The Ocean Acidification Community of Practice (OA CoP) was initiated in 2018 and is sponsored by the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network. MEOPAR was established in 2012 and is supported by the Government of Canada through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program.


MEOPAR Communities of Practice (CoPs) bring together researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and community members to share expertise, to learn, and to provide a space for discussion and co-production of knowledge. The OA CoP aims to inform MEOPAR, as well as individual researchers, about leading-edge developments for Ocean Acidification research in Canada as well as identify current gaps and opportunities for new research. The OA CoP strives to improve linkages and share knowledge between researchers, policy makers, First Nations groups, fishing and aquaculture industries, and Canadian citizens.  

Brent Else
 Assistant Professor of Geography
University of Calgary 

Brent graduated from University of Calgary with a B.Sc  (Hons.) and a M.Sc in Geography. He received his PhD in Environment & Geography from University of Manitoba and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary in the Geography Department. Brent’s research interests include marine carbon systems in Arctic environments, climate change, sea ice, the carbon cycle, carbon sequestration, air-sea carbon dioxide exchange and climate variability.

Helen Gurney-Smith
Research Scientist Biological Effects
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Helen graduated from Bangor University with a B.Sc in Marine Biology and Biochemistry. She obtained her M.Sc in Bioprocessing from the University College London, and received her PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of St Andrews. Helen is currently a Research Scientist in the Biological Effects Section in the Coastal Ecosystems Science Division of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Her research focuses on the biological effects of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems. She is currently active in both the Atlantic and Pacific, working with lobsters, shellfish and plankton species.

Kristina Barclay
Postdoctoral Associate
University of Calgary

Kristina graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Palaeontology. She also completed her Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta in 2020, and joined the OA CoP as the Coordinator in October, 2020. Her research examines the effects of OA on mollusc shells, as well as the consequences of OA on predator-prey interactions between molluscs and shell-crushing predators (crabs) in both modern systems and the fossil record. Kristina is also experienced in science outreach and education, having worked in museums and science centres in Alberta in Saskatchewan for three years, and serving as a Collaborator for the geoscience outreach organization, Time Scavengers. Her postdoctoral position will be to facilitate OA CoP activities and research.

Steering Committee

MEOPAR Communities of Practice (CoPs) bring together researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and community members to share expertise, to learn, and to provide a space for discussion and co-production of knowledge. This priority is underscored by the selection of a Steering Committee representing multiple sectors (government, academia, industry, non-profit), multiple disciplines (chemistry, biology, technological development, social vulnerabilities, policy development) and all regions within Canada (Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific). Members of the Ocean Acidification Community of Practice Steering Committee are listed below.

Piero Calosi
Professor of Marine Biology
Université du Québec à Rimouski

Piero has been a member of the Global Ocean Acidification Open Network (GOA-ON) Biological Working group since 2015, he has been responsible for the Quebec Center for Biodiversity Science at UQAR since 2016, responsible for the Ocean Acidification Research Axe for the Québec-Ocean FRQ-NT Research Network since 2017, Director of the Institutional Research Group on Nordic Studies BORÉAS since 2018, Invited Lecturer on the «Marine Evolution Under Climate Change» Advanced Course – CeMEB, University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Higher Education Academy of the UK Fellow since 2010, Royal Entomological Society Fellow since 2008. Piero is a member of the Editorial Board for Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, invited editor for Philosophical Transections of the Royal Society B for the special issue on ‘The effect of ocean acidification and climate warming on species potential for adaptation and ecological interactions’ and Evolutionary Applications for the special issue on ‘Transgenerational Plasticity, Epigenetics and the Evolution of Marine Species Under Climate Changes’.

Piero is currently a professor at Université du Québec, Rimouski Campus (UQAR) in the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Geography. His current research focus is the investigation of invertebrates' physiological and life-history responses, and the determination of their scope for further adaptation, to multiple global environmental drivers (primarily ocean warming, ocean acidification, de-oxygenation, and changes in salinity).

Denise Joy
Manager of Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Biography coming soon!

Joseph Needoba
Senior Staff Scientist
Science Services
Ocean Networks Canada

Biography coming soon!

Jim Russell
Executive Director
BC Shellfish Growers Association

Biography coming soon!

