector and the Canadian Hydrographic Service are located in the National Capital Region (Ottawa).

Are you someone who enjoys working in a job where you could make a difference? Then, DFO's Science Sector is a career destination of choice for marine science professionals and students like you!

Careers in Aquatic Sciences

About Careers in the Aquatic Sciences

In DFO’s Ecosystems & Oceans Science Sector, you will find challenging career opportunities in the following Science areas: aquatic environmental science; fisheries science; aquatic engineering; oceanography; climate change research; hydrography; marine navigation safety; aquaculture and veterinary medicine; and science program management as well as aquatic animal health, biotechnology and genomics.

There are many types of jobs in the Science Sector. Here is a general description of some of the jobs:

Type of Jobs Occupational  Group Footnote 1 General Description
Research Scientist SE-RES A broad range of scientific disciplines, such as:  marine biology, ecology, physics, biochemistry, chemical/biological/physical oceanography or limnology, fisheries science, mathematics, modeling and/or statistics.
Dynamic and challenging work environment, involving:  designing, planning and the implementation of complex scientific research projects and studies; Providing expert scientific advice and recommendations within subject-matter area; Writing, reviewing and publishing scientific papers, reports, manuscripts, and authoritative reviews; contributing to the collection, synthesization and interpretation of a broad range of complex univariate and/or multivariate data; participating in the statistical analysis of research data and the interpretation of research findings to produce meaningful conclusions respecting new scientific knowledge derived from the research.
Aquatic Science Biologist

Aquatic Science Advisor
BI A broad range of scientific disciplines, such as: aquatic biology and ecology, physical, chemical and biological oceanography.
Dynamic and challenging work environment, involving: Providing authoritative scientific information and advice; Conducting quality assessments and statistical analysis of complex scientific data; Recommending strategies, standards and methodologies in support of healthy and productive ecosystems and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;  Managing and leading multidisciplinary at-sea, field, or laboratory studies; Consulting and communicating with other scientists, program managers, resource managers, other federal regulatory agencies, provincial and territorial agencies, environmental groups, international organizations, academia, Aboriginal groups and the private sector; Developing and negotiating cooperative projects, partnerships and funding agreements.
Aquatic Science Chemist CH A broad range of scientific disciplines, such as: aquatic chemistry, environmental sciences, and domains of fisheries and aquatic science.
Dynamic and challenging work environment, involving: Conducting quality assessments and statistical analysis of complex scientific data; developing and testing of new test methods, equipment and instrumentation for the collection, measurement and analysis of chemistry samples and environmental phenomena; Writing, reviewing and publishing scientific papers, reports and authoritative reviews in aquatic science related analytical chemistry.
Physical Scientist PC A broad range of scientific disciplines, such as:  physical, environmental or geospatial science, and related scientific disciplines such as, chemical, geological and biological oceanography, fisheries biology, geography, remote sensing and meteorology.
Dynamic and challenging work environment, involving: Organizing, undertaking or participating in assigned at-sea, field and/or laboratory activities in support of aquatic and physical/environmental science initiatives;  Participating in the development of scientific information and advice for clients, including the preparation of data products, scientific reports and publications; Contributing and participating in the preparation of scientific papers and reports in aquatic physical/environmental science; Chairing/participating in departmental, interdepartmental, regional, national and international conferences, committees and working groups to promote scientific cooperation and the development of legislation, regulations, policies and standards in support of the conservation of fisheries and ocean resources.
Aquatic Science Technician

