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Preeminent researcher and television host to speak on coastal squeeze

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 4, 2016

Category: UNB Saint John

Emma Johnston

A pre-eminent expert on harbour science and coastal ecology from Australia will be delivering a public lecture in Saint John on Oct. 6, hosted by the Canadian Rivers Institute and the University of New Brunswick.

Dr. Emma Johnston is a rising star in the field of harbour and estuarine ecology and a co-presenter of the Foxtel/BBC television series Coast Australia.

An expert in how humans impact harbours, coasts and estuarine habitats, Dr. Johnston is pro vice-chancellor (research) at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and is head of the university’s Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab. Indeed, her laboratory is the Sydney Harbour, one of the busiest ports in the southern hemisphere.

Coastal marine environments come under tremendous pressure from human activity, says Dr. Karen Kidd, a science director with the Canadian Rivers Institute and a professor of biology at UNB.

“The evening is an occasion to learn about global initiatives focused on the conservation of biodiversity in the face of existing and future coastal development, and what could be done in our region.” Dr. Kidd says. “Dr. Johnston will outline ways in which the latest research is helping to provide solutions to the ‘coastal squeeze’.”

Dr. Johnston’s research is conducted in such diverse field environments as Antarctica, the Great Barrier Reef and temperate Australian estuaries. Her work has met the highest standards of international research, as evidenced by more than 90 peer-reviewed publications.

She contributes expert opinion to state, federal and international government agencies and consults with industry through the development and implementation of environmental monitoring programs.

“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Johnston, a foremost expert on coastal environments and a highly engaging speaker, with us for this lecture,” says Dr. David Burns, vice-president (research) at UNB. “We’re proud to host her with the Canadian Rivers Institute as part of our mandate to explore issues of public importance and interest.”

Dr. Johnston will be delivering the 2016 Hynes Lecture, a series launched by the Canadian Rivers Institute in 2002 that pays tribute to Dr. H.B. Noel Hynes, the world’s most renowned freshwater biologist.

The Oct. 6 lecture will start at 7 p.m. at the Mary H. Oland Theatre at the New Brunswick Museum. There is no charge to attend.

Media contact: Stephanie Merrill, 506.261.8317

Note: Some advance media opportunities are available in both Fredericton and Saint John.