After working with non-governental research organizations since 1975, Maria-Ines joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in 1980, when she began working for the Marine Fish Division at the Biological Station in St Andrews (SABS). Over the years she has worked with the Fisheries Ecology Program, fish bioenergetics, marine fish rearing and growth studies, and the Georges Bank Cod stock assessment. She has participated or been in charge of many research surveys in Bay of Fundy or Georges Bank, and has been a St. Andrews Biological Station research diver.
Maria-Ines subsequently worked for the Oceans and Coastal Management Division for 10 years. Her major project during that time was the Musquash Estuary Marine Protected Area (MPA), which included the development of management recommendations, regulations, coordination of activities related to community consultations and public awareness, the establishment and chairing of the Musquash MPA Committee, and the development of a monitoring program. Other responsibilities included identification of ecologically and biologically significant marine areas in the Bay of Fundy, specifically as related to Southwest New Brunswick, input into MPA system planning, and the promotion of collaborations for ecological research in coastal SWNB.
She and her husband Mike Strong, have been diving in the Bay of Fundy for 30 years. Through their interests in benthic habitats and underwater photography, they have recorded the species and diverse communities found in the Quoddy Region, and have instructed the University of Western summer course in identification of benthic biota and underwater survey methods using SCUBA. They regularly donate their imagery and time to many organizations that promote marine conservation and education (World Wildlife Fund Canada, Centre for Marine Biodiversity, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Project).
Maria-Ines completed a part-time M.Sc. under the supervision of Drs. John Roff, CRC- Environmental Studies, Acadia University, and Thierry Chopin, UNBSJ, on factors affecting benthic biodiversity in SWNB Bay of Fundy. Recently retired from DFO, she maintains an office at SABS as a science alumnus, and continues to work on developing indicators and reference points for biodiversity conservation in coastal areas. Maria-Ines is still involved in several biodiversity-related initiatives such as the Discovery Corridor, the GOM Habitat Conservation Subcommittee, and is the chair of the BoFEP Sublittoral Ecology and Conservation working group.
St. Andrews Biological Station
St. Andrews NB CANADA