Dr. Jacob Brownscombe

Image Jacob Brownscombe
Research Scientist

Leading scientific research on freshwater fish habitat

Current research and/or projects

My research program focuses on using innovative approaches to characterize fish habitat to inform freshwater ecosystem management. We use a combination of field, laboratory, and analytical approaches using tools and techniques such as telemetry, accelerometry, respirometry, and machine learning. In particular, we use bioenergetics approaches to understand how fish interact with their environment and respond to threats from human activities, focusing ecologically and economically important fish species in the Great Lakes region such as walleye, largemouth bass, northern pike, and Species at Risk (SAR) such as silver shiner. We are also using extensive fish tracking (acoustic telemetry) data to develop habitat suitability and species distribution models for a wide variety of important fish species.

Key publications

Brownscombe JW, JD Midwood, SJ Cooke. In Press. Modeling fish habitat – model tuning, fit metrics, and applications. Aquatic Sciences, 00:000

Cooke, SJ, P Venturelli, WM Twardek, RJ Lennox, JW Brownscombe, C Skov, K Hyder, CD Suski, B Diggles, R Arlinghaus and AJ Danylchuk. In Press.  Technological innovations in the recreational fishing sector: implications for fisheries management and policy.  Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries.  00:000-000.

Brownscombe JW, LP Griffin, D Morley, A Acosta, J Hunt, SK Lowerre-Barbieri, AJ Adams, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke. In Press. Application of machine learning algorithms to identify cryptic reproductive habitats using diverse information sources. Oecologia, 194: 283-298

Clarke SH, Brownscombe JW, Nowell L, Zolderdo AJ, Danylchuk AJ, Cooke SJ. In Press. Do angler experience and fishing lure characteristics influence welfare outcomes for largemouth bass? Fisheries Research, 00:000

Talwar, In Press. Variation in behavioral responses to experimental longline capture in sub-tropical marine fishes. ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Dunn CD, Campbell LJ, Wallace EM, Danylchuk AJ, Cooke SJ, Shultz AD, Black BD, Brownscombe JW, Griffin LP, Philipp DP, Adams AJ, Goldberg TL. In Press. Bacterial communities on the gills of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in the Florida Keys and The Bahamas show spatial structure and differential abundance of disease-associated bacteria. Marine Biology, 00:000

Szekeres P, CR Haak, ADM Wilson, AJ Danylchuk, JW Brownscombe, AD Shultz, SJ Cooke. In Press. Juvenile bonefish (Albula vulpes) show a preference to shoal with mojarra (Eucinostomus spp.) in the presence of conspecifics and another gregarious cooccurring species. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 00:000

Holder PE, AL Jeanson, RJ Lennox, JW Brownscombe, R Arlinghaus, AJ Danylchuk, SD Bower, K Hyder, L Hunt, EP Fenichel, PA Venturelli, EB Thorstad, MS Allen, WM Potts, S Clark-Danylchuk, JE Claussen, JM Lyle, J Tsuboi, R Brummett, K Freire, SR Tracey, C Skov, SJ Cooke. In Press. Preparing for a changing future in recreational fisheries: 100 research questions for global consideration emerging from a horizon scan. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 00:000

Holder PE, LP Griffin, AJ Adams, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke, JW Brownscombe. 2020. Stress, predators, and survival: Exploring Permit (Trachinotus falcatus) catch-and-release fishing mortality in the Florida Keys. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 524, 151289

Brownscombe JW, LP Griffin, D Morley, A Acosta, J Hunt, SK Lowerre-Barbieri, GT Crossin, SJ Iverson, R Boucek, AJ Adams, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2019. Seasonal occupancy and connectivity amongst nearshore flats and reef habitats by permit (Trachinotus falcatus): Considerations for fisheries management. Journal of Fish Biology, 96: 469-479

Brownscombe JW, LP Griffin, JM Chapman, D Morley, A Acosta, GT Crossin, SJ Iverson, AJ Adams, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2019. A practical method to account for variation in detection range in acoustic telemetry arrays to accurately quantify the spatial ecology of aquatic animals. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13322

Steell SC, T Van Leeuwen, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke, E Eliason. In Press. An appetite for invasion: lionfish have lower costs of digestion at high temperatures and a feeding physiology that may drive their invasive impact. Oecologia, OECO-D-18-00725

Lennox RJ, C Paukert, K Aarestrup, M Auger-Méthé, L Baumgartner, K Bøe, K Brink, JW Brownscombe, Y Chen, JG Davidsen, E Eliason, A Filous, B Gillanders, I Helland, AZ Horodysky, SR Januchowski-Hartley, SK Lowerre-Barbieri, MC Lucas, E Martins, KJ Murchie, PS Pompeu, M Power, R Raghavan, F Rahel, D Secor, JD Thiem, EB Thorstad, H Ueda, FG Whoriskey, SJ Cooke. In Press. 100 pressing questions on the future of global fish migration science, conservation, and policy. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 463020

