Emma Bredesen

MSc 2003

Dr Andrew Trites

Emma is a Master’s candidate at in the Marine Mammal Unit. Her undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology focused mostly on the study of ecological issues, and her undergraduate thesis involved using paleolimnology (the study of fossils in lake sediment) to assess the effects of past forestry activity on watersheds in the British Columbian interior. After a year living abroad and working for the Chilean Department of Environment, she joined the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Emma’s Master’s project, under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Trites, consists of building an ecosystem model of the Southern Ocean. Using the software package Ecopath with Ecosim, she’s concentrating on the South Atlantic Sector of the Southern Ocean, which includes the Island of South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands. This area supports large pinniped populations (e.g. Antarctic fur seals) and is an important feeding ground for large whales. One of the issues being explored deals with the potential effects of an expanded krill fishery in the area on marine mammal populations. Another focus of the research is the investigation of hypotheses for the apparent lack of recovery of many whale species in spite of the moratorium on commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean. This research has been enriched by collaborations with colleagues from Canada, the US, Chile, and the UK.



Bredesen, E.L., Bos, D.G., Laird, K.R. and B.F. Cumming. 2002. A cladoceran-based paleolimnological  assessment of the impact of forest harvesting on four lakes from the central interior of British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Paleolimnology 28: 389-402.

Bredesen, E.L., and A.W. Trites. 2001. The effect of krill fishing on pinniped and whale populations:  Insights from a Southern Ocean ecosystem model. (Abstract) Society of Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference, Nov 28 – Dec 3, 2001, Vancouver, Canada.