Daniel leads Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Lakes Research Program, in the Science Branch, at the Cultus Lake Salmon Research Laboratory. His program focuses primarily on the freshwater life histories of Pacific salmon and their natal habitats, with a focus on sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) rearing in nursery lakes. Daniel holds a Bsc.H. (Environmental Science, SSP Biology) and a Ph.D. (Biology) from Queen’s University, where he mentored under Dr. John P. Smol. He completed a Moore Foundation research fellowship at McGill University with Dr. Irene Gregory-Eaves before coming to work for DFO in 2008. Daniel holds adjunct professorships at five universities in Canada, and involves numerous undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his research. He is also Associate Editor for the scientific journal Environmental Reviews.
Daniel lives, sleeps, and breathes lake ecosystems, having grown up on a 5 lake chain, and actively working on issues at the human-aquatic interface since the early-1990’s. He led the successful Haliburton Drag River Rehabilitation Project (1999-2000) in his home town of Haliburton, Ontario, a joint federal-provincial initiative reclaiming riparian zones and enhancing spawning habitat for native walleye (Sander vitreus). Daniel’s graduate studies soon took him west, and he has conducted extensive remote fieldwork and science on Pacific salmon and lakes in Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia, in partnership with Indigenous communities, academia, various governments, and lake stewardship groups ever since. Daniel fulfills most lake-related advice for DFO in the Pacific Region, which has included sustainable planning processes, scientific and major development reviews, federal legal actions, and environmental disaster responses.
Daniel’s research directions are broad, spanning the disciplines of limnology, paleolimnology, fisheries science, and environmental science. Current research foci include mechanisms regulating productive capacity in salmon nursery ecosystems, anthropogenic and climate change impacts and interactions on Pacific salmon and their nursery habitats, large-scale forcings on long-term salmon production dynamics, and the ecology and persistence of species at risk.