Mark Poesch, PhD

Associate Professor (Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept

Contact

Associate Professor (Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept
Email
poesch@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-4827
Address
433 South Academic Building
11328 - 89 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2J7

Overview

About

Job/Research Area:  Aquatic conservation, fish and fisheries management, ecohydrology, ecosystem modeling, landscape and spatial ecology, ecological methods, community/population ecology.


Research

Major Responsibilities/Research: Aquatic conservation, fish and fisheries management, ecohydrology, ecosystem modeling, landscape and spatial ecology, ecological methods, community/population ecology.

My research focuses on freshwater aquatic systems where rates of species imperilment are several times higher than in terrestrial systems, and are comparable to species declines in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. My study organisms tend to relate to the project and question at hand, but I have experience working on several different aquatic taxa including fish (> 30 species), mussels (>20 species), benthic invertebrates and zooplankton. My research interests are focused in three general areas: 1) understanding the mechanisms relating to species loss, especially in relation to anthropogenic disturbance like landuse change (Maitland 2016,2017; ), hydrologic alteration (e.g. Rudolfsen et al. 2018; Veillard et al. 2017), climate change (Pandit et al. 2017; Poesch et al. 2016) and invasive species (Docherty et al. 2017; Ruppert et al. 2017), and their impacts to freshwater ecosystems (e.g. Ruppert et al. 2018); 2) developing better aquatic assessment methods, including functional diversity metrics (Poesch et al. 2009, Walker et al. 2008, Poesch 2015), and models on species habitat and connectivity (Neufeld et al. 2018), and 3) developing methods to improve restoration and reclamation, such as habitat offsets (Ruppert et al. 2018) and poaching (Camaclang et al. 2017). I use a combination of both field and laboratory studies, as well as broad-scale data analyses, to develop research questions fully. My projects span across Canada from: British Columbia, Alberta, Sasketchewan, Northwest Territories and Ontario.

Announcements

MSc/PhD/PDF opportunities in freshwater fish research. Please email me for more information. PDFs with existing funding (e.g. NSERC) or outstanding undergraduates wishing to conduct undergraduate research (e.g. thesis project), or to apply for NSERC USRA, are encouraged to contact me.

Courses

REN R 401 - Topics in Renewable Resources

Directed study in the multiple aspects of renewable resources. Open to third or fourth year students upon consent of instructor. Some sections require payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.

Fall Term 2021
REN R 501 - Topics in Renewable Resources

Directed study in the multiple aspects of renewable resources. Open to fourth year or graduate students upon consent of instructor.

Fall Term 2021
REN R 906A - Research Project

The final research project that comprises REN R 906 is a final capping exercise for the degrees of MAg and MF. Its practical and professional focus should integrate the core areas of study in the program. The successful completion of the project entails (1) a research topic approved by the supervisor; (2) the presentation of a draft research proposal; and (3) the presentation of the research as a written document to the supervisor. The project may take the form of any of the following: (1) a formal analysis of management practice, organizational processes or policy; (2) a formative or summative evaluation of a research project or program; (3) a case study, using secondary documents, survey data, or interviews; or (4) replication of a previous study, with either the introduction of a new variable or an analysis in a changed context.

Fall Term 2021
REN R 906B - Research Project

The final research project that comprises REN R 906 is a final capping exercise for the degrees of MAg and MF. Its practical and professional focus should integrate the core areas of study in the program. The successful completion of the project entails (1) a research topic approved by the supervisor; (2) the presentation of a draft research proposal; and (3) the presentation of the research as a written document to the supervisor. The project may take the form of any of the following: (1) a formal analysis of management practice, organizational processes or policy; (2) a formative or summative evaluation of a research project or program; (3) a case study, using secondary documents, survey data, or interviews; or (4) replication of a previous study, with either the introduction of a new variable or an analysis in a changed context.

Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Mark Poesch

Scholarly Activities

Research - Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science

Started: 2016

The Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science (CJFAS) is one of the world's leading journals for novel aquatic research. As an Associate Editor, I handle between 2-4 papers per month and determine whether the submission meets the criteria of the journal, and if so, contact reviewers, review their comments and provide feedback to the Editor in Chief.

Link to CJFAS
Research - Canadian Aquatic Resources Section (CARS) of the American Fisheries Society

Started: 2013

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the oldest and largest fisheries society in the world. Despite the name, AFS is a global entity, and the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section (CARS) leads the dissemination and response to emerging fisheries issues across Canada. CARS interacts with regional chapters and helps improve and advance fisheries science. Currently I am an Executive Committee Member (ex-president; September, 2017 - current). From 2015-2017, I served as President. Prior to that, I served from 2013-2015 as Vice President (President Elect).

