The aim of this research is to advance global ocean policy by developing a novel approach and methodology for using Indigenous knowledge to inform the understanding of migratory species and connectivity in the marine environment.

This project will evaluate the feasibility of using Indigenous knowledge alongside scientific data to inform conservation decision-making for migratory species; the specific types of scientific data and Indigenous knowledge that are needed; and the processes required for inclusive and collaborative conservation planning for migratory species management within Indigenous marine territories.

With many populations of migratory species in decline, there is an urgent need to synthesize animal movement data and connectivity information into usable knowledge to inform decision-making. While recent approaches to aggregating usable knowledge (e.g., mico.eco) have gained traction and informed area-based management approaches and ocean governance, they have yet to provide a mechanism for aggregation of Indigenous knowledge. Bringing Indigenous knowledge and scientific monitoring data together has the potential to further inform our understanding of migratory connectivity and improve conservation of these culturally significant species.

This research will entail collaboration between coastal Indigenous communities in British Columbia, Canada, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), The University of Victoria, and The University of Queensland.

Advisor Team: Dr Daniel Dunn, Dr Maia Hoeberechts, Dr Carissa Klein

Funding: Research Training Program

Project members

Mercedes McLEAN

PhD Candidate