Reversing the Damage
One of today's most pressing environmental concerns is the critical state-and uncertain future-of our marine resources and their supporting ecosystems.
Oceans have supported abundant life and intense human use for thousands of years. But now, in a time of overfishing, water pollution and rapid climate change, we must ask whether we will be able to continue to enjoy the things-healthy seafood, clean coastal waters, diverse marine wildlife-we've taken for granted for so long.
This is a question that has captured the interest of Canada Research Chair Heike Lotze. She is looking for answers by developing projections for marine resources and ocean ecosystems for a variety of management regimes. She hopes her answers will help policy makers set an agenda to reverse the damage.
Lotze studies the underlying history and causes of the current crisis. She reconstructs ecological changes and the effects humans have had on the oceans over the centuries by integrating data from paleontology, archeology, history, fisheries science and ecology. By understanding the cumulative impacts on the marine environment rather than focusing on the effects of one thing in particular, she will be able to more accurately use past trends to predict future scenarios.