Link to CARS-AFS website
Research - Carbon sources supporting lake consumers during open water and ice cove

Started: 2018

The goal of this project is to coordinate data collection efforts among scientists interested in, or already addressing, the question of how different carbon sources (e.g. phytoplankton, ice algae, detritus) differentially support lake consumers (zooplankton, benthos) throughout the year.

Carbon sources under ice
Research - COSEWIC Freshwater Fishes Subcommittee

Started: 2014

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is the national group that lists species as 'at risk' (e.g. Endangered, Threatened ... etc.). The Freshwater Fishers Subcommittee is a group of fisheries professionals from across Canada who aid in species assessments and listing. As a member of this group, I review status reports and updates for species at risk at the national level. I participate in bi-annual meetings, discuss the merits of listing each candidate species, and help develop listing criteria.


Research - Mountain Sucker Recovery Team

Started: 2016

The Mountain Sucker (now Plains Sucker) is listed as threatened in the Milk River. One of the main threats to Mountain Sucker is habitat loss and degradation from land- and water- use practices. The Mountain Sucker Recovery Team consist of local and regional experts, NGOs and academics, that have expertise on this species. Recovery teams help develop Recovery Strategies, which are required under the Species at Risk Act, Canada's legislation to protect endangered species. As a member of this recovery team, I provide scientific and technical advice and best management practices for conserving and recovering Mountain Sucker.


Research - Province of Alberta, Endangered Species Program, Scientific Subcommittee (SSC)

Started: 2014

The Province of Alberta's Endangered Species Program is the provincial body that lists endangered species. The Scientific Subcommittee (SSC) helps guide listing decisions by providing formal scientific review and applying conservation criteria. As a member of the SSC, I review status reports of fish and wildlife species and help determine their status in Alberta.


Research - Redside Dace Recovery Team

2005 - 2010

The Redside Dace is an endangered fish that lives in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. It is undergoing enormous declines, mainly due to urbanization and associated effects. The Redside Dace Recovery team consists of local (e.g. Conservation Authorities) and regional experts (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry), as well as, academics, to help preserve this endangered species. As a member of this recovery team, I provided advice in the development of the Redside Recovery Strategy and various other reports, which aim to develop recovery actions for this species. 


Research - Sydenham River Recovery Team

2002 - 2006

The Sydenham River Recovery team was Canada's first ecosystem-based recovery team. The Sydenham River is home to the most aquatic biodiversity in Canada, with many listed mussel and fish species. As such, decisions for recovery of one species at risk cannot be done in isolation. Therefore recovery decisions for this system were considered at the watershed/ecosystem scale. This team consisted of local (e.g. Conservation Authorities), regional (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry), and federal (Fisheries and Oceans) experts, as well as academics, to help preserve this unique ecosystem. As a member of this recovery team, I provided advice in the development of the Sydenham River Recovery Strategy and various other reports. 


Other - Tracking Change

Started: 2016

Tracking Change is a research group aimed at connecting science with traditional knowledge. I joined this group in 2016. Since then I've enjoyed hosting indigenous youth for learning exchange at the University of Alberta, where we've dissected fish and learned about their biology. It was also a great pleasure to participate in knowledge exchange between rural and indigenous communities during a one week exchange on the Mekong and Moon Rivers in Thailand in February 2017. I look forward to a similar exchange on the Amazon in 2019!

Link to Tracking Change website
Admin - Undergraduate Program Committee, Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science

Started: 2014

The Undergraduate Program Committee reviews the undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. As a committee, we provide advice on changes to undergraduate programs (e.g. pre-requisites), and course changes.


Other - USchool

Started: 2014

U School is a program run by the University of Alberta that aims to introduce and connect students in grades 4 through 9 from socially vulnerable, Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) and rural communities to the University of Alberta. Since 2014, I have contributed a lecture on understanding fish biology, where students get to see and touch real fish and understand the relationship between form (e.g. body shape) and function (e.g. swimming ability).

