Richard Thomson

Senior Research Scientist
Ocean Sciences Division
Institute of Ocean Sciences
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
P.O. Box 6000
9860 West Saanich Road
Sidney, B.C.
Canada, V8L 4B2

Phone: 250-363-6555

Fax: 250-363-6479


Research area(s):

  • Biological oceanography
  • Pacific salmon
  • Physical oceanography
  • Plankton

Area of Expertise:

Richard Thomson is a senior research scientist specializing in coastal and deep-sea physical and biophysical oceanography in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, British Columbia. Studies include: coastal upwelling, coastal trapped waves, ocean circulation; observation and modeling of hydrothermal vent circulation and the biology of the water column overlying venting regions, with focus on zooplankton productivity; the analysis and numerical modelling of tsunamis generated by earthquakes, landslides and atmospheric waves; paleoclimate studies using sediment cores from coastal inlets and basins. He is the author-coauthor of over 200 primary journal publications, several books, including “Data Analysis Methods in Physical Oceanography” (Elsevier, 2014), and numerous book chapters. Publications include analysis of ocean conditions on Fraser River sockeye salmon production and the role of the ocean in initiation of spawning migration of late-run Fraser sockeye salmon. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Geophysical Union.

Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):

Yamada, Sylvia & E. Thomson, Richard & Gillespie, Graham & Norgard, Tammy. 2017. Lifting Barriers to Range Expansion: the European Green Crab Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) Enters the Salish Sea. Journal of Shellfish Research. 36. 201-208. 10.2983/035.036.0121.

Thomson, R.E., R.J. Beamish, T.D. Beacham, M. Trudel, P.H. Whitfield, and R.A.S. Hourston. 2012. Anomalous ocean conditions may explain extreme variability in Fraser River sockeye salmon production, Marine and Coastal Fisheries (in press).

Spear, D., and R.E. Thomson. 2012. Thermohaline Staircases in a British Columbia fjord, Atmosphere-Ocean iFirst article, 1-7 10.1080/07055900.2011.649034.

Rabinovich, A.B., K. Stroker, R.E. Thomson, and E. Davis. 2011. DARTs and CORK: High- resolution observations of the 2004 Sumatra tsunami in the northeast Pacific, Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L08607, doi:10.1029/2011GL047027.

Thomson, R.E., and Roy A.S. Hourston. 2011. A matter of timing: The role of the ocean in the initiation of spawning migration by Late-run Fraser River sockeye salmon

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