Dr. Brett van Poorten

Sr. Aquatic Scientist (BC Ministry of Environment); Honorary professor (UBC Institute for the oceans and fisheries)


My main interest involves understanding how society interacts with fish. These interactions are often negative for fish (fish entrainment, fish harvest, stocking) but can also be positive, both for fish and ecosystems (nutrient restoration, stocking) and society (recreational fishing). Often times, the results of these interactions are highly uncertain and complex. I use a combination of simulation models of social-ecological systems and statistical time-series models to estimate the strength of these interactions and make predictions on how populations will respond to mitigation. The overall goal is to better understand how to affect positive change and balance trade-offs among species, governments and values. 

To better understand the work that I have been involved in, feel free to explore this site, especially our research page and a list of publications that have come out of our work. If you would like to become involved in our work, please contact me


Current Students

Patricia Woodruff (PhD: co-supervised with Villy Christensen)
Project: Evaluating bottom-up and top-down controls in large lake ecosystems to improve management outcomes

Rachel Chudnow (PhD: co-supervised with Murdoch McAllister)
Project: Evaluating harvest potential for a fluvial bull trout population

Past Students

Boyd Barrett (MRM: co-supervised with Wolfgang Haider and Andrew Cooper)
Project: Fostering sustainable recreational fisheries through informed management decisions: a revamped approach to collecting data from white sturgeon anglers

Scott Brydle (MSc: co-supervised with Villy Christensen)
Project: Are Kawkawa Lake kokanee in decline, and if so, what do we do?

Tjasa Demsar (MRM: co-supervised with Wolfgang Haider, Sean Cox and Len Hunt)
Project: Evaluating preferences of lapsed and avid anglers: are we providing an inviting fishery?