Research Technician
EG A background in  aquatic science, relevant to the application and procedures respecting instrumentation, equipment, methodologies, protocols, standards and strategies for the sampling, collection, processing, recording, preservation, quality control and analysis of samples/data within a field or laboratory environment.
Dynamic and challenging work environment, involving:  preparation and conducting of field/laboratory projects, studies and processes in aquatic science; collection, preservation, processing and analysis of biological, chemical or physical samples, data and information; Inputting, maintaining and summarizing data and information in electronic format and providing data and data products to managers and researchers as required; Operating, testing, calibrating and maintaining field/laboratory equipment and instruments; Collecting, processing, validating and analyzing field/laboratory samples and data, coordinating data retrieval from different projects and sources, interpreting data and providing technical advice; Maintaining databases, validating, inputting and manipulating data, and utilizing a variety of software applications for statistical and preliminary data analyses and the production of summary reports.
Multidisciplinary Hydrographer EG A broad range of scientific disciplines, such as:  hydrographic surveying and navigation, marine cartography and geography, geomatics and data management, as well as engineering, geography, geology, and physical sciences.
Dynamic and challenging work environment, involving:   Installation, operation, calibration and maintenance procedures for equipment, instrumentation, and acquisition hardware and software relevant to: data logging; dynamic positioning and navigation; static positioning of fixed aids and control points; depth measurement by single-beam, multi-beam and multi-transducer echo-sounders; sea-floor sampling and classification; remote sensing shoreline determination; photogrammetry or direct measurement; tide and water level measurement; draught and squat measurement; sound speed profiling; heave and attitude measurement.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s qualification standards for each of the occupational group, outline the mandatory minimum requirements including education, necessary to perform the work in a given occupational group or classification for example, Biologist (BI), Chemist (CH), Hydrographer (EG), SE-RES (Researcher), etc. For most positions in the science and technical group required a university degree and/or college diploma will be necessary. Supervisory and management skills and experience will also be required for certain positions. A professional accreditation (e.g. P. Eng. or C.L.S.) and membership in a professional regulatory body may be required for some supervisory positions. These specific requirements will be listed on job advertisements.

Careers in Scientific Research

Careers in Scientific Research

A Career as a Scientific Researcher

Do you want to learn more about the oceans and freshwater systems that help define Canada? Do you see a future in monitoring and forecasting the state of the ocean and freshwaters, mapping the ocean floor, studying the genetics, physiology, behaviour and ecology of species that live there, and understanding the effects of climate change? Do you believe that scientific research forms the foundation for sound decision-making and management of our marine and freshwater ecosystems? If this is you, a career in federal science and research might be for you.

The Science Sector of Fisheries and Oceans Canada carries out research on Canada’s oceans, marine resources, and aquatic ecosystems to understand how they function, how they respond to disturbances like climate variability, and how human activities impact our ecosystems.

Along with a passion for science, expertise in a range of fields including biology, zoology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, geography, and physics are vital for aquatic research. A researcher will have completed bachelor and master degrees for biologist and physical science positions, and a doctorate (PhD) in a specialized scientific discipline for a research scientist position.

It is recommended that, during your post-secondary studies, you actively participate in aquatic research projects, enroll in internships and find summer jobs in relevant scientific fields.

A Career as a Research Technician

Are you interested in studying science at university? Do you like the idea of working in a lab or a field station? Would you like to travel to study aquatic species? If so, a position as a Research Technician with Fisheries and Oceans Canada may be for you. A Research Technician has three main roles: gathering lab and field data; analyzing data; and communicating information to research team members and the public.

As a data-gatherer, a research technician may work in close contact with commercial harvesters to learn things about the species that they are studying. Or, he or she may join an at-sea mission to assist in the collection of oceanographic data; take part in fish or shellfish stock assessment work; tag and study marine mammal behaviours; or gather data streaming from autonomous sensors. In the field, a research technician may have the opportunity to travel on aircraft, ships and small craft to collect scientific samples. A research technician may also be focused on laboratory research, for examples: measuring samples collected in the field; examining the population genetics of species; assessing the chemistry of field samples; or, measuring the behaviour and physiology of fishes.

As a data analyst, a research technician may need to handle and process samples collected in the field upon return to DFO laboratories. And, he or she may need to compile, collate, analyze, and summarize data to provide important information that research scientists use to draw conclusions.

Technicians put the plans of the research scientists into action – they have the responsibility of collecting the data and doing the preliminary analysis that scientists rely upon. Scientists supervise technicians, but technicians frequently work during the collection and analysis of scientific data.

To become a research technician you must obtain a Bachelor of Science degree. It is recommended to specialize in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, or computer science related to ocean or freshwater systems. During your undergraduate degree, it is also beneficial to seek internships and to gain experience on a research project.

