Myriam Khalfallah – MSc

Myriam%20Khalfallah2-minMyriam was born and grew up in Tunisia. After high school she studied for two years at the higher institute of preparatory studies in Biology and Geology (ISEP-BG) and was then accepted to the National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT) where she completed her engineering degree in fisheries and environment. In 2013, Myriam joined The Sea Around Us project to begin working on the catch reconstructions of certain Mediterranean and Arab countries. She is currently working on her master’s degree in fisheries under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Pauly.

Maeve Winchester – Research Assistant

Maeve(1)Maeve Winchester has joined the Sea Around Us to assist Krista Greer in the ongoing fishing effort reconstructions, and to research, update and up-grade material used for our new website. She is completing her BSc in biology at UBC and has interests in marine conservation and wildlife rehabilitation.

Growing up on rural vineyards in California and on Vancouver Island has encouraged her to dedicate her life to the preservation of nature. She hopes to eventually pursue her PhD or become David Attenborough’s successor —   whichever comes first.

Overall, Maeve is an inspired naturalist, amateur scientific illustrator, and passionate biologist-to-be. She is extremely fond of chondrichthyes and will never turn down an opportunity to exchange fun facts about sharks.


Melanie Ang – Research Assistant

melanieMelanie joined Sea Around Us as a Research Assistant in 2014. Her role includes updating catch reconstructions, formatting and editing Fisheries Centre Research Reports and maintaining an updated list of Sea Around Us publications. She graduated with a BSc in Marine Biology from UBC in 2014, and enjoys scuba diving and rock climbing in her spare time.


Dayna Szule – Finance Clerk

Szule_Dayna_picAs the Finance Clerk for the Sea Around Us, Dayna’s role includes setting up project grants, reconciling monthly ledgers, monitoring all grant expenditures and preparing external and internal financial grant reports. Previously with the UBC Botanical Garden, Dayna joined the Sea Around Us in July 2014 to focus and develop a financial skill set within the University. In her spare time, she can be found identifying plant species in a forest somewhere or playing golf or football.



Vicky Lam- Post-Doc

vickypic2014_2Vicky is a Fisheries Economist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Sea Around Us Project (SAUP) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is currently working on global catch reconstruction project.

She completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Rashid Sumaila in Resources Management and Environmental Studies at the Fisheries Centre, UBC in 2013. Vicky’s research interests focus on understanding the effect of climate change on the economics of major commercial marine fisheries at the global scale. Her thesis focused on understanding: (1) the global cost of fishing and its pattern under current climate regime; (2) the extent of economics impact of climate change on global fisheries in terms of change in economic variables including fishing costs, landed values and ultimately the economic rents of the fisheries sector; and (3) the socio-economic implication of the impacts of projected climate change and ocean acidification on marine resources in some regions, which are highly vulnerable to the change in climate, such as the Arctic region and West Africa. For her PhD study, she has already developed a global cost of fishing database which provides important fundamental information for scientists, researchers and fisheries managers to assess economic status of fisheries at local, regional and global scales.

Vicky has also involved in several global collaborative interdisciplinary research projects including research on the impact of ocean acidification on marine resources and the study on the indicators of the global ocean health. For a full list of her publications, please click here. [Hyperlink:]


Mathieu Colleter – Post-Doc

MathieuThesis: The impact of fisheries on the trophic functioning of marine ecosystems: comparative approach and global-scale mapping

I was born in Burgundy, France and grew up in Lyon, neither of which are really sea-related places. However, many of my childhood holidays were spent near the water at my grandparents’ home in Paimpol, on the North coast of Brittany. Fishing crabs at low tide, playing on shingle beaches, and walking along the coast were great occupations for young city boy! I was stunned as an adolescent to realize the decline of crabs and abalones available, compared to harvests I recall as a child with my grandmother. I also discovered scuba diving at age 13, and started diving with my family all around the world. This set me on the track to follow the passions of my youth, and study marine ecology and fishery sciences.

After my ‘baccalaureat’ (which marked the end of high-school), I studied for entrance into the French Grandes Ecoles during two years in ‘Classes préparatoires’. I entered Agrocampus Ouest (Rennes, France) and completed an agronomy engineer diploma specializing in fishery sciences and aquaculture in 2010. During my degree, I also did an internship at the Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) under the supervision of Dr. Culum Brown to study the behavior of the rainbowfish. We examined behavioural traits and their link with the establishment of the hierarchy in male rainbowfishes. I completed my MSc thesis working with Drs. Didier Gascuel (Agrocampus Ouest) and Luis Tito De Morais (IRD). My research assessed the potential effects of a marine protected area (MPA), the Bolong de Bamboung, in the Sine Saloum estuary (Senegal). We used ecosystem modelling approaches (Ecopath and EcoTroph) to investigate the impact of the MPA enforcement between 2003 (last fished year) and 2006-2008 (three years after the closure of the fishery).