Lennox RJ, JW Brownscombe, CK Elvidge, P Harrison, K Peiman, GD Raby, SJ Cooke. In Press. Behaviour including fish migration. Chapter 7 in Woo P, Iwama GK (eds), Non Infectious Fish Disorders. CABI Publishing Group

Brownscombe JW, AJ Adams, N Young, LP Griffin, P Holder, J Hunt, A Acosta, D Morley, R Boucek, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2019. Bridging the knowledge-action gap: A case of research rapidly impacting recreational fisheries policy. Marine Policy, 104:210-215

Brownscombe JW, LP Griffin, TO Gagne, CR Haak, SJ Cooke, JT Finn, AJ Danylchuk. 2019. Environmental drivers of habitat use by a marine fish on a heterogeneous and dynamic reef flat. Marine Biology, 166:18

Griffin LP, CR Haak, JW Brownscombe, CR Griffin, AJ Danylchuk. 2019. A comparison of juvenile bonefish diets in Eleuthera, The Bahamas, and Florida, US. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 102:147-157

SJ Cooke, WM Twardek, AJ Reid, RJ Lennox, SC Danylchuk, JW Brownscombe, SD Bower, R Arlinghaus, K Hyder, AJ Danylchuk. 2019. Searching for responsible and sustainable recreational fisheries in the Anthropocene. Journal of Fish Biology, doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13935

Brownscombe JW, E Ledee, GD Raby, DP Struthers, LFG Gutowsky, VM Nguyen, N Young, MJW Stokesbury, CM Holbrook, TO Brenden, CS Vandergoot, KJ Murchie, K Whoriskey, J Mills-Flemming, S. Kessel, CC Krueger, SJ Cooke. 2019. Conducting and interpreting fish telemetry studies: Considerations for researchers and resource managers. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 29: 369-400

Brownscombe JW, K Hyder, W Potts, K Wilson, KL Pope, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke, A Clarke, R Arlinghaus, JR Post. 2019. The future of recreational fisheries: Advances in science, monitoring, management, and practice. Fisheries Research, 211: 247-255

Brownscombe JW, AJ Danylchuk, AJ Adams, B Black, R Boucek, M Power, JS Rehage, RO Santos, RW Fisher, B Horn, CR Haak, S Morton, J Hunt, R Ahrens, MS Allen, J Shenker, SJ Cooke. 2019. Bonefish in South Florida: status, threats and research needs. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 102:329-348

Nguyen, V, N Young, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke. 2019. Collaboration and engagement produce more actionable science: quantitatively analyzing uptake of fish tracking studies. Ecological Applications, e01943

Prystay TS, MJ Lawrence, AJ Zolderdo, JW Brownscombe, R de Bruijn, EJ Eliason, SJ Cooke. 2019. Exploring relationships between cardiovascular activity and parental care investment in nesting smallmouth bass: a field study using heart rate biologgers. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 234:18-27

Brownscombe JW, R Lennox, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke. 2018. Estimating fish swimming metrics and metabolic rates with accelerometers: The influence of sampling frequency. Journal of Fish Biology, 93:207-214

Bouyoucos IA, BS Talwar, EJ Brooks, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke, CD Suski, JW Mandelman. 2018. Exercise intensity while hooked is associated with physiological status of longline-captured sharks. Conservation Physiology, coy074

Lennox RJ, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2018. Post-release behaviour and survival of recreationally-angled arapaima (Arapaima cf. arapaima) assessed with accelerometer biologgers. Fisheries Research, 207:197-203

Lizee TW, RJ Lennox, TD Ward, JW Brownscombe, JM Chapman, AJ Danylchuk, LB Nowell, SJ Cooke. 2018. Influence of landing net mesh type on handling time and tissue damage of angled brook trout. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 38:76–83

Griffin LP, JW Brownscombe, AJ Adams, RE Boucek, JT Finn, MR Heithaus, JS Rehage, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2018. Keeping up with the Silver King: Using cooperative acoustic telemetry networks to quantify the movements of Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) in the coastal waters of the southeastern United States. Fisheries Research, 205:65-76

Bower SD, JW Brownscombe, K Birnie-Gauvin, MI Ford, AD Moraga, RJ Pusiak, ED Turenne, AJ Zolderdo, SJ Cooke, JR Bennett. 2018. Making tough choices: picking the appropriate conservation decision-making tool. Conservation Letters, 11:e1241

