Eric Deitch, M.Sc., B.Sc., QAES

Research Partner, VPRI Research Partner Network


Research Partner, VPRI Research Partner Network
3-390 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9


Area of Study / Keywords

Fisheries Aquatic Ecology Sustainability


I completed my B.Sc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph in 2002, with my focus being fish physiology and ecology. My M.Sc. studied the cardiorespiratory physiology of growth hormone genetically modified Atlantic salmon and was completed at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Since graduating, I have worked as an environmental consultant helping to preserve the environment, primarily fish habitats, and also worked for the fisheries departments of Ireland and Washington State. I have also done a lot of teaching in various areas and levels in several countries.


For my Bachelor's Honours project, I developed a novel tumour model (using post-embryonic fish as a surrogate for a tumour) to test an antiangiogenic pharmaceutical drug I extracted from shark cartilage. The project appeared to be successful, as the subjects given the extract lost the vascularity of their yolk sac, in effect starving the 'pseudo-tumour' to not grow as fast.

My Master's was funded by an NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship and I worked jointly between the university and AquaBounty Technologies to determine how the fish obtained and utilized oxygen to increase their growth rate. The project involved a whole-animal approach, where I performed investigative heart surgery, hematological analysis, cellular component tests, morphometric analyses of body shape and gill composition, and metabolic and stress tests. The findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Biology and I gave my dissertation at an international fish biology conference in Manaus, Brazil.

While working as a research scientist at Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar I conducted biomedical research with an international scientific team studying the cause(s), and treatments for, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's Disease. We extracted toxins from cyanobacteria and isolated β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and Microsystins, both of which have been implicated in neurological disorders. The work was headed by the Institute for Ethnomedicine located in Jackson, Wyoming.

I have also worked on smaller projects, including:

- A conservation project to protect sea snakes around desalinization plants in Qatar,

- Building robots to patrol sea turtle beaches to protect nesting animals, and also help their young survive after hatching.


I have taught for many years at the university and college levels (including nursing, paramedicine, and animal physiology) and helped design educational ocean awareness campaigns for the public. I have developed curricula for higher institutions and whole public school science programs. This work included developing a middle school course that taught students how humans use biomimicry in our technology, and taught them how to build robots to mimic the animals in their classroom.