A University of Victoria marine biologist has earned a prestigious award and a lucrative grant for her research of marine conservation ecology.
Julia Baum is one of six university faculty members across Canada to be awarded a Steacie Memorial Fellowship, which honours “outstanding and highly promising faculty who are earning a strong international reputation for original research.”
The award brings with it a $250,000 research grant over two years.
Baum is credited as an outspoken advocate for science-based decisions on global issues and studies how human disturbances alter marine ecosystems and the consequences of those changes.
Baum’s research also provided an early look into what impact overfishing has had in the dramatic decline of the world’s shark populations.
Statistical analysis and fieldwork is part of Baum’s research on the impact of fishing and climate change to tropical coral reefs.
Her studies garnered attention when the recent El Nino event caused the worst heat stress ever recorded to the corals of Kiritimati Island, also known as Christmas Island, in the equatorial Pacific.
Baum says the fellowship grant will be used to expand her research of Kiritimati to better understand coral reef recovery factors after mass mortality events.