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Kevin Ma

B.Sc. (2008) in Ecology and Environmental Biology, University of British Columbia

M.Sc. Candidate in Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland

As an undergraduate student, I worked with Dr. Kai Chan (IRES, UBC) and Dr. Deng Palomares (Fisheries Centre, UBC) studying superabundance of marine species (including invasive ascidians). During this time, I developed a keen interest on the distribution and biological diversity of indigenous and non-indigenous ascidians. Now, I am a M.Sc. candidate in biology at the Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, working under the co-supervision of Dr. Don Deibel (OSC, MUN) and Dr. Cynthia McKenzie (DFO Newfoundland Region).

My thesis research addresses the invasion of the non-indigenous colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri (golden star tunicate), which can severely impact marine aquaculture sustainability. Native to Europe, it was first reported in Newfoundland in the 1970s, probably arriving attached to the hulls of ships. It was only recently reported from several harbours on the island’s south coast (i.e., 2006; Callahan et al. 2010). Knowledge of its life-history in Newfoundland’s cold ocean environment is crucially lacking. I intend to study this ascidian species by monitoring monthly changes in abundance and larval recruitment at the Government Wharf in Arnold's Cove, Placentia Bay. Understanding where colonies grow, when reproduction occurs, and how new colonies are recruited will inform management of this non-indigenous ascidian in Atlantic Canada and, in turn, minimise potential damage to aquaculture.

Last Updated: 5 May, 2010


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