Careers in Canadian Hydrographic Service

About Careers with Canadian Hydrographic Service

You feel that marine transportation and shipping can become safer and more efficient with the development of modern nautical charts and related publications. You think that Canada's sovereignty and security, including in the Arctic, is improved by defining and delimiting Canada's marine territory. The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), part of the DFO's Science Sector, wants you to consider working for them.

The Canadian Hydrographic Service is a world leader in the development of electronic charting and methods for surveying and mapping Canada's waters including the Arctic. A CHS hydrographer:

  • Participates in hydrography surveys sometimes on-board of Ice breakers to collects data using state of the art technology, and publishes and distributes nautical charts and publications such as  sailing directions, tides and current tables, and related publications about Canada's offshore, coastal and inland waters;
  • Provides professional advice and services related to hydrography; and
  • Develops and refines methodologies, technologies including GIS and remote sensing, and standards needed to carry out hydrographic activities.

The clients of Canadian Hydrographic Service include:

  • Commercial marine transportation industry,
  • Commercial fishing industry,
  • Recreational boating industry,
  • Non-renewable resource sector,
  • Marine engineering,
  • Marine scientists,
  • Coastal zone and ocean managers,
  • Ports and harbours managers,
  • The Department of National Defence,
  • Natural Resources Canada,
  • Environment Canada,
  • Transportation Safety Board,
  • Canadian Coast Guard, and
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

The CHS offers science professionals and students the opportunity to become a certified hydrographer through the multidisciplinary hydrographer (MDH) training program. Candidates for MDH training will have one of the following qualifications:

  • A diploma in surveying, cartography, geomatics or a related discipline from a technical college;
  • A university degree in applied science including geodesy, geomatics, survey engineering, geography, geographic information systems (GIS) or a related discipline;
  • A certificate of registration or a commission as a land surveyor.

The MDH national career plan allows new hydrographers to achieve a senior position after four years of formal study, course work and practical field training.

Employment Opportunities for Students in Science

Employment Opportunities for Students in Science

If you are currently on an education path that will bring you to the shores of ocean science and technology!

If you are eager to expand your knowledge and help preserve Canada's marine ecosystems for future generations!

If you see your classroom as much on the rolling sea, in a laboratory or a field station as in a college campus!

Come on board! We want to meet you!


Good oceans science has a big impact on our climate, our economy, our health, our culture, our sovereignty, our future. The Ecosystems & Oceans Science Sector (the Science Sector) at Fisheries and Oceans conducts leading edge research through science facilities.

DFO offers amazing opportunities with student research programs. A student research term offers the benefits such as participation in world class research projects; mentoring and guidance from Canada's top research directors; and, a knowledge transfer program that will connect you with senior staff for up to one year.

To help you get connected with ocean science activities; student opportunities at DFO are available through the Government of Canada student recruitment programs:

There are many types of student jobs in the Science Sector. Here are some examples of  student job descriptions based on aquatic science domains or programs:

Aquaculture

Aquaculture

Interested in a student employment opportunity in Aquaculture Science! Want to be part of aquatic sciences team! Want to work with aquaculture researchers or technicians of various scientific knowledge and expertise!

Aquaculture science (fish and shellfish health) means conducting live in vivo work with aquatic animals, sampling biological materials, performing analysis using a variety of techniques. Your work would vary depending on where you work i.e. science facilities, on which specific research projects you are assigned, and who you work with. Under guided supervision, you may have opportunities to:

  • Do field work either in shallow waters or using small embarcations. This type of work includes netting, collecting animals, installing instruments or taking measurements;
  • Prepare materials for necropsy of animals i.e. labeled bags, tubes, preservatives, record sheets;
  • Perform necropsy on animals, sampling tissues for specific analysis;
  • Work in a wet laboratory i.e. husbandry in animals in aquariums or tanks. This includes feeding, cleaning, and recording various parameters;
  • Work in a laboratory environment performing analytical techniques e.g. histology, virology, microbiology, molecular biology as well as;
  • Prepare media and reagents; maintain laboratory equipment; record information and data.

We would also provide you with training opportunities on specific laboratory and scientific protocols. Additionally, being part of a team, you may participate in operational meetings as well contribute in ensuring that operational requirements of your work unit are followed; assisting with identifying and reporting deficiencies; and, suggesting solutions or improvements to your supervisor and colleagues.

