Michael C. Healey
Professor Emeritus, Biological Oceanography
BSc Hons Zoology (University of British Columbia 1964); MSc Zoology (University of British Columbia 1966); PhD Natural History (University of Aberdeen, Scotland 1969)
My research focuses on three areas: 1) the ecology of Pacific salmon and the use of these species to explore hypotheses about strategies for reproduction, energy allocation, and habitat choice in fishes; 2) the design of resource management systems for fish and aquatic resources generally; 3) the role of scientific information in policy development.
Pacific salmon provide excellent models to investigate life history strategies. The five species of Pacific salmon endemic to North America display an amazing variety of life history tactics, and the fact that each species exists as a large number of reproductively isolated populations provides a rich opportunity to explore how closely related organisms solve ecological problems. Since all species are anadromous, they also provide the opportunity to investigate both marine and freshwater aspects of aquatic science. Recently, my research has focused on the cumulative impacts of climate change on these species.
Policies and programs for management of fisheries and other renewable resources have changed dramatically over the past 50 years; from maximizing to optimizing yield; single species to multispecies and single use to multiuse approaches; from sectoral to integrated; from maximizing physical yield to maximizing economic return to maximizing social benefits. My research career has spanned much of this evolution and I have explored the implications of various approaches, particularly for fishery management but also for the management of aquatic resources in general. Most recently I have been engaged in understanding how one transitions from a water management regime that is focused on meeting economic needs for water to one that balances economic and environmental needs.
In natural resources management there is a mutual dependence between science and policy but also a long standing mutual antagonism. Scientists don’t often respond well to the needs of policy makers and policy makers often misunderstand or misinterpret what science can provide to policy decisions. The success of a resource management regime often depends on how well science can be integrated into the policy process. However, mechanisms for achieving this integration remain poorly developed. Adaptive management provides a set of tools for integrating science and policy effectively. For the past 20 years I have been engaged in promoting and assessing the application of these tools in ecological restoration and water resources management.
B.Sc. Hons. U.B.C. (1964); M.Sc. U.B.C. (1966); Ph.D. Aberdeen, Scotland (1969); Post Doctoral, Fisheries Research Board of Canada (Nanaimo, 1969-70); Research Scientist, Department of Environment, Freshwater Institute, Winnipeg (1970-1974); Research Scientist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo (1974-1990); Director, Westwater Research Centre, UBC, 1990-1995; Institute for Resources and Environment (later, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability) 1996-2007; Department of Oceanography (later Earth and Ocean Sciences) 1990-2007; Fishery Centre 1991-2007. Sabbaticals, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1982-83), U.B.C. (1988-89); University of Rhode Island 1995-96 and 2002-03. Visiting faculty member, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan, 2005-06; 2009-10. Lead Scientist, Calfed Bay Delta Program, California, 2007-08.
Healey, M. C. 1984. Multiattribute analysis and the concept of optimum yield. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 41:1393-1406.
Healey, M. C. (ed.) 1999. Seeking Sustainability in the Lower Fraser Basin: Issues and Choices. Institute for Resources and Environment, University of B.C. Press
Giannico, G. and M.C. Healey. 1999. Ideal free distribution theory as a tool to examine juvenile coho habitat choice under different conditions of food abundance and cover. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56:2362-2373.
Hennessey, T and M. Healey. 2000. Ludwig's ratchet and the collapse of New England groundfish stocks. Coastal Management. 28:187-213.
Healey, M. C. 2000. Pacific salmon migrations in a dynamic ocean. P. 29-60 In: P. Harrison and T. Parsons (ed.) Fisheries Oceanography: an integrative approach to fisheries ecology and management . Blackwell, Oxford.
Healey, M.C., P. Kline, and C-F Tsai. 2001. Saving the endangered Formosa landlocked salmon.Fisheries 26:6-13.
Healey, M.C., R. Lake, and S.G. Hinch. 2003. Energy expenditures during reproduction by sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). Behaviour 140:161-182.
Cooke, S.J., S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell, M.F. Lapointe, S.R.M. Jones, J.S. Macdonald, D.A. Patterson, M.C. Healey, and G. Van Der Kraak. 2004. Abnormal migration timing and high en route mortality of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River, British Columbia. Fisheries 29:22-33.
Quinn, F., J.C. Day, M. Healey, R. Kellow, D. Rosenberg, J.O. Saunders. 2004. Water allocation, diversion and export. Pp 1-8 In: Leah Brannen and A. Bielak (ed.) Threats to water availability in Canada. Environment Canada. NWRI Scientific Assessment Report Series No 3. NWRI, Burlington, ON, Canada.
Mehranvar, L., M.C. Healey, A.P. Farrell, and S.G. Hinch. 2004. Social versus genetic measures of reproductive success in sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka. Evolutionary Ecology Research 6:1167-1181.
McVeigh, B.R., M. C. Healey, and F. Wolfe. 2007. Energy expenditures during spawning by chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta (Walbaum) in British Columbia. Journal of Fish Biology 71:1696–1713.
Healey, M.C., M.D. Dettinger, and R.B. Norgaard, (eds.) 2008. The State of Bay-Delta Science, 2008. Sacramento, CA: CALFED Science Program. 174 pp
Healey, M. C. 2009. Resilient salmon, resilient fisheries for British Columbia, Canada. Ecology and Society 14(1): 2. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art2/
Healey, M. 2011. The cumulative impacts of climate change on Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) and implications for management. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68:718–737.