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Elissa Sweeney-Bergen

Elissa bio photo_edited.jpg

Freshwater life-history and population dynamics of sockeye salmon in BC.

I am passionate about community driven conservation grounded in Traditional Ecological Knowledge and collaborative research. I hope to contribute to better natural resource science and stewardship, through the active engagement of Indigenous peoples, local community members and regional experts.  I have worked with various organizations and non-profits on wildlife and fisheries science and conservation projects and hope to continue contributing to sustainability initiatives through collaborative monitoring and research.


I am investigating the impacts of habitat condition, climate and land use change on sockeye freshwater life-history traits.  Specifically, I use habitat metrics to ask questions about juvenile sockeye health and condition. I think this is particularly interesting and important for populations persisting in marginal, unique or altered landscapes. I hope this research can contribute to rehabilitation planning for declining populations in degraded  habitat.


In addition, I am using a long-term dataset which extends back more than half a century, to model temporal and spatial trends in BC sockeye size and fecundity.  I hope to expand our current knowledge about the factors that determine size of adult sockeye and how this relates to the number of offspring they produce. I will identify factors with the strongest influence on size and reproductive capacity, in order to better understand fluctuations between years and populations. 

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