Cindy Chu, Ph.D.

Image Cindy Chu
Research Scientist

Current research and/or projects

I am an ecologist with a focus on freshwater fish, habitat, and fisheries in lakes and rivers. Research within my lab includes local and broad-scale patterns in fish biodiversity, the impacts of human activities (e.g., urbanization and exploitation) and climate change on aquatic ecosystems, and the conservation and management of freshwater resources. We use field, experimental, and modelled data, and ecological theory and quantitative approaches to look for patterns in aquatic ecosystems to learn more about how they function. 


Key publications

Climate change and multiple stresses

  • Paukert, C., J. Olden, A. Lynch, D. Brashears, C. Chambers, C. Chu, M. Daley, K. Dibble, J. Falke, D. Isaak, P. Jacobson, O. Jensen, and D. Munroe. 2021. Climate change effects on North American fish and fisheries to inform adaptation strategies. Fisheries 46: 449-464.
  • Krabbenhoft, T.J., B.J.E. Myers, J. Wong, C. Chu, R.W. Tingley III, J.A. Falke, T.J. Kwak, C.P. Paukert, A.J. Lynch. 2020. Fish and Climate Change (FiCli) Database: Informing climate change adaptation and management actions for freshwater fishes. Scientific Data 7:124. 
  • Gutowsky, L.F.G., H.C. Giacomini, D.T. de Kerckhove, R. Mackereth, D. McCormick, C. Chu. 2019.  Quantifying multiple pressure interactions affecting populations of a recreationally and commercially targeted freshwater fish. Global Change Biology 25: 1049-1062.
  • Chu, C., C.K. Minns, N.P. Lester and N.E. Mandrak. 2015. An updated assessment of freshwater fish biodiversity, the environment and human activities in Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 72: 135-148.
  • Melles, S., C. Chu, K. Alofs and D.A. Jackson. 2015. Potential spread of Great Lakes fishes given climate change and proposed dams; an approach using circuit theory to evaluate invasion risk. Landscape Ecology 30: 919-935.

Fish and fisheries ecology and management

  • Benoit, D.M., H. Correa Giacomini, C. Chu, and D. Jackson. 2021. Identifying influential parameters of a multi-species fish size spectrum model for a northern temperate lake through sensitivity analyses. Ecological Modelling 460: 109740.
  • Lester, N.P., S. Sandstrom, D. de Kerckhove, K. Armstrong, H. Ball. T. Dunkley, J. Amos, M. Rawson, P. Addison, A. Dextrase, D. Taillon, B. Wasylenko, P. Lennox, H. Corrêa Giacomini and C. Chu. 2021. Standardized broad-scale management and monitoring of inland lake fisheries: an overview of the Ontario Experience. Fisheries 46(3): 107-118.
  • Chu, C., N.P. Lester, H. Giacomini, B.J. Shuter and D.A. Jackson. 2016. Catch-per-unit-effort and size spectra of lake fish assemblages reflect underlying patterns in ecological conditions and anthropogenic activities across regional and local scales. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73: 535-546.
  • Chu, C., Jones, N.E. and L. Allin. 2010. Linking the thermal regimes of streams in the Great Lakes Basin, Ontario, to landscape and climate variables. River Research and Applications 26: 221-241.
  • Chu, C. 2009. Thirty years later: the global growth of ITQs and their influence on stock status in marine fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 10: 217-230.

Protected areas

  • Lamothe, K.A., K.M. Alofs, and C. Chu. 2019. Evaluating functional diversity conservation for freshwater fishes resulting from terrestrial protected areas. Freshwater Biology 64: 2057-2070.
  • D’Aloia, C.C., I. Naujokaitis-Lewis, C. Blackford, C. Chu, J. Curtis, E. Darling, F. Guichard, S. Leroux, A. Camargo Martensen, B. Rayfield, J. Sunday, A. Xuereb and M-J. Fortin. 2019. Coupled networks of permanent protected areas and dynamic conservation areas for biodiversity conservation under climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7: Article 27.
  • Chu, C., L. Ellis and D.T. de Kerckhove. 2018. Effectiveness of terrestrial protected areas for lake fish community conservation. Conservation Biology 32: 607-618. 




Research facility

867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON L7S 1A1


Assistant Professor (Status-Only) with Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto