John Reynolds

Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Phone: 778-782-5636 (Office); 778-782-5610/3989 (Lab)



Research area(s):

Area of Expertise:

Dr. John Reynold’s is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University. He is also the Tom Buell BC Leadership Chair in Aquatic Conservation and Chair of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). His research interests include:

Salmon Ecosystem Projects

Salmon are the ultimate keystone species, with wide-ranging impacts on coastal, freshwater and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems.  They are also under serious threat.  In the Pacific Northwest, 25% of salmon stocks have disappeared or become severely threatened, leading to the loss of half of B.C.’s commercial salmon fleet in the past decade.  Many watersheds face intense pressures from urbanization, deforestation, pollution, and climate change.

These pressures mirror those affecting aquatic biodiversity in many parts of the world.  Twenty percent of the world’s freshwater fishes are considered at risk of extinction, 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed with little chance of immediate recovery, and 77% of the world’s fisheries are fully or over-exploited.

Dr. Reynold’s and his students’ research program is focusing on conservation and ecology of Pacific salmon with an emphasis on their ecosystems, including connections between marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats. They are setting up long-term field studies and experiments designed to understand how various human impacts on salmon and their habitats translate into population declines and recovery, including the many species of terrestrial plants and animals that are linked to nutrients and trophic interactions involving salmon. They hope that this will lead to more holistic management of salmon and aquatic habitats.

Life Histories and Extinction Risk

Dr. Reynold’s and his students’ are also studying links between key life history traits and population dynamics of a wide variety of species, with an emphasis on understanding why some species are more prone to extinction than others.  Much of this research has focused on freshwater and marine fish species, but they have also been using case studies with other taxa, such as Cambodian water snakes.  This research is being use to improve our understanding of the pros and cons of various criteria that are being used to evaluate the threat status of species, as well as options for recovery.

Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):

Andersson, L.C. & Reynolds, J.D. (2018) Habitat features mediate selective consumption of salmon by bearsCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (in press).  pdf

Bailey, C.J., Braun, D.C., McCubbing, D., Reynolds, J.D., Ward, B., Davies, T.D. & Moore, J.W.  (2018). Multiple drivers of freshwater life-history dynamics of a migratory salmonid: the roles of density-dependence, nutrient subsidies, species interactions, and climate.  Ecosphere (in press).

Hertz, Eric; Connors, Brendan; Connors, Katrina; and Reynolds, John, “Increases in synchrony among Central Coast salmon populations in British Columbia over the last 60 years” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 476.

Walters, Kristen; Ydenberg, Ron; and Reynolds, John, “Apex predator behaviour in a changing Salish Sea: determining the role bald eagle foraging behaviour plays in nutrient cycling and terrestrial food webs under diminishing salmon populations” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 42.

Godwin, S.C., Dill, L.M., Krkošek, M., Price, M.H.H, & Reynolds, J.D. (2017). Reduced growth in wild juvenile sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka infected with sea lice. Journal of Fish Biologydoi:10.1111/jfb.13325. pdf

Price, M.H.H., English, K.K., Rosenberger, A.G., MacDuffee, M., & Reynolds, J.D. (2017).  Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy: an assessment of conservation progress in British Columbia.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries & Aquatic pdf

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