We are looking for reliable, detail-oriented, organized, resourceful, self-starting and forward-thinking students. Join our team in Aquaculture Science!

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species

Have you ever wondered why some nonindigenous species arrive, survive, establish, and spread within Canada’s marine and freshwater ecosystems? Are you interested in understanding the population dynamics and ecological impacts of aquatic invasive species? Do you want to learn how to predict the future spread of aquatic invasive species? Are you interested in learning about how aquatic invasive species can be controlled and eradicated?

Canadian marine and freshwater ecosystems are under threat from the introduction and establishment of aquatic invasive species. In addition to negatively influencing biodiversity and ecosystem services, species can have direct and long-lasting effects on Canada’s economy and industry. Notable examples include Sea Lamprey and Zebra Mussel in the Great Lakes and European Green Crab on the East and West Coasts.

Aquatic invasive species research aims to understand how species arrive, survive, establish, and spread within Canada’s aquatic ecosystems. Research is also conducted to understand the ecological impacts of these species, such as the way they interact with native species and habitats. To prevent the arrival of new species, research often includes conducting ecological risk assessments to understand which new species are at risk of invading Canada’s ecosystems.

DFO is at the forefront of conducting research to understand how to control and eradicate of aquatic invasive species. A good example is research to support Canada’s Sea Lamprey Control Program, whose goal is to control the abundance of Sea Lamprey in the Great Lakes and in doing so, to reduce its ecological impact on large fishes.

Aquatic invasive species research spans field, laboratory, and computer activities. As a student researcher in aquatic invasive species research, you will work with research technicians, biologists, and scientists to measure and evaluate populations of invasive fishes, invertebrates, and plants.

Aquatic invasive species research at DFO can include:

  • Estimating the abundance and composition of invasive fishes with tools like electrofishing, seine netting, or hoop netting
  • Collecting information about invasive plants and invertebrates using different field collection methods
  • Evaluating relationships between the survival and establishment of invasive species and environmental factors
  • Evaluating the ecological impacts of aquatic invasive species, such as changes in the composition and abundance of native fishes, invertebrates, and their habitats
  • Developing new approaches to control and eradicate existing aquatic invasive species
  • Field and laboratory research to inform ecological risk assessments of aquatic invasive species

We are seeking motivated individuals with scientific backgrounds to help solve current research challenges in aquatic invasive species. Apply today!

Freshwater Ecology

Freshwater Ecology

Are you interested in studying freshwater ecosystems? Do you want to develop expertise conducting field, laboratory, and computer-based research to gain insight into the ecology Canada’s lakes, rivers, and streams? Have you ever wondered how freshwater ecosystems respond to large-scale environmental stressors?

Freshwater ecosystems are some of the most productive environments on earth, but are threatened by environmental stressors such as climate change and habitat modification. Freshwater ecology research at DFO aims to understand how ecosystems work by studying their composition, structure, and function. Ecosystem composition refers to the variety of species – fishes, invertebrates, aquatic plants – that exist in the freshwater environment, as well as their habitat features - the physical, chemical, and biotic components of the environment that support aquatic organisms. Ecosystem structure and function refers to the way these components interact; namely, determining factors that control community and population dynamics of aquatic species.

In addition to understanding how ecosystems function, freshwater ecology research at DFO aims to understand the effect of environmental stressors on ecosystems, such as how aquatic communities respond to climate change, habitat alteration, disease, and aquatic invasive species. Research is often conducted to understand how to mitigate or reverse the effect of stressors, such as through habitat restoration.

As a student researcher in freshwater ecology, you will work with research technicians, biologists, and scientists to measure and evaluate freshwater ecosystems in the field, and to analyze results in the laboratory and with computer-based methods.

Freshwater ecology research at DFO can include:

  • Measuring the abundance and composition of fishes with tools like electrofishing, seine netting, or hoop netting
  • Using stable isotope analysis to understand how food webs interact
  • Evaluating the abundance and composition of plankton with fine-mesh plankton nets
  • Measuring the health of plankton using microscope methods
  • Evaluating fish habitat using physical methods and automated survey methods, such as sonar and lidar
  • Measuring and evaluating ecosystem stressors, such as the response of fish populations to habitat change
  • Understanding how aquatic communities (fishes, invertebrates, plants, and their habitat features) respond to restoration actions

We are seeking motivated individuals with scientific backgrounds to help solve current research challenges in Freshwater Ecology. Apply today!

