boatbackResearcher Profile

Ellen Kenchington

Job Title: Benthic Ecologist/ Molecular Geneticist
Employer: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Place of Birth: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Public School attended: Southwood Public School
High School attended: Vincent Massey Secondary School
Further Education: Dalhousie University (B.Sc., M.Sc.), University of Tasmania (Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: Atlantic Canada

Brief synopsis of current research:
A three-year otter trawling experiment was conducted on a deep-water (120-146 m) sandy bottom ecosystem on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland that had not experienced trawling since at least 1980. A similar experiment is now in progress on a rocky bottom site (70 m) on Western Bank where the benthos is sampled with grabs and also using cameras (see Western.jpg and Sunstar.jpg images). Fisheries research on scallops in the Bay of Fundy includes stock assessments (image Hart4.jpg), and recently analysis of scallop bycatch (303 taxa identified to date, Hart3.jpg image). Genetic research on commercial fish and shellfish is done in collaboration with the Marine Gene Probe Lab at Dalhousie University. Current projects include investigations into sex determination in mussels and genetic structure of lobster and scallop.

starfish/cucumber starfish


Recent Publications:

RODDICK, D., E. KENCHINGTON, J. GRANT & S. SMITH, 1999. Temporal variation in sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) adductor muscle RNA/DNA ratios in relation to gonosomatic cycles, off Digby, Nova Scotia. J. Shellfish Res. 18: 405-413.

FULLER, S., E. KENCHINGTON, D. DAVIS & M. BUTLER, 1998. Associated Fauna of Commercial Scallop Grounds in the Lower Bay of Fundy. Marine Issues Committee Special Publication 2, 85 pp.

KENCHINGTON, E., R. DUGGAN & T. RIDDELL, 1998. Early Life-History Characteristics of the Razor Clam (Ensis directus) and the Moonsnails (Euspira spp.) with Applications to Fisheries and Aquaculture. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2223, vii + 32 pp.

KENCHINGTON, E. & A. GLASS, 1998. Local Adaptation and Sexual Dimorphism in the Waved Whelk (Buccinum undatum) in Atlantic Nova Scotia with Applications to Fisheries Management. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2227, iv + 43 pp.

FRISCHER, M., J. WILLIAMS & E. KENCHINGTON, 1998. (Invited Paper) A molecular phylogeny of the major groups of Pectinidae inferred from 18S rRNA gene sequences. Proc. Int. Symp. Paleobiol.Evol. Bivalvia. pp. 213-221.

My career as a government research scientist and Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University gives me the opportunity to do exciting research ranging from working with DNA to surveying underwater canyons such as the Gully near Sable Island! The Bedford Institute of Oceanography is a great place for teamwork because oceanographers, geologists, biologists and others are all under one roof! We also have a fleet of research vessels for our work, which is something that the universities canít afford. Being an Adjunct Professor means that I am associated with the University, although I do not draw a salary there. I teach undergraduate and graduate classes and enjoy interacting with students-so I get the best of both worlds! In my job I travel around the world and represent our country at International meetings where science is discussed. While jobs in the government have been hard to come by in recent years, due to cut backs in spending, it looks like things are beginning to turn around and jobs should become more available in the near future.