Ellen Kenchington, PhD

Current research and/or projects

As a benthic ecologist, Dr. Ellen Kenchington studies the organisms which live on or in the seafloor. She works to deepen our understanding of their relationship with the sediment and the seabed structure they are found on, as well as the overlying water masses which may control their distributions. Her research takes place primarily on the continental shelves and slopes and in water depths of up to 3,000 meters or more. The research relies on large-scale habitat mapping, seabed mapping and water mass characteristics to be able to predict the distribution of organisms important in the marine ecosystem, such as deep-water coral and sponge beds. Domestically she has provided scientific support for the Policy for Managing the Impact of Fishing on Sensitive Benthic Areas and contributed to the establishment of the first area closure under that policy. Recently she has been working to establish benthic biodiversity monitoring sites in the Canadian Arctic in support of the Arctic Council’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Plan and to model benthic species distributions in the northwest Atlantic.

 

Watch as Ellen explains her work in understanding organisms that live in deep waters.

 

Research and/or project statements

- EU Horizon 2020 Project, Call H2020-BG-2015-2: BG-01-2015 Improving the preservation and sustainable exploitation of Atlantic marine ecosystems. NUMBER — 679849 SponGES: Deep-sea Sponge Grounds Ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation. (Co-PI w. H.T. Rapp, Norway; S. Pomponi, USA), ~10M Euro (~14.7M CDN$).

- EU Horizon 2020 Project, Call H2020-BG-2015-2: BG-01-2015 Improving the preservation and sustainable exploitation of Atlantic marine ecosystems. NUMBER — 678760-2 ATLAS: A Trans-AtLantic Assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based Spatial management plan for Europe. (Case Study Leader), ~10M Euro (~14.7M CDN$).

-International Governance Strategy, Department of Fisheries and Oceans: Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction (BBNJ): 3-Tiers of Diversity (Genes-Species-Communities)

Professional activities / interests

-provision of scientific advice in support of national and international policy related to deep sea ecosystems and biodiversity

-offshore benthic ecology with a focus on the continental shelves and slopes

-impacts of fishing

-International Deep Sea Exploration Mission

Education and awards

Ph.D. (Botany)        Botany Department, University of Tasmania (1987)

M.Sc. (Distinction)   Department of Biology, Dalhousie University (1983)

B.Sc. (Honours)      Department of Biology, Dalhousie University (1981)

 

Key publications

2018 Publications

BAKER, E., L. BEAZLEY, A. McMILLAN, J. ROWSWELL & E. KENCHINGTON, 2018. Epibenthic Megafauna of the Disko Fan Conservation Area in the Davis Strait (Eastern Arctic) Identified from In Situ Benthic Image Transects. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3272: vi + 388 p.

BAKER, E., B. ODENTHAL, G. TOMPKINS, W. WALKUSZ, T. SIFERD, & E. KENCHINGTON, 2018. Sponges from the 2010-2014 Paamiut Multispecies Trawl Surveys, Eastern Arctic and Subarctic: Class Demospongiae, Subclass Heteroscleromorpha, Order Poecilosclerida, Families Crellidae and Myxillidae. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3253: iv + 52 p.

BEAZLEY, L., Z. WANG, E. KENCHINGTON, I. YASHAYAEV, H.T. RAPP, J.R. XAVIER, F.J. MURILLO, D. FENTON & S. FULLER. 2018. Predicted distribution of the glass sponge Vazella pourtalesi on the Scotian Shelf and its persistence in the face of climatic variability. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0205505.

BEAZLEY, L., J. GUIJARRO, C. LIRETTE, Z. WANG, & E. KENCHINGTON, 2018. Characteristics of Environmental Data Layers for Use in Species Distribution Modelling in the Eastern Canadian Arctic and Sub-Arctic Regions. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3248: vii + 488p.

BEAZLEY, L., C. PHAM, J. MURILLO, & E. KENCHINGTON, 2017. Cruise Report for the DFO/SponGES CCGS Martha L. Black Oceanographic Mission (MLB2017001), August 31 to September 7, 2017. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3242: vi + 42p.

