Dr. Chris Rooper

Image Chris Rooper
Research Scientist

Research in Coastal and Oceanic Ecosystems Science

Current research and/or projects

Research interests include:

  • non-destructive survey methods using advanced sampling technologies such as underwater cameras and acoustics
  • fish habitat and how it relates to fish distribution, abundance and productivity, such as the role of deep-sea corals in the life history of groundfish species
  • species distribution modeling and the effects of the environment on fishes, including projected climate change effects on the distribution and abundance of fishes

Education and awards

Ph.D. University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences

M.Sc. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

B.Sc. Oregon State University, Biology

International experience and/or work

North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) 

North Pacific Fisheries Commission

Key publications

  1. Wilborn RE, Spies I, Goddard P, Rooper CN, Orr J. In press. First in situ observation of larval Northern Rockfish use of coral habitat in the western Gulf of Alaska. Fish Bull.
  2. English, P; Ward, E; Rooper, CN; Forrest, R; Rogers, L; Hunter, K; Edwards, A; Connors, B; Anderson, S. 2022. Contrasting local climate velocity impacts in warm and cool locations: a meta-analysis across 38 demersal fish species in the northeast Pacific. Fish and Fisheries. 23:239-255.
  3. Rooper CN, MacNeill S, Lee L, McNeil D, Yamanaka KL, Williams K, Towler RH. 2021. Stereo camera survey methodology for estimating density and size of Northern Abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana). J. Shellfish Res. 40(2): 311-324.
  4. Spies I, Orr J, Stevenson D, Goddard P, Hoff GR, Guthridge J, Rooper CN. 2021. Genetic evidence from embryos suggests a new species of skate related to Bathyraja parmifera (Rajiformes: Arhynchobatidae) in the Bering Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser. 670:155-166.
  5. Spies I, Orr JW, Stevenson DE, Goddard P, Hoff G, Guthridge J, Hollowed M, Rooper C. 2021. Skate egg nursery areas support genetic diversity of Alaska and Aleutian skates in the Bering Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 669:121-138.
  6. Robinson CLK, Proudfoot B, Rooper CN, Bertram DF. 2021. The use of spatial distribution models to identify subtidal burying habitat to support the conservation of the forage fish Ammodytes personatus in British Columbia, Canada. Aquatic Conservation. 31:2855-2869.
  7. Jones C, Rooper CN, Wilson CW, Spencer P, Hanselman D, Wilborn RE. 2021. Estimates of Availability and Catchability for Select Rockfish Species Based on Acoustic-Optic Surveys in the Gulf of Alaska. Fisheries Research 236:105848
  8. Rooper CN, Ortiz I, Hermann A, Wilborn R, Laman EA, Cheng W, Kearney K, Aydin, K. 2021. Predicted shifts of groundfish distribution in the eastern Bering Sea under climate change, with implications for fish populations and fisheries management. ICES J Marine Science 78:220-234
  9. Doherty B, Cox SP, Rooper CN, Johnson SDN, Kronlund AR. 2021. Species distribution models for deep-water gorgonian (Alcyonacea) coral habitats that account for spatial uncertainty in trap-camera fishery data. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 660:69-93.
  10. Wilborn R. E., C. N. Rooper, P. Goddard, K. Williams, and R. Towler. 2020. A novel design for sampling benthic zooplankton communities in disparate Gulf of Alaska habitats using an autonomous deep-water plankton pump, J. Plankton Res. 42(4):457–466.
  11. Winship, A.J., Thorson, J. Clarke, E., Coleman, H.M., Costa, B., Georgian, S., Gillett, D., Grüss, A., Henderson, M., Hoff, G., Hourigan, T.F., Huff, D., Kreidler, N., Pirtle, J., Olson, J.V., Poti, M., Rooper, C.N., Shelton, A., Sigler, M., Viehman, S., Whitmire, C. 2020. Good practices for spatial predictive modeling of deep-sea corals and sponges: data collection, analysis, validation, and communication. Frontiers in Marine Science.
  12. Grüss A, Gao J., Thorson JT, Rooper CN, Thompson G, Boldt JL, Lauth R. 2020. Estimating synchronous changes in condition and density in Eastern Bering Sea fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 635:169-185
  13. Rooper CN, Williams K, Towler RH, Wilborn R, Goddard P. 2020. Estimating habitat-specific abundance and behavior of several groundfishes using stationary stereo still cameras in the southern California Bight. Fish. Res. 224:105443
  14. Conrath CL, Rooper CN, Wilborn RE, Knoth BA, Jones DT. 2019. Seasonal habitat use and community structure of rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska. Fish. Res. 105331.
  15. Chu JWF, Nephin J, Georgian S, Knudby A, Rooper CN, Knudby A, Gale KSP. 2019. Modeling the environmental niche space and distributions of cold-water corals and sponges in the Canadian northeast Pacific Ocean. Deep Sea Res I 151:103063.
  16. Baker MR, Palsson W, Zimmermann M, Rooper CN. 2019. Model of trawlable area using benthic terrain and oceanographic variables - informing survey design and habitat maps in the Gulf of Alaska. Fish Ocean 28:629-657.
  17. Rooper CN, Goddard P, Wilborn R. 2019. Are fish associations with corals and sponges more than an affinity to structure: evidence across two widely divergent ecosystems. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 76:2184-2193.
  18. Rooper CN, Hoff GR, Stevenson DE, Orr JW, Spies IB (2019) Skate egg nursery habitat in the eastern Bering Sea: a predictive model. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 609:163-178. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12809
  19. Stevenson DE, Hoff GR, Orr JW, Spies I, Rooper, CN. 2019. Interactions between fisheries and early life stages of skates in nursery areas of the eastern Bering Sea. Fish Bull 117:8-14.
  20. Williams, K., Rooper, C. N., De Robertis, A., Levine, M., and R. H. Towler.  2018. A method for computing volumetric fish density using stereo cameras. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 508:21-26
  21. Boldt JL, Thompson M, Rooper CN, Hay D, Schweigert J, Quinn TJ, Cleary J, Neville C. 2018. Bottom-up and top-down control of small pelagic forage fish: factors affecting juvenile herring in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.
  22. Boldt JL, Williams K, Rooper CN, Towler R, Gauthier S. 2018. Development of stereo camera methodologies to improve pelagic fish biomass estimates and inform ecosystem management in marine waters. Fisheries Research. 198:66-77.
  23. Laman EA, Rooper CN, Turner K, Rooney S, Cooper DW, Zimmermann M. 2018. Using species distribution models to define essential fish habitat in Alaska. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 75:1230-1255
  24. Wilborn, R.E., Rooper, C.N., Goddard, P., Li, L., Williams, K., Towler, R. 2018. Distribution, abundance, and size of cold-water corals and sponges in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, using camera surveys. Hydrobiologia 811:251-268.
  25. Rooper CN, Wilborn RE, Goddard P, Williams K, Towler R, Hoff GR. 2018. Validation of deep-sea coral and sponge distribution models in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 75:199-209.

Research facility

3190 Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7