September 15, 2015: Student Lecture
Edward Gregr

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30-1:30 pm

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall

Can ecosystem models be relevant to resource management?

Ed Gregr

Edward Gregr, BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate



Models are excellent tools for understanding the world around us. They are also seen as a way to examine alternate futures to inform management decisions. Indeed, model predictions have a long history in several resource management contexts (e.g. fisheries). However, as modellers strive to support decision makers increasingly called on to balance multiple objectives, model complexity is increasing. Facilitated by an ever more powerful and easy to use suite of modelling tools, this has led to extreme optimism regarding the utility of such ecosystem models. Calls for more data and bigger models continue (mainly from modellers), despite no evidence that decision makers use such model forecasts. Rather, decision makers continue to largely ignore model forecasts outside a few particular domains. I examine why this might be so, and use an example of a pressing management decision – how to deal with sea otter-fisheries conflicts in British Columbia – to illustrate how ecosystem models might be better integrated into the decision process.


Ed has spent his adult life pursuing an eclectic mix of academic and employment opportunities making him reasonably well-rounded but also rather impecunious, effectively limiting consumerism and thus making it easier to sleep at night. Ed has spent time commercial fishing, fixing railroad tracks, babysitting killer whales, loading chair lifts, topping trees, raising a family, building houses, running field programs, writing software, and researching marine mammal habitat. This work experience has been punctuated by an academic career which includes a BSc (1992) in Computer Science from SFU (Environmental Toxicology Minor), and an MSc (2000) in Zoology from UBC. He hopes to complete his PhD before retirement.


No video available for this seminar.


Ed Gregr Otter Photo

Photo Credit: Edward Gregr