Genomics

Genomics

Interested in a student employment opportunity in aquatic genomic science! Want to be part of aquatic sciences team! Want to work with researchers or technicians of various scientific knowledge and expertise!

DFO is involved in large-scale genetics and genomics research on many aquatic species including salmon, with the goal to identify stock composition in fisheries, conditional states of physiology, and microbes that may exacerbate the performance of fish, for example, during transitions between fresh and saltwater. Students may be required to travel on boats and conduct field collections. In addition, you may be expected to participate in at least one (2-3 week) boat cruise during your tenure.

As a student, you will assist in ongoing research on the role of genes and microbes in early ocean productivity of fishes. Students have the opportunity to learn about functional genomics research, including NextGen Sequencing (Ion Torrent and MySeq platforms), qPCR, and bioinformatics, with specific duties including RNA and DNA extractions, running molecular assays, conducting fish dissection, assisting in field collections, and organizing field collection inventories.

Others duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • DNA extractions
  • Sample prep for RNA extractions
  • Fish dissections
  • Labelling and sampling preparation
  • Field collections, boat collections
  • Molecular assays (qPCR)
  • Sample inventory organization
  • Preparing a research paper that summarizes results and analyses

We are looking for reliable, detail-oriented, organized, resourceful, self-starting and forward-thinking students. You have experience in a genetics or genomics lab, or documented laboratory experience in molecular biology? You are willing to travel and sample on board boats? You have interest in genomics research as well as biochemistry/molecular biology?

Join our DFO team in Genomics Science!

Hydrography

Hydrography

Interested in a student employment opportunity in Hydrography! Want to be part of the world-renowned Canadian Hydrographic Service at DFO!

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is a world leader in the development of electronic charting and methods for undersea mapping of Canada's waters including the Canadian Arctic. A CHS hydrographer:

  • Collects data, and publishes and distributes hydrographic information, such as electronic and paper  navigational charts, Sailing Directions, predicted tides and current tables, and related publications about Canada's offshore, coastal and inland waters;
  • Provides professional advice and services related to hydrography; and,
  • Develops and refines methodologies, technologies and standards needed to carry out hydrographic activities.

The CHS offers science professionals and students the opportunity to become a certified hydrographer through the multidisciplinary hydrographer (MDH) training program. The MDH national career plan allows new hydrographers to achieve a senior position after four years of formal study, course work and practical field training. Candidates for MDH training will have one of the following qualifications:

  • A diploma in surveying, cartography, geomatics or a related discipline from a technical college;
  • A university degree in applied science including geodesy, geomatics, survey engineering, geography, geographic information systems (GIS) or a related discipline;
  • A certificate of registration or a commission as a land surveyor.

We are looking for reliable, detail-oriented, organized, resourceful, self-starting and forward-thinking students. Join our team at Canadian Hydrographic Service!

Marine Ecology

Marine Ecology

Looking to enhance your knowledge and experience in marine science?

Marine ecology is a broad field that incorporates working with benthic and pelagic species as well as critical habitats to understand the health and ecological status of the marine ecosystems. Changing anthropogenic and climatic impacts on marine species and ecosystems are leading to greater need to study these ecological interactions in order to promote and protect healthy aquatic ecosystems in which biodiversity can thrive.

Working under the supervision of a marine scientist, tasks may include:

  • Field work on various sized vessels to collect environmental samples such as sediment cores, water samples, and biological samples.
  • Deployment and recovery of instruments measuring currents, salinity, temperature and other physical parameters.
  • Taxonomic identification of benthic organisms such as invertebrates.
  • Processing fish species and recording their physiological characteristics in order to study fish populations and the impacts causing changes in population dynamics.
  • Laboratory work using various specialized pieces of equipment to determine the geochemical nature of the benthic ecology of environments with varying seabed types and varying biological communities.
  • Monitoring of certain species or habitats which have been shown to be important in sustaining healthy and productive aquatic ecosystems.

