Jordan K Matley, PhD
Growing up in Canada, nowhere near an ocean, “marine biologist” was a distant dream. What’s life without a dream though? I started my studies at the University of Guelph with Honours in Marine and Freshwater Biology. My thesis project focused on metabolic responses to low oxygen levels in hypoxia-tolerant fishes. After graduation I signed on as a research intern at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida where I worked with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program conducting fish abundance and
distribution surveys. After a 3 year hiatus travelling (and timing marathons/triathlons), I started my M.Sc. degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. My research was primarily concerned with foraging of top predators (whales, seals, seabirds) in the Canadian Arctic. I determined predator diets (via stomach contents and stable isotopes), quantified interactions (seabird feeding observations) and associations (hydroacoustic surveys) with prey, and examined the general biology and diet of the main prey item – Arctic cod. After a cold Master’s degree, James Cook University and the Great Barrier Reef was a logical next step. I expanded my skills gained in North America to conduct research on coral reefs. My focus was the commercially and recreationally targeted reef fish coral trout (Plectropomus spp). I used a variety of approaches and techniques (e.g., stable isotopes, DNA gut content reconstruction, acoustic telemetry) to compare resource and habitat use between different species of coral trout with overlapping distribution. Ultimately, the goal was to provide managers with species-specific ecological information, something that is lacking. Afterwards, I joined the University of the Virgin Islands for my first postdoctoral position. With access to one of my study sites only a few steps from my office, it was a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the ocean while continuing research on movement ecology of fishes in the Caribbean.
Currently I work with Dr. Aaron Fisk in the Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research (GLIER) at the University of Windsor. Here, I work with a great group of students and colleagues and continue to broaden my expertise on fish telemetry and foraging ecology in freshwater systems such as lakes and rivers. I still collaborate internationally with projects in the Caribbean as well as new ones such as exploring the effects of seasonal upwelling on the behaviour of coastal fishes in Costa Rica.
Very soon I will begin a position as Assistant Professor at St. FX on the East Coast of Canada. Very excited!