As a PhD Candidate, I am working with Dr. Daniel Pauly at the UBC Fisheries Centre, and with Dr. Didier Gascuel at Agrocampus Ouest thanks to a joint PhD agreement. My proposed research has been developed to address concerns about the potential impacts of fisheries on underlying trophic functioning at a global scale. The aim of this study is to better understand the trophic functioning and its variability throughout ecosystems. We propose to use two well-known trophodynamic models: Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) and EcoTroph (ET). New insights into trophic functioning could be obtained from a large meta-analysis of the hundreds of EwE models developed since the end of the 1980s. Additionally, EcoTroph is a recently developed model incorporated as a plug-in of EwE that enables the comparative analysis of Ecopath models through a uniform framework, the trophic spectrum. Using these two tools, we propose to conduct a meta-analysis of the marine ecosystems trophic functioning and the related impacts of fisheries at a global scale. We will then develop a dynamic mapping of the fishing impact on ocean biomass and its trophic distribution.

Selected Publications

Colléter, M., Brown, C., 2011. Personality traits predict hierarchy rank in male rainbowfish social groups. Animal Behaviour 81, 1231–1237.

Colléter, M., Gascuel, D., Ecoutin, J.-M., Tito de Morais, L., 2012. Modelling trophic flows in ecosystems to assess the efficiency of marine protected area (MPA), a case study on the coast of Sénégal. Ecological Modelling 232, 1–13.

Colléter, M., Guitton, J., Gascuel, D., 2012. An EcoTroph modelling package for R [WWW Document]. EcoTroph Website,

Colléter, M., Guitton, J., Gascuel, D., Accepted. An Introduction to the EcoTroph R Package: Analyzing Aquatic Ecosystem Trophic Network. R Journal.

Lydia Teh – Post-Doc

Lydia completed her PhD at UBC’s Resource Management and Environmental Studies programme in 2011. Her thesis focused on fishers’ behaviour and spatial management of small-scale fisheries. Lydia joined the Sea Around Us in 2012 and has worked on marine fish catch reconstructions in Southeast Asia. Since 2014, she has been the Sea Around Us post-doc for the Ocean Health Index as part of our partnership with Conservation International.

See Lydia’s Fisheries Centre profile.

Dyhia Belhabib – Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Dyhia Belhabib is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Sea Around Us (UBC). As the Africa Lead of the Sea Around Us, she reconstructs catch and effort time series for countries of Africa, where quantitative data are severely lacking, using a different range of innovative approaches. She engages directly with different local and regional groups for the use of fisheries data, and the development of policy and management plans. Dyhia is collaborating with several organizations and experts on different research fronts including the impacts of fisheries on local economies, the footprint of armed conflicts and natural disasters on global fisheries, and with NGOs, analyzing the impacts of development projects on fisher’s communities in Senegal, the footprint of illegal fishing and piracy in Somali waters. Dyhia also holds an advisory position on the scientific board of the Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Algeria.

Krista Greer – Research Assistant

Krista is a from a small town in Ontario, Canada. While her initial undergraduate focus was Biological Anthropology, she found that her long-time interests in marine conservation could not be suppressed. As such, she went on to study Marine Biology and Zoology at James Cook University in Australia. Throughout her undergraduate years, Krista had the opportunity to participate in field work all over the world including Costa Rica, Kenya, Seychelles and Borneo. In September 2011, she arrived at the University of British Columbia to do her Masters under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Pauly. Her thesis focused on the carbon emissions of the world’s fishing fleets since 1950 and what the “true” cost of fishing is when its environmental impacts are adequately considered. She now works as a research assistant on fishing effort and CO2 databases.

Outside of her research, Krista loves to read and participate in outdoor activities. In particular she enjoys scuba diving, camping, beach walking and spending time with her dog, Nelly.

Kyrstn Zylich – Research Assistant

Kyrstn completed her BSc in Biology at the University of British Columbia. Although unsure of where her degree would take her, the ocean had always held a specially place in her heart. Growing up only an hour away from Vancouver allowed for numerous trips to the aquarium which helped instill a curiosity of marine organisms. As well, she has enjoying several family vacations to Hawaii which included snorkeling with turtles and other incredible sea life. After joining the Sea Around Us Project as a volunteer in February of 2011 she completed her first reconstruction on the island of Tokelau. Once joining the project fulltime as a staff member later that year, she has continued working on catch reconstructions, focusing mainly on South Pacific island countries.