Robert Stephenson

Network Principal Investigator


Robert Stephenson

Dr. Robert Stephenson has been a research scientist with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) St. Andrews Biological Station since 1984, and is currently Visiting Research Professor at the University of New Brunswick. He is Principal Investigator of the Canadian Fisheries Research Network – an NSERC-funded network that is linking academics, industry and government in collaborative fisheries research across Canada.


Dr. Stephenson has worked extensively on the ecology, assessment, and management of Atlantic herring, and more broadly on issues related to fisheries resource evaluation and Fisheries Management Science. Current research interests include fisheries ecology and management, development of integrated coastal zone management, implementation of the ecosystem approach (particularly in fisheries and aquaculture), and development of policies and strategies for sustainability of marine activities.


Dr. Stephenson holds a B.Sc. from Trent University (Peterborough, Ont.), and a Ph.D. from the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, N.Z.). From 2005-2009 he was Director of the St. Andrews Biological Station (St. Andrews, New Brunswick). Dr. Stephenson has been an active contributor to fisheries science internationally, including roles as chair of Resource Management and Pelagic Fish Committees of the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES). He has been an Honorary Research Associate of the Dept of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, and in 1999-2000 was visiting Research Professor and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (Helsinki, Finland).


Recent publications include:


  • Stephenson, R.L. and Lane, D.E. 2010. Fisheries Management Science. Ch. 48 (pp. 630-637) In Grafton, R.Q., Hilborn, R., Squires, D., Tait, M., and Williams, M.J. (eds): Handbook of Maine Fisheries Conservation and Management. Oxford University Press.
  • Cooper,L.L., Stephenson, R.L., and Annala, J.H. 2010. Gulf of Maine Symposium – Advancing ecosystem research for the future of the Gulf: proceedings of a symposium held at St. Andrews, N.B., October 5-9, 2009. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2904: xiv+168p.
  • Gavaris, E.D. and Stephenson, R.L. 2010. Report of the 100th anniversary of the St. Andrews Biological Station – 2008. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2943: iv+27p.
  • Stephenson, R.L., Melvin, G.D. and Power, M.J. 2009. Population integrity and connectivity in Northwest Atlantic herring: a review of assumptions and evidence. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 66:1733-1739
  • Melvin, G.D., Stephenson, R.L. and Power, M.J. 2009. Oscillating reproductive strategies of herring in the western Atlantic in response to changing environmental conditions. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 66:1784-1792.
  • Melvin, G.D., and R.L. Stephenson. 2007. The dynamics of a recovering fish stock: Georges Bank herring. ICES Journal of Marine Science 64: 69-82.
  • Rahikainen, M., and R.L. Stephenson. 2004. Consequences of growth variation in northern Baltic herring for assessment and management. ICES Journal of Marine Science 60: 94-109.
  • McPherson, A.A, R.L. Stephenson and C.T. Taggart. 2003 A genetic basis for Atlantic herring Clupea harengus spawning waves. Marine Ecology Progress Series 247:303-309.
  • Stephenson R.L. and K.J. Clark. 2002. The role of ICES herring investigations in shaping fisheries science and management. ICES Marine Science Symposia 215: 504-514
  • Stephenson R.L. 2002. Stock structure and management structure: an ongoing challenge for ICES. ICES Marine Science Symposia 215: 305-314
  • Smedbol, R.K. and R.L. Stephenson. 2001. The importance of managing within-species diversity in cod and herring fisheries of the north-western Atlantic. Journal of Fish Biology 59(Suppl A):109-128
  • McPherson, A.A., R.L. Stephenson, P.T. O’Reilly, M.W. Jones and C.T. Taggart. 2001. Genetic diversity of coastal Northwest Atlantic herring populations: implications for management. Journal of Fish Biology 59(Suppl A):356-370
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 2000. Institutional arrangements for fisheries: alternate structures and impediments to change. Marine Policy 24: 385-393