Link to USchool

Publications

Community assembly and the sustainability of habitat offsetting targets in the first compensation lake in the oil sands region in Alberta, Canada
Author(s): Ruppert J.L.W., Hogg J., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Biological Conservation
Volume: 219
Page Numbers: 138-146
External Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320717300770
Incorporating asymmetric movement costs into measures of habitat connectivity to assess impacts of hydrologic alteration to stream fishes
Author(s): Neufeld K., Watkinson D., Tierney K., Poesch, M.S.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Diversity and Distributions
Volume: 24
Page Numbers: 593-604
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12713/full
Morphological divergence of the Threatened Rocky Mountain sculpin (Cottus sp.) is driven by biogeography and flow regime
Author(s): Rudolfsen T., Watkinson D., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume: 28
Page Numbers: 78-86
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2866/epdf
Assessing the spread and potential impact of Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio Bloch, 1782) to freshwater fishes in western North America
Author(s): Docherty C., Ruppert J., Rudolfsen T., Hamann A., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: BioInvasions Records
Volume: 6
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 291-296
External Link: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~ahamann/publications/pdfs/Docherty_et_al_2017.pdf
Characterization of naphthenic acids and bitumen derived organics in natural water from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada
Author(s): Sun C., Shotyk W., Cuss C., Donner M., Fennel M., Javed M., Noernberg T., Poesch M.S, Pelletier R., Sinnatamby N., Siddique T., Martin J.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Environmental Science and Technology
Volume: 51
Issue: 17
Page Numbers: 9524-9532
External Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b02082
Climate change risks, extinction debt, and conservation implications for an endangered freshwater fish Carmine Shiner (Notropis percobromus)
Author(s): Pandit S.N., Koriala L., Maitland B.M, Poesch, M.S., Enders E.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Science of the Total Environment
Volume: 598
Page Numbers: 1-11
External Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717307593
Comparative swimming and station-holding ability of the threatened Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Cottus sp.) from four hydrologically distinct rivers
Author(s): Veillard M.F., Ruppert J.L.W., Tierney K., Watkinson D., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Conservation Physiology
Volume: 5
Page Numbers: 1-12
External Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5417056/
Identifying temporal bottlenecks for the conservation of large-bodied fishes: Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fluvescens) show highly restricted movement and habitat-use overwinter
Author(s): Thayer D., Ruppert J.L.W., Watkinson D., Clayton T., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Global Ecology and Conservation
Volume: 10
Page Numbers: 194-205
External Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989417300057
Modelling the impact of poaching on metapopulation viability for data-limited species
Author(s): Camaclang A.E., Curtis J.M.R., Poesch M.S., Koops M.A.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Canadian Journal of FIsheries and Aquatic Science
Volume: 74
Page Numbers: 894-906
External Link: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjfas-2015-0508#.WpdBVGrwZjV
Native North American freshwater species get out of the way: Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio) establishment impacts both fish and macroinvertebrate communities
Author(s): Ruppert J.L.W., Docherty C., Rudolfsen T., Neufeld K., Hamilton K., Mac Pherson L., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Royal Society Open Science
Volume: 4
Page Numbers: 170400
External Link: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royopensci/4/10/170400.full.pdf
Riverscape genetic structure of a threatened and dispersal limited freshwater species, the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Cottus sp.)
Author(s): Ruppert J.L.W., James P.M.A., Taylor E., Rudolfsen T., Veillard M., Davis C., Watkinson D., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Conservation Genetics
Volume: 18
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 925-937
External Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10592-017-0938-6
Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Fishes: A Canadian Perspective
Author(s): Poesch, M.S., Chavarie, L., Chu, C., Pandit, S.N., Tonn, W.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Fisheries
Volume: 41
Issue: 7
Page Numbers: 385-391
External Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03632415.2016.1180285
Industrial road crossings drive changes in community structure and instream habitat for freshwater fishes in the boreal forest
Author(s): Maitland, B.M., Poesch, M., Anderson, A.E., Pandit, S.N.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Freshwater Biology
Volume: 61
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 1-18
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fwb.12671/abstract
Prioritising culvert removals to restore habitat for at-risk salmonids in the Boreal forest
Author(s): Maitland B.M., Anderson A., Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Fisheries Management and Ecology
Volume: 23
Page Numbers: 489-502
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fme.12188/abstract
The Effect of Hydrologic Alteration on Capture Efficiency of Freshwater Fishes in a Highly Modified Prairie Stream
Author(s): Neufeld, K.R., Poesch, M.S., Watkinson, D.A.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: River Research and Applications
Volume: 32
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 975-983
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rra.2913/abstract