JOHNSON, D., M.A. FERREIRA & E. KENCHINGTON. 2018. Climate change is likely to severely limit the effectiveness of deep-sea ABMTs in the North Atlantic. Marine Policy 87: 111-122.

KENCHINGTON, T.J., D. THEMELIS, S. DEVANEY & E.L. KENCHINGTON, 2018. The Meso- and Bathypelagic Fish Assemblage in The Gully: Data Preparation and Species’ Distributions. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3268: v+153p.

MURILLO, F.J., E. KENCHINGTON, G. TOMPKINS, L. BEAZLEY, E. BAKER, A. KNUDBY, & W. WALKUSZ. 2018. Sponge assemblages and predicted archetypes in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Marine Ecology Progress Series 597: 115-135.

MURILLO, F.J., B. MACDONALD, E. KENCHINGTON, S. CAMPANA, B. SAINTE-MARIE & M. SACAU. 2018. Morphometry and growth of sea pen species from dense habitats in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, eastern Canada. Marine Biology Research Volume 14, 2018 - Issue 4 DOI: 10.1080/17451000.2017.1417604

MURILLO, F.J., E. KENCHINGTON, D. CLARK, J. EMBERLEY, C. REGNIER-McKELLAR, J. GUIJARRO, L. BEAZLEY, & M.C. WONG, 2018. Cruise Report for the CCGS Alfred Needler Maritimes Region Research Vessel Summer Multispecies Survey, June 28 to August 14, 2017: Benthic Invertebrates. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3262: v + 41 p.

2017 Publications

BEAZLEY, L., J. GUIJARRO, C. LIRETTE, Z. WANG, & E. KENCHINGTON. 2017. Characteristics of Environmental Data Layers for Use in Species Distribution Modelling in the Maritimes Region. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3212: vii + 327.

BEAZLEY, L., E. KENCHINGTON & C. LIRETTE. 2017. Species Distribution Modelling and Kernel Density Analysis of Benthic Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) and Other Benthic Fauna in the Maritimes Region. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3204: vi + 159.

BOUCHARD MARMEN, M., E. KENCHINGTON, M. ARDYNA & P. ARCHAMBAULT. 2017. Influence of seabird colonies and other environmental variables on benthic community structure, Lancaster Sound Region, Canadian Arctic. Journal of Marine Systems 167:105-117.

EGHTESADI ARAGHI P., J. RICE, M. BANKS, C. BISSADA, E. ESCOBAR-BRIONES, F. GAILL, S. K. JUNIPER, A. KAWSER, E. KENCHINGTON, N. PRESTON, G. PROCACCINI, N. RAMAIAH, A. ROGERS, W. ROMMENS, Z. SENLIN & M. THORNDYKE. 2017. Use of Marine Genetic Resources. Chapter 29. In United Nations (Ed.), The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment: World Ocean Assessment I (pp. 451-458). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

KENCHINGTON, E., I. YASHAYAEV, O.S. TENDAL & H. JØRGENSBYE, 2017. Water mass characteristics and associated fauna of a recently discovered Lophelia pertusa (Scleractinia: Anthozoa) reef in Greenlandic waters. Polar Biology 40: 321-337.

KENCHINGTON, E.L., S.M. BAILLIE, T.J. KENCHINGTON & P. BENTZEN. 2017. Barcoding Atlantic Canada's mesopelagic and upper bathypelagic marine fishes. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0185173.

TOMPKINS, G., E. BAKER, L. ANSTEY, W. WALKUSZ, T. SIFERD, & E. KENCHINGTON, 2017. Sponges from the 2010-2014 Paamiut Multispecies Trawl Surveys, Eastern Arctic and Subarctic: Class Demospongiae, Subclass Heteroscleromorpha, Order Poecilosclerida, Family Coelosphaeridae, Genera Forcepia and Lissodendoryx. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3224: v + 129.

2016 Publications

BARRIO FROJAN, C., A.L. DOWNIE, M. SACAU CUADRADO, E. KENCHINGTON & A. KENNY, 2016. Evaluation of benthic assemblage structure in the NAFO regulatory area with regard to the protection of VME. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73: 405-419.

