Our Volunteers

Dr. Charles Sacobie

Meet Dr. Charles Sacobie, a member of our New Brunswick Advisory Committee

Dr. Charles Sacobie lived in New Brunswick his entire life, moving several times between Woodstock, Fredericton while finally settling down outside Saint John. Of Wolastoqiyik descent and a member of Woodstock First Nation, Atlantic Salmon was a major food source for his family growing up. Salmon, he says, “is a major part of economics, culture, and our overall wellbeing”.

“As a child I enjoyed exploring the wilderness surrounding my home which included streams, brooks and the Nerepis River.” he says. “I would often spend hours during the summer watching anglers fish for salmon. I found it peaceful to watch but never fished myself and still to this day have never gone fishing.”

Dr. Sacobie is a member of the biology teaching faculty at the University of New Brunswick and teaches first-year biology laboratory courses along with comparative vertebrate endocrinology.
“I studied fish endocrinology during my master’s thesis, and nutritional biochemistry during my PhD. Most of my publications focus on fish physiology and applied aquaculture research. Over the past five years I have slowly started to develop my research lab with the focus on conservation physiology. I represent UNB Biology on the Aquaculture and Fisheries Committee of Science Atlantic and is also a member of the Canadian Society of Zoology.”

He has been working on a few proposals to conduct research that would directly look at questions involving salmon conservation. The only other direct involvement with salmon conservation would be membership with Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation.

“During my PhD I worked on several research projects that focused on triploid Atlantic salmon for use in the aquaculture industry. The idea behind the use of triploids in aquaculture is that triploids contain three complete sets of homologous chromosomes in their genomes, resulting in reproductive sterility in most species of fish. This aspect of their biology makes the use of triploids a practical approach for preventing genetic introgression of maladaptive alleles from escaped farmed fish into wild populations, which is an issue of great concern for Atlantic salmon conservation.
“There has been an enormous effort made in salmon conservation, but the road ahead is still very long. There is still much work to do any many questions that we need to ask, we must continue with our efforts and require further support from governments, communities, public and researchers.

Without volunteers, he says, many of the projects cannot be completed. Many individuals have put in countless hours and some have spent most of their life volunteering for causes that they believe in. The individuals involved with many conservation groups volunteer the time with review of proposals or with on the ground restoration activities. Research cannot be conducted without volunteers.”