Lara Cooper

Section Head

Aquaculture and Biological Interactions Section

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

  • At Environment Canada, led the development of Canadian Tissue Residue Guidelines for DDT, toxaphene, and PCBs for the protection of wildlife that consume aquatic biota in both marine and freshwater environments.
  • Assistant to Dr. Austin Williams in the National Systematics Laboratory at the Smithsonian, carrying out research covering the taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, and evolution of various marine decapod groups, including a contribution to the revised classification of the family Latreillidae, as well as work on several hydrothermal vent organisms.
  • Led the development of various Indicator Bulletins and State of the Environment reports for the National Indicators and Assessment Office. Topics included acid rain, sustainable agriculture, municipal wastewater effluents, and water quality.
  • Within the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (previously for the Biodiversity Science Branch), appointed as a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for DFO. Also acted as the coordinator and liaison for COSEWIC and DFO.
  • Appointed as the DFO member on the National General Status Working Group with responsibility to lead the development of General Status (conservation) ranks for aquatic species under DFO’s jurisdiction. Provided science advice and coordination on numerous issues related to the implementation of the Species at Risk Act.
  • Led the organisation of the Gulf of Maine Symposium– Advancing Ecosystem Research for the Future of the Gulf in October 2009

Research and/or project statements

Ms. Cooper began her career nearly 15 years ago, and has worked as a biologist in both the United States and Canada on numerous issues ranging from the development of Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines for numerous substances in water, sediment, and tissue to assisting with the implementation of the new Federal Species at Risk Act . She spent several years in Ottawa as an advisor in the Ecosystem Science Directorate before making the move to St. Andrews in 2008. Ms. Cooper has recently taken on the role as Head of the Aquaculture and Biological Interactions Section.

Professional activities / interests

  • Environmental Quality Guidelines Specialist (1996-1997, Environment Canada)
  • Research Assistant (1997-1999, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.)
  • Indicators and Reporting Specialist (1999-2001, Environment Canada)
  • Advisor, Species at Risk Assessments (2001-2008, DFO Ottawa)
  • Senior Science Advisor (2008-2010, DFO SABS)
  • Section Head, Aquaculture and Biological Interactions Section (2010-present, DFO SABS)

Education and awards

  • M.Sc. Biology (1996, University of Ottawa)
  • B.Sc. Biology (1994, University of Ottawa)

Key publications

Selected publications:

  • 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, NB, October 5-9, 2009. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. In print.
  • Castro, P., A.B. Williams, L.L. Cooper. 2003. Revision of the family Latreilliidae Stimpson , 1858 (Crustacea, Decapod, Brachyura). Zoosystema 25(4) 601-634.
  • Ridgway, L.L., L. Juergensen, D. Macdonald, R. Kent, P.-Y. Caux, and M. Palmer. 2000. Toxicity, fate and behaviour of DDT in the Canadian environment: Risks to wildlife consumers of aquatic biota. Pages 1-81 + appendices in Environmental Quality Assessments for PCBs, DDT and Toxaphene. P.-Y. Caux and S. Roe, eds. Canadian Association on Water Quality, Monograph Series, No. 5.
  • Ridgway, L.L., L. Juergensen, D. Macdonald, R. Kent, P.-Y. Caux, and M. Palmer. 2000. Toxicity, fate and behaviour of toxaphene in the Canadian environment: Risks to wildlife consumers of aquatic biota. Pages 179-243 + appendices inEnvironmental Quality Assessments for PCBs, DDT and Toxaphene. P.-Y. Caux and S. Roe, eds. Canadian Association on Water Quality, Monograph Series, No. 5.
  • Roe, S., D. Macdonald, L.L. Ridgway, D. Schudoma, and P.-Y. Caux,. 2000. Toxicity, fate and behaviour of PCBs in the Canadian environment: Risks to wildlife consumers of aquatic biota. Pages 309-431 + appendices in Environmental Quality Assessments for PCBs, DDT and Toxaphene. P.-Y. Caux and S. Roe, eds. Canadian Association on Water Quality, Monograph Series, No. 5.
  • Ridgway, L.L., F. Chapleau, M.E. Comba, and S.M. Backus. 1999. Population characteristics and contaminant burdens of the white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) from the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York. Journal of Great Lakes Research 25(3):567-582.
  • Lalonde, J.D., F. Chapleau, A. Brind’Amour, et L. L. Ridgway. 1999. Les métaux (Mn, Cu, Cd, Zn, et Hg) des meuniers noirs (Catostomus commersoni) et des grands brochets (Esox lucius) de l’amont et de l’aval du barrage Moses-Saunders sur le fleuve Saint Laurent près de Cornwall (Ontario) et Massena (New York). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56:2240-2247.
  • Ridgway, L.L. and F. Chapleau. 1994. Study of a stunted population of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in a monospecific lake of Gatineau Park, Quebec. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72:1576-1582.

Other publications

  • Environment Canada. 2001. State of the Environment Report: The state of municipal wastewater effluents in Canada. Indicators and Assessment Office, Hull, Quebec. 70 pp.
  • Environment Canada. 2000. Indicator Bulletin: Environmental sustainability of Canada’s agricultural soils. Indicators and Assessment Office, Hull, Quebec.

Expertise