Lawrence MJ, EJ Eliason, JW Brownscombe, KM Gilmour, JW Mandelman, LFG Gutowsky, SJ Cooke. 2018. Influence of supraphysiological cortisol manipulation on predator avoidance behaviors and physiological responses to a predation threat in a wild marine teleost fish. Integrative Zoology, 13:206-218

Shipley ON, JW Brownscombe, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke, OR O’Shea, EJ Brooks. 2018.  Fine-scale movement and activity patterns of Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi) in The Bahamas. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 101:1097-1104

Ward TD, JW Brownscombe, LFG Gutowsky, R Ballagh, N Sakich, D McLean, G Quesnel, S Gambhir, CM O’Connor, SJ Cooke. 2017. Electric fish handling gloves provide effective immobilization and do not impede reflex recovery of adult largemouth bass. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 37:652-659

Brownscombe JW, SJ Cooke, DA Algera, KC Hanson, EJ Eliason, NJ Burnett, AJ Danylchuk, SG Hinch, and AP Farrell. 2017. Ecology of exercise in wild fish: integrating concepts of individual physiological capacity, behaviour and fitness through diverse case studies. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 57:281-292

Brownscombe JW, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke. 2017. Spatiotemporal drivers of energy expenditure in a coastal marine fish. Oecologia, 183:689-699

Algera DA, JW Brownscombe, KM Gilmour, MJ Lawrence, AJ Zolderdo, SJ Cooke. 2017. Cortisol treatment affects locomotor activity and swimming behaviour of male smallmouth bass engaged in paternal care: A field study using acceleration biologgers. Physiology & Behavior, 181C:59-68

Prystay TS, EJ Eliason, MJ Lawrence, M Dick, JW Brownscombe, DA Patterson, GT Crossin, SG Hinch, and SJ Cooke. 2017. The influence of water temperature on sockeye salmon heart rate recovery following simulated fisheries interactions. Conservation Physiology, 5:cox050

Lennox RJ, A Filous, SC Danylchuk, SJ Cooke, JW Brownscombe, AM Friedlander, AJ Danylchuk. 2017. Factors influencing post-release predation for a catch-and-release tropical flats fishery with a high predator burden. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 37:1045-1053

Brownscombe JW, AJ Reid, L Dolgova, R Pusiak, B Laurich, ED Turenne, A Zolderdo, A Moraga, K Birnie-Gauvin, J Brooks, B Sullivan, M Ford, SD Bower, P Szekeres, JR Bennett, SJ Cooke. 2017. Aquatic Conservation. In Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology. Ed. David Gibson. New York: Oxford University Press

Szekeres P, AD Wilson, CR Haak, AJ Danylchuk, JW Brownscombe, CK Elvidge, AD Shultz, K Birnie-Gauvin, SJ Cooke. 2017. Does coastal light pollution alter the nocturnal behavior and blood physiology of juvenile bonefish (Albula vulpes)? Bulletin of Marine Science, 93:491-505

Lawrence MJ, EJ Eliason, JW Brownscombe, KM Gilmour, JW Mandelman, SJ Cooke. 2017. An experimental evaluation of the role of the stress axis in mediating predator-prey interactions in wild marine fish. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 207:21-29

Griffin LP, JW Brownscombe, TO Gagné, AD Wilson, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2017. Individual-level behavioral responses of immature green turtles to snorkeler disturbance. Oecologia, 183:909.

Kerr SM, Ward TD, Lennox RJ, Brownscombe JW, Chapman JM, Gutowsky LFG, Logan JM, Twardek WM, Elvidge CK, Danylchuk AJ, Cooke SJ. 2017. Influence of hook type and live bait on the hooking performance of inline spinners in the context of catch-and-release brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis fishing in lakes. Fisheries Research, 186:642-647

Bouyoucos IA, DW Montgomery, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke, CD Suski, JW Mandelman, EJ Brooks. 2017. Swimming speeds and metabolic rates of semi-captive juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris, Poey) estimated with acceleration biologgers. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 486:245-254

Brownscombe JW, AJ Danylchuk, JM Chapman, LFG Gutowsky, SJ Cooke. 2017. Best practices for catch-and-release recreational fisheries – angling tools and tactics. Fisheries Research, 186:693-705

Gutowsky LFG, LJ Stoot, NA Cairns, JD Thiem, JW Brownscombe, AJ Danylchuk, G Blouin-Demers, SJ Cooke. 2016. Biologgers reveal post-release behavioural impairments of freshwater turtles following interactions with fishing nets. Animal Conservation, 20:350-359

Foster JG, DA Algera, JW Brownscombe, AJ Zolderdo, SJ Cooke. 2016. Consequences of different types of littoral zone light pollution on the parental care behaviour of a freshwater teleost fish. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 227:404

