Researcher Profile

Myriam A. Barbeau

Job Title: Assistant Professor
Employer: University of New Brunswick
Place of Birth: St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada
Public School attended: St. Thomas Elementary School (in Hudson, Que.)
High School attended: College Bourget (in Rigaud, Que.)
Cegep: John Abbott College
Further Education: McGill University (B.Sc.), Dalhousie University (Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec.

Brief synopsis of current research:
I am a marine ecologist who likes to combine field/laboratory experimentation with computer modelling to study the effect of behaviours of individuals on population dynamics. Most of the work in my laboratory is with marine benthic invertebrates. Projects that are presently ongoing include:


Juvenile scallop (Placopecten
) with its sensory
tentacles and foot extended

Predator-prey interactions between sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) and their predators (sea stars and crabs). We are examining two interactions: the effect of varying scallop density on predator behaviours and the impact of multiple predators on the survival of scallop populations. Results of this work are used in the ongoing development of scallop aquaculture in eastern Canada and northeastern USA.

Population dynamics of the mudshrimp Corophium volutator. Corophium can occur at very high densities in the mudflats of the Bay of Fundy, making it an important food for migratory shorebirds and fish. However, human disturbances may be affecting this species. We are conducting an impact assessment study that includes monitoring Corophium densities at a number of locations and constructing population models.

Population dynamics of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. Off the coast of Nova Scotia, the interaction between sea urchins and kelp (Laminaria sp.) undergoes dramatic fluctuations, from lush kelp beds with low urchin densities to dense urchin aggregations grazing on kelp to urchin-dominated barren grounds in the wake of the feeding aggregations. Using a large dataset, we are constructing models to try to understand the underlying mechanisms of these population fluctuations.

Recent Publications:

Barbeau, MA and H Caswell (1999) A matrix model for short-term dynamics of seeded populations of sea scallops. Ecological Applications 9: 266-287.

Barbeau, MA, RE Scheibling and BG Hatcher (1998) Behavioural responses of predatory crabs and sea stars to varying density of juvenile sea scallops. Aquaculture 169: 87-98.

Barbeau, MA, BG Hatcher, RE Scheibling, AW Hennigar, LH Taylor and AC Risk (1996) Dynamics of juvenile sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) and their predators in bottom seeding trials in Lunenburg Bay, Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 53: 2494-2512.

Barbeau, MA, RE Scheibling, BG Hatcher, LH Taylor and AW Hennigar (1994) Survival analysis of tethered juvenile sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) in field experiments: effects of predators, scallop size and density, site and season. Marine Ecology Progress Series 115: 243-256.

Barbeau, MA and RE Scheibling (1994) Behavioral mechanisms of prey size selection by sea stars (Asterias vulgaris Verrill) and crabs (Cancer irroratus Say) preying on juvenile sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus (Gmelin)). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 180: 103-136.