Dr. Ian Bradbury
Meet Dr. Ian Bradbury, a member of our Scientific Advisory Committee
Meet Dr. Ian Bradbury, a member of the scientific advisory committee.
Bradbury grew up in Dunville, Newfoundland, a community where many of his friends and their families were commercial fishermen. He began attending classes at Memorial University just shortly after the province’s cod fishery had collapsed which had led to a great deal of active research into cod survival and oceanographic conditions.
“I think a lot of my interest in fishing and biology was fostered during my undergrad at Memorial,” said Bradbury. “That really spurred my interest in continuing to look at spatial structure and fish movements and connectivity and then that led me to genetics and genomics.”
Bradbury earned a master’s degree at Memorial and then went to Dalhousie and did a PhD study on fish population genetics and worked on rainbow smelt throughout Atlantic Canada. He was hired by DFO in 2010 as a research scientist and has continued there ever since. His current work focuses on using genetic and genomic tools to inform fisheries management and conservation.
“I would say half my time is spent on Atlantic salmon – mixed stock fishery issues like who’s catching salmon at West Greenland or St. Pierre & Miquelon or Labrador – and the other half is aquaculture interactions. What happens to escapees when they get out of the cages? Do they interbreed with wild salmon? What does that mean for wild populations and trying to understand how the hybrids do and what that means for population decline and stability.”
Bradbury was connected to the ASCF by DFO colleagues and joined the scientific advisory committee, using his experience and expertise to assess project proposals. In that time, some of the projects that have stood out to him have involved finding ways to make the best use out of existing datasets.
“I really like the mechanistic ones, the ones that help us try to understand these bigger questions, such as why do we have less salmon, that we haven’t really been able to tackle through other means. This is a great opportunity to try and take a different angle on some of these questions and really make some headway.”
In addition to facilitating research that might otherwise have fallen through the cracks, Bradbury is also very proud of how the ASCF’s work has empowered the community groups who carry out the projects.
“It allows us to engage a lot of these community and Indigenous groups that otherwise would not have the resources to really make a difference for the salmon populations and habitats and so forth. It’s an interesting mix of being able to focus on the science but also engage community groups in the process. That’s been incredibly powerful.”