Finding the Path to a Successful Graduate and Research Career: Advice for Early Career Researchers
Author(s): Maitland, B.M., Cooke, S.J., Poesch, M.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Fisheries
Volume: 40
Issue: 8
Page Numbers: 399-403
External Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03632415.2015.1065253
Retention and Stress Effects of Visible Implant Tags When Marking Western Silvery Minnow and Its Application to Other Cyprinids (Family Cyprinidae)
Author(s): Neufeld, K., Blair, S., Poesch, M.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume: 35
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 1070-1076
External Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02755947.2015.1079576
To dendrogram or not? Consensus says that is the question needed to move functional diversity metrics forward.
Author(s): Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Ideas in Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 70-74
External Link: https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/IEE/article/view/5648
Developing Standardized Methods for Sampling Freshwater Fishes with Multiple Gears: Effects of Sampling Order versus Sampling Method
Author(s): Poesch M.S.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume: 143
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 353-362
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1080/00028487.2013.860047/full
Addressing the removal of rare species in multivariate bioassessments: the impact of methodological choices
Author(s): Poesch*, M.S. & Jackson, D.A. 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Ecological Indicators
Volume: 18
Page Numbers: 82-90
External Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X11003499
Developing local and regional population estimates for an endangered freshwater minnow, the redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus), in Canada
Author(s): Poesch*, M.S., D., Lawrie, D., Tu, C., Jackson, D.A., & N.E. Mandrak
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume: 22
Page Numbers: 47-57
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.1235/full
Impact of species-specific dispersal and regional stochasticity on estimates of population viability in stream metapopulations
Author(s): Poesch* M.S., Jackson D.A.
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Landscape Ecology
Volume: 27
Page Numbers: 405-416
External Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10980-011-9683-2
Dispersal limitation in unionid mussels and implications for their recovery
Author(s): Schwalb A.J., Cottenie K., Poesch* M.S., Ackerman J.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Freshwater Biology
Volume: 56
Page Numbers: 1509-1518
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02587.x/full
Limitations to the dispersal of the endangered Snuffbox mussel (E. triquetra) via its host fish
Author(s): Schwalb A.J., Poesch* M.S., Ackerman J.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 73
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 223-231
External Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00027-010-0171-6
Cluster analysis of fish community data: “New” tools for Determining Meaningful Groupings of Sites and Species Assemblages
Author(s): Jackson, D.A., Walker, S.C., & Poesch*, M.S.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Community Ecology of Stream Fishes: Concepts, Approaches & Techniques
External Link: http://jackson.eeb.utoronto.ca/files/2012/10/2010_Jackson_Walker_Poos_StreamFishCommunities.pdf
The secondary invasion of the round goby into high diversity Great Lakes tributaries and species at risk hotspots: Potential new concerns for endangered freshwater species
Author(s): Poesch*, M.S., Dextrase, A.J., Schwalb, A.N., & Ackerman, J.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Biological Invasions
Volume: 12
Page Numbers: 1269-1284
External Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-009-9545-x
Functional diversity indices can be driven by methodological choices and species richness
Author(s): Poesch*, M.S., Walker, S.C., & Jackson, D.A.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Ecology
Volume: 90
Page Numbers: 341-346
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/08-1638.1/full
A practical framework for selecting among single species, multi-species and ecosystem-based recovery plans
Author(s): Poesch* M.S., Mandrak N.E., McLaughlin R.L.
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Canadian Journal for Fisheries & Aquatic Science
Volume: 65
Page Numbers: 2656-2666
External Link: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/f08-166#.WpdHp2rwZjU
Functional rarefaction: Estimated functional diversity from field data
Author(s): Walker S., Poesch* M.S., Jackson D.A.
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Oikos
Volume: 117
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 286-296
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.16171.x/full
The effectiveness of two common sampling methods for sampling imperiled freshwater fishes
Author(s): Poesch* M.S., Mandrak N.E., McLaughlin R.L
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Journal of Fish Biology
Volume: 70
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 691-708
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01349.x/full
Effects of exotic salmonids on juvenile Atlantic Salmon behavior
Author(s): Scott R.J., Poesch* M.S., Noakes D.L.G., Beamish F.W.H.
Publication Date: 2005
Publication: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Volume: 14
Page Numbers: 283-288
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0633.2005.00099.x/full
Bioaccumulation of Tl in otoliths of Trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) from the Athabasca River, upstream and downstream of bitumen mining and upgrading.
Author(s): Shotyk W., Bicalho B., Cuss C.W., Nagel A., Noernberg, T., Poesch M.S., Sinnatamby N.R.
Publication: Science of the Total Environment
Volume: 650
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 2559-2566
External Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718337756#f0030