Wiley Evans
Research Scientist
Hakai Institute

Wiley received a PhD in oceanography from Oregon State University in 2011.  He presently manages Hakai research on the globally important issue of ocean acidification and the marine carbonate system.


Wiley's research on ocean chemistry in the North Pacific is integrated with other oceanographic research at the Hakai Institute, and helps monitor British Columbia’s ever-changing oceans. Prior to joining Hakai, Wiley was a post-doctoral scientist at University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and a research associate at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

Kumiko Azetsu-Scott
Research Scientist
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Kumiko is currently  a research scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada), where she leads the carbon and tracer group, and also an adjunct in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University.  Her research interests include climate change and carbon cycles in the ocean and ocean acidification in the North Atlantic and the Arctic.  She also investigates air-sea interactions, water mass formation and ventilation ages using transient tracer, and freshwater composition and fluxes using multiple chemical tracers. 


Kumiko has been coordinating ocean acidification programs at DFO to understand temporal and spatial variability and their controlling.  She is a lead author of the report on the Arctic Ocean Acidification to the Arctic Council (Arctic Monitoring Assessment Programme), a member of Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) and Canadian representative for Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) and Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER).  She is an associate editor of the journal Environmental Reviews.

Jennifer Silver
Associate Professor
Geography, Environment & Geomatics
University of Guelph

Biography coming soon!

Patrick Duke
(Student Representative)
Ph.D. Student
University of Victoria

Biography coming soon!

OA CoP Alumni

Heather Almeda
Coordinator (2018 - 2020)

Heather graduated from Dalhousie University with a B.Sc in Biology. She was previously employed as the Executive Director of the St. Croix International Waterway Commission (SCIWC), an international non-profit partnership between Maine and New Brunswick. In this role Heather placed a primary focus on tri-National multi-stakeholder engagement for research and community outreach throughout the St. Croix Watershed and its communities. This included First Nations, Federal, Provincial, State, Academic, Industry, Non-Profit and Community engagement in both the United States and Canada.

Barbara Paterson
(Steering Committee)
Research Associate
Saint Mary's University

Barbara has a background in both the humanities (MA) and science (PhD) and over 20 years experience in interdisciplinary work. Her expertise includes the development of electronic decision support tools for the management of natural resources. Another focus of her research are ethical and epistemological issues that arise when we apply mathematical and computational approaches to environmental and cross cultural contexts.


Recently, her work has focused on developing decision support methodologies to further the implementation of an ecosystem approach for fisheries (EAF) in Namibia and South Africa with particular focus on social-ecological knowledge. Her current research investigates the social-ecological risk of ocean acidification to coastal communities.

Darlene Winterburn
(Steering Committee)
Executive Director
BC Shellfish Growers Association

Darlene graduated from the University of Victoria (BA) and continued to pursue educational opportunities in the areas of leadership, adult education, change management and process improvement. She has deep expertise in communications, business management, coaching and project management as well as a track record of developing strong working relationships with government, private sector and community partners. She brings over 15 years of experience as a business owner and consultant specializing in business documentation and training development. Darlene received ATCO I-Tek’s inaugural STAR Award for Leadership in recognition of leadership and effective interaction with clients.

In 2016, Darlene returned home to Vancouver Island to enjoy a new challenge as Executive Director for the BC Shellfish Growers Association, which is the voice of the province’s shellfish aquaculture industry. 

Richard Dewey
(Steering Committee)
Associate Director Science Services
Ocean Networks Canada

Richard has a B.Sc. in Physics from UVic and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from UBC. His research interests are coastal flows, mixing, turbulence, waves, and tides. He has conducted research throughout the Pacific from Japan to California, and along the B.C., Alaskan, and Arctic coasts. He has used a variety of profilers and ROVs, and deployed more than 150 moorings on over 100 oceanographic expeditions. He is author of the Mooring Design and Dynamics MATLAB package, and specializes in time series analysis.

Richard is currently the Ocean Networks Canada Associate Director, Science. Richard is responsible for coordinating and assisting all scientists and researchers using the observatories, from planning to publication. He works with the Staff Scientists to support the science community.

Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network

Ocean Acidification Community of Practice 

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