Skills required include:

  • Working effectively as part of a team.
  • Willingness to work in varying environmental conditions for extended periods of time.
  • Being detail oriented.

You will have the potential to gain new skills and knowledge on a variety of scientific procedures related to sampling and analyzing ecological samples. This is an opportunity to take part in science which will provide evidence based knowledge and advice on topics such as marine conservation, ecosystem stressors and their cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems, and sustaining healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Join Fisheries and Oceans Canada in exploring and studying our marine ecology!

Oceanography

Oceanography

Coming Soon!

Species at Risk

Species at Risk

Have you ever wondered why some species are rare and others are common? Are you interested in understanding the population dynamics of, and threats to, Canada’s endangered marine and freshwater species? Do you want to gain expertise conducting research on endangered, threatened, and special concern fishes, invertebrates, and marine mammals and their habitats within Canada?

Canadian freshwater ecosystems contain over 100 freshwater and marine species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), 2002. Research conducted in Species at risk science supports the assessment, protection, and recovery of Canada’s imperiled species, including by determining how recovery actions should be undertaken. Canada’s imperiled species are threatened due to human activities, which can range from habitat modification (e.g., alteration of flow regimes, dredging, landcover change) to the introduction of aquatic invasive species, as well as other factors such as fishing mortality and climate change. Species at risk science at DFO aims to understand the factors influencing Canada’s imperiled species, and to determine how listed species can be best protected. A core component of species at risk science is the identification of critical habitat, a legal requirement under SARA.

The four main research themes in species at risk science are: 1) population ecology, which involves understanding the distribution, abundance, biotic interactions, and genetics of listed species; 2) habitat-related research, which involves understanding the habitat features necessary to support different life stages; 3) threat research, such as understanding how populations respond to different environmental perturbations, and ways to mitigate these threats; and, 4) research to support the recovery of listed species, such as developing restoration targets.

As a student researcher in species at risk science, you will work with research technicians, biologists, and scientists to measure and evaluate populations of at-risk fishes, invertebrates, and marine mammals in the field, to quantify species habitat, and to analyze results in the laboratory and with computer-based methods.

Species at risk research at DFO can include:

  • Estimating the abundance and composition of imperiled populations with tools like electrofishing, seine netting, or hoop netting
  • Evaluating relationships between population abundance and habitat quality to inform critical habitat designations
  • Evaluating the quantity and health of critical habitat using physical and automated methods
  • Quantifying threats to endangered populations, such as the role of climate variability and a range of habitat perturbations
  • Conducting tagging studies to understand where, when, and how populations are responding to environmental change

We are seeking motivated individuals with scientific backgrounds to help solve current research challenges in Species at Risk Science. Apply today!

Stock Assessment

Stock Assessment

Are you curious about how many fish are actually in the ocean?

Stock assessment science may be right for you! Stock assessment is critical work and the results inform DFO about the status of commercial fish stocks from one fishing season to the next, what are sustainable harvest levels, and, more generally, the health of the marine ecosystem.

A fundamental principle of stock assessment advice is that there should be enough fish left in a stock - after fishing and deaths from natural causes - to spawn healthy new generations for the future.

There are two components to stock assessment science at DFO:

  • Data collection: technicians and biologists go out to sea and collect data on fish populations such as numbers of juveniles, age, length, sex, and breeding condition. Data used in stock assessments also comes from other sources including landings at ports and catch rates from fishers.
  • Converting data to advice: Research scientists take the fisheries data and turn it into advice. They do this by taking the data and constructing mathematical and statistical models to convert the data into fish population estimates

Your work would vary depending on where you work in Canada. Under guided supervision, you may have opportunities to:

  • Go to sea to collect biological data on fish populations, including lengths, weights, otoliths
  • In the laboratory, age fish using otoliths, stomach content analysis, genetic studies
  • In the computer laboratory, run stock assessment models, analyze data, write code

We are looking for passionate, detail-oriented, organized, and resourceful students. Join our team in Stock Assessment Science!


Note:

From coast to coast to coast, DFO offers many career opportunities, begin your career with DFO by using the application process though the Public Service Commission of Canada’s website.

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