Rosaline Canessa

Associate Professor
Spatial Science & Mathematics Building
Department of Geography
University of Victoria
PO Box 3060 STN CSC
Victoria, BC
Canada V8W 3R4

Phone: 250-721-7339

Fax: 250-721-6216



Research area(s):

Area of Expertise:

Dr. Rosaline Canessa’s background lies in marine biology (BSc), coastal resource development and protection (MSc(Eng)), and GIS-based decision support systems (PhD). Between various stages of her academic career, she has worked as a marine environmental consultant for 8 years in Scotland, the Caribbean and Canada on a wide range of projects including integrated coastal management, marine protected areas, marine recreation, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, marine ecological classification, environmental impact assessments, marine data management, GIS analysis and coastal atlases.

Since 2003 she has been a faculty member in the Geography Department at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on: (1) coastal planning and management and marine protected areas, and (2) the development and evaluation of spatial tools to improve decision making relating to marine conservation and use. Most of her research takes place in British Columbia. She teaches in courses on Environment, Society and Sustainability, Geography of the Coastal Zone, Coastal and Marine Resources, Coastal Field Studies, Introduction to Geographical Information, Introduction to Geographic Information Science and Advanced GIS.

Through Dr. Canessa’s Coastal and Ocean Resource Analysis Lab (CORAL) at UVic, her research focuses on coastal resource management and the use of spatial technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and seascape visualization to support marine planning, particularly in collaborative settings. She works closely with First Nations, and provincial and federal government agencies responsible for managing coastal resources and activities.

Past and current research includes collaborative use of Marxan for zoning marine protected areas, seascape visualization of Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area, coastal community mapping and First Nations capacity building for coastal planning.

Graduate students in CORAL have studied ecosystem-based management in shellfish aquaculture, chronic oil spills and surveillance, spatial modeling and characterization of recreational boating, sea otter conservation and ecotourism, and fisheries reserves. She and her graduate students have published in Coastal Management, Marine Pollution Bulletin and Geomatica.

Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):

Serra-Sogas, Norma; O’Hara, Patrick; Canessa, Rosaline; and McWhinnie, Lauren, , “Quantifying marine vessel traffic from aerial surveys in the Salish Sea” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 518.

Cominelli, S., Devillers, R., Yurk, H., MacGillivray, A., McWhinnie, L., and Cannesa, R., (2018). Noise exposure from commercial shipping for the Southern Resident Killer Whale Population. Marine Pollution(Accepted and in final review).

McWhinnie, L., Smallshaw, L., Serra Sogas, N., O’Hara, P. D., and Canessa, R. (2017). The grand challenges in researching marine noise pollution from vessels: A horizon scan for 2017Frontiers in Marine Science, 4,31.

Canessa, R., Newell, R., and Brandon, C. (2015). Uncovering the Oceans through MarineScape geovisualizations.In D. Wright, Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions,(pp. 243-246). Redlands, CA: Esri.

Serra-Sogas, N., Blazey, S., Canessa, R., O’Hara, P., and Bertazzon, S. (2012). Oil in Canadian waters: Identifying significant ecological areas vulnerable to chronic oil pollution in Canada’s coasts.In Proceedings of the 35th AMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response, Environment Canada.Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON, 852-867.

Request an edit to my listing