Laurel Osborne , B.Sc.

Laurel Osborne , B.Sc.

Fisheries Data Specialist
Fisheries Statistics & Services Branch

206-634-1838

Current IPHC Responsibilities:

  • Primary responsibilities include dockside sampling of Pacific halibut for my area. This includes measuring the length and weight of randomly selected fish along with taking a fin clip and otolith (ear bone) to collect its biological data. I then prepare the samples to be sent to Seattle for analysis which is later used to inform decision making about the fishery. I also collect skipper logbooks and assist the IPHC charter researchers in port when necessary.

Background:

  • I started working in Canada's West Coast Groundfish fishery as an At-Sea observer on its local trawlers. I continued on at-sea sampling in Canada's southern herring fishery before moving to Prince Rupert, B.C. where I worked electronic monitoring in Canada's crab fishery and Pacific halibut tagging when vessels offloaded in port.

Education:

  • I obtained a Bachelor of Marine Science and Management from Southern Cross University in the Northern River's region of New South Wales, Australia. There, I was fortunate to get hands-on experience in data collection in a variety of coastal habitats such as mangrove forests, wetlands, coastal marches, sub-tropical estuaries, submerged rocky reefs and coral reefs!
  • After completing my undergrad I wanted to focus on coral reef ecology which I was fortunate to do through the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decision Making (http://ceed.edu.au/) through the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. I completed my Honours degree under the direction of Dr. Maria Beger, Dr. Joseph Maina and Prof. Hugh Possingham. I used a long-term data set from a coral reef in American Samoa to mathematically model changes in coral functional groups in response to environmental degradation over a 100 year time span. My results indicated that coral functional groups shifted from being dominated by highly diverse competitive species of coral to a low diversity of generalized and weedy coral species. This outcome is consistent with global findings. My research also showed that from 1917 - 2007 ecosystems were prone to "dying by a thousand cuts" rather than by one or two major stressors. Implications for management mean that all factors, big and small must be taken into consideration when assessing ecosystems for degradation and resilience!

Presentations:

  • Testing functional diversity indices to assess changes in coral community assemblages over time. University of the South Pacific Society for Conservation Biology. Suva, Fiji. 2014.

Other:

  • Research Assistant/Student Internship. Investigating near-shore occurrences of green algae outbreaks in the local region. NSW Marine Parks Authority. Jervis Bay Marine Park, Huskisson NSW Australia. Oct 2021 - Dec 2013.