Lei Harris

Marine Population Dynamics Biologist

Current research and/or projects

Lei Harris has been part of the Species at Risk group at the St. Andrews Biological Station since it’s inception in 2001, contributing her quantitative skills, field experience, and original research ideas. This group is unique in DFO as it is the only one that works on broader Species at Risk issues, as well as individual species, thus influencing how science at DFO associated with the new act is conducted. She leads projects on multiple marine fish and mammal species including the north Atlantic right whale, cusk, and winter skate.

Some recent highlights of her research include:

  • Initiated and managed the fish diet sampling program on regional research vessel surveys
  • Pioneered the use of aerostats in open water to non-invasively study marine mammals
  • Impact on the way that species at risk science is conducted at DFO
  • Established regional opportunistic sightings database and data collection for marine mammals
  • Extensive freshwater and marine field experience, including sea-time on commercial and research vessels
  • Expert on cusk in the western Atlantic

In her research, Lei Harris collaborates with members of with industry, non-governmental organisations and academia both in Canada and abroad. She has managed to raise funds for original research in every year since her arrival at the Biological station. Membership in working groups includes the north Atlantic right whale consortium, Canada-US endangered marine mammal working group (science representative) and ICES WGDEEP.

Education and awards

B.Sc. Honours Biology, Concordia University, 1995

M.Sc. Zoology, University of Manitoba, 1998

Key publications

  1. HARRIS, L. E.,et R. L. STEPHENSON.Compilation of available information regarding the Scotian Shelf herring spawning component, DFO CSAS Research Document 1999/181, 1999, 30 p.

  2. HARRIS, L. E., Peter A. COMEAU et Donald S. CLARK. Évaluation du brosme (Brosme brosme) dans les eaux canadiennes, MPO – SCCC – Document de recherche 2002/104, 2002, 40 p.

  3. Simon, J. E., L. E. Harris, and T.L Johnston. Distribution et abondance de la raie tachetée, Leucoraja ocellata, dans l'Atlantique canadien, MPO – SCCC – Document de recherche 2003/028., 2003, 67p.

  4. LAURINOLLI, M. H., L. E. HARRIS, A. BUNDY et L. P. FANNING. « Compilation of fish diet data from the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy (1958-2001): CDEENA consumption and diet composition estimation project », Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2518, 2004, 79 p.

  5. HAIN, J. H. W., et L. E. HARRIS. « Aerostats for Oceanographic and Atmospheric research », Sea Technology, vol. 45:2, 2004, p. 75-80.