BEAZLEY, L., E. KENCHINGTON, F.J. MURILLO, C. LIRETTE, J. GUIJARRO, A. McMILLAN & A. KNUDBY. 2016. Species Distribution Modelling of Corals and Sponges in the Maritimes Region for use in the Identification of Significant Benthic Areas. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3172: vi+189p.

BEAZLEY, L., C. LIRETTE, J. SABANIEL, Z. WANG, A. KNUDBY, & E. KENCHINGTON. 2016. Characteristics of Environmental Data Layers for Use in Species Distribution Modelling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3154: viii + 357p.

BEAZLEY, L., F.J. MURILLO, E. KENCHINGTON, J. GUIJARRO, C. LIRETTE, T. SIFERD, M. TREBLE, E. BAKER, M. BOUCHARD MARMEN & G. TOMPKINS MACDONALD. 2016. Species Distribution Modelling of Corals and Sponges in the Eastern Arctic for Use in the Identification of Significant Benthic Areas. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3175: vii + 210p.

GUIJARRO, J., L. BEAZLEY, C. LIRETTE, E. KENCHINGTON, V. WAREHAM, K. GILKINSON, M. KOEN-ALONSO & F.J. MURILLO. 2016. Species Distribution Modelling of Corals and Sponges from Research Vessel Survey Data in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region for use in the Identification of Significant Benthic Areas. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3171: vi+126p.

JORQUERA, E., E. KENCHINGTON & D.E. RUZZANTE, 2016. High prevalence of multiple paternity in the deep-sea shrimp Acanthephyra pelagicaMarine Biology 163(4): published online.

KENCHINGTON, E., C. LIRETTE, F.J. MURILLO, L. BEAZLEY, J. GUIJARRO, V. WAREHAM, K. GILKINSON, M. KOEN ALONSO, H. BENOIT, H. BOURDAGES, B. SAINTE-MARIE, M. TREBLE, & T.SIFERD. 2016. Kernel Density Analyses of Coral and Sponge Catches from Research Vessel Survey Data for Use in Identification of Significant Benthic Areas. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3167: viii+207p.

KENCHINGTON, E., S. McLEAN, & J. RICE. 2016. Considerations for Identification of Effective Area-based Conservation Measures. DFO Canadian Scientific Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2016/020: v + 53 p.

MALDONADO, M., R. AGUILAR, R. J. BANNISTER, J. BELL, K.W. CONWAY, P. K. DAYTON, C. DIAZ, J.GUTT, M. KELLY, E. L. R. KENCHINGTON, S. P. LEYS, S. A. POMPONI, H.T. RAPP, K RUTZLER, O. S. TENDAL, J. VACELET & C. M. YOUNG, 2016. Chapter 12. Sponge grounds as key marine habitats: a synthetic review of types, structure, functional roles, and conservation concerns. In: Marine Animal Forests: the ecology of benthic biodiversity hotspots. (Eds.) Rossi S., Bramanti, L. Gori A., Orejas, C. Springer, Major Reference Works Series. Berlin. 39 pp.  

MURILLO, F.J., E. KENCHINGTON, L. BEAZLEY, C. LIRETTE, A. KNUDBY, J. GUIJARRO, H. BENOIT, H. BOURDAGES, & B. SAINTE-MARIE. 2016. Distribution Modelling of Sea Pens, Sponges, Stalked Tunicates and Soft Corals from Research Vessel Survey Data in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for use in the Identification of Significant Benthic Areas. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3170: vi+132p.

MURILLO, F.J., E. KENCHINGTON, J.M. LAWSON, G. LI & D.J.W PIPER, 2016. Ancient deep-sea sponge grounds on the Flemish Cap, northwest Atlantic. Marine Biology Published online Feb 29 2016 DOI 10.1007/s00227-016-2839-5

MURILLO, F.J., A. SERRANO, E. KENCHINGTON & J. MORA, 2016. Epibenthic assemblages of the Tail of the Grand Bank and Flemish Cap (northwest Atlantic) in relation to environmental parameters and trawling intensity. Deep Sea Research I 109: 99-122.

RINCÓN, B. & E. KENCHINGTON, 2016. Influence of benthic macrofauna as a spatial structuring agent for juvenile haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) on the Eastern Scotian Shelf, Atlantic Canada. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0163374.