Gutowsky LFG, JW Brownscombe, ADM Wilson, P Szekeres, SJ Cooke. 2016. Improved performance, within-individual consistency and between-individual differences in the righting behaviour of the Caribbean sea star, Oreaster reticulatus. Behaviour, 153:1763-1776

Cooke SJ, CJA Cooke, JW Brownscombe. 2016. Ultralight or heavyweight?  The interactive effects of gear strength and air exposure on reflex impairment in largemouth bass. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 145:1202-1207

Szekeres P, EJ Eliason, D Lapointe, MR Donaldson, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke. 2016. On the neglected cold side of climate change and what it means to fish. Climate Research, 69:239-245

Brownscombe JW, TP Parmar, J Almeida, E Giesbrecht, J Batson, X Chen, S Wesch, TD Ward, C O’Connor, SJ Cooke. 2016. The efficacy of assisted ventilation techniques for facilitating the recovery of fish that are exhausted from simulated angling stress. Fisheries Research, 186:619-624

Gagne TO, KL Ovitz, LP Griffin, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2016. Evaluating the consequences of catch-and-release recreational angling on golden dorado (Salminus brasiliensis) in Salta, Argentina. Fisheries Research, 186:625-633

Brownscombe JW, L Griffin, T Gagne, CR Haak, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk. 2016. Physiological stress and reflex impairment of recreationally angled bonefish in Puerto Rico. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 98:2287-2295

Masson L, JW Brownscombe, MG Fox. 2016. Fine scale spatio-temporal life history shifts in an invasive species at its expansion front. Biological Invasions, 18:775-792

Cooke SJ, JW Brownscombe, GD Raby, F Broell, SG Hinch, TD Clark, JM Semmens. 2016. Remote bioenergetics measurements in wild fish: Opportunities and challenges. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 202:23-37

Bower SD, AJ Danylchuk, JW Brownscombe, JD Thiem, SJ Cooke. 2016. Evaluating consequences of catch-and-release angling on the physiological status of peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) in Puerto Rico: A rapid assessment approach. Fisheries Research, 175:95-102

Wilson ADM, JW Brownscombe, J Krause, S Krause, LFG Gutowsky, E Brooks, SJ Cooke. 2015. Integrating advances in network analysis, sensor tags and direct observation to understand shark ecology and behaviour. Behavioural Ecology, 26:1577-1586

Wilson ADM, JW Brownscombe, B Sullivan, SMR Jain-Schlaepfer, SJ Cooke. 2015. Does angling technique selectively target fishes based on their behavioural type? PloS one, 10:e0135848

Nowell LB, JW Brownscombe, LFG Gutowsky, KJ Murchie, CD Suski, AJ Danylchuk, A Shultz, SJ Cooke. 2015. Swimming energetics and thermal ecology of adult bonefish (Albula vulpes): A combined laboratory and field study in Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 98:2133-2146

Lennox RJ, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke, AJ Danylchuk, PS Moro, EAD Sanches, D Garonne-Neto. 2015. Evaluation of catch-and-release angling practices for the fat snook Centropomus parallelus in a Brazilian estuary. Ocean and Coastal Management, 113:1-7

Gutowsky LFG, A Waleed, R Banisaeed, KL Bove, GJJ Burrows, E Chu, LR Bell, JMT Magel, AM Rous, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke. 2015. Considerations for the design and interpretation of fishing release mortality estimates. Fisheries Research, 167:64-70

Brownscombe JW, ADM Wilson, E Samson, L Nowell, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke. 2015. Individual differences in activity and habitat selection of juvenile queen conch evaluated using acceleration biologgers. Endangered Species Research, 27:181-188

Samson E, JW Brownscombe, SJ Cooke. 2014. Behavioural and reflex responses of mottled mojarra Eucinostomus lefroyi (Gerreidae) to cold shock exposure. Aquatic Biology, 23:101-108

Brownscombe JW, K Marchand, K Tisshaw, V Fewster, O Groff, M Pichette, M Seed, LFG Gutowsky, ADM Wilson, SJ Cooke. 2014. The influence of water temperature and accelerometer-determined fight intensity on physiological stress and reflex impairment of angled largemouth bass. Conservation Physiology, 2:cou057

Brownscombe JW, SD Bower, W Bowden, L Nowell, JD Midwood, N Johnson, SJ Cooke. 2014. Canadian recreational fisheries: 35 years of social, biological, and economic dynamics from a national survey. Fisheries, 39:251-260

Brownscombe JW, LFG Gutowsky, AJ Danylchuk, SJ Cooke. 2014. Foraging behaviour and activity of a marine benthivorous fish estimated using tri-axial accelerometer biologgers. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 505:241-251

Research facility

2301 Midland Ave.
Scarborough, ON M1P4R7


Adjunct Research Professor, Environmental and Life Sciences Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, Carleton Univeristy, Ottawa, Canada