R. Kent Smedbol

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Smedbol leads the Species at Risk (SAR) research group at the Biological Station in St. Andrews, NB, and serves as Theme Leader and coordinator for SAR research activities for Science Branch in Maritimes Region. Dr. Smedbol’s personal research objectives target: 

  1. the dynamics of at-risk species;
  2. national SAR issues, in support of policy development, management and provision of science advice; and
  3. recovery for the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Dr. Smedbol is also an expert in the field of metapopulation dynamics and the population dynamics of species that are at risk of extinction. Some recent highlights include collaborative projects with researchers from Dalhousie University to characterize, identify and evaluate Critical Habitat for North Atlantic right whale, and to estimate entanglement risk to right whales from fishing gear in the Bay of Fundy and southwest Scotian Shelf.

Research and/or project statements

Professional activities / interests

Professor at:

  • Dalhousie University

Education and awards

PhD Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1999

MSc Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1994

BSc(Hons) Marine Biology, Dalhousie University, 1991

Key publications

Primary Publications:

  1. Smedbol, R.K., and Stephenson, R.L. 2004. Atlantic Herring, Clupea harengus L., in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Dynamics of Nested Population Components Under Several Harvest Regimes. In Species Conservation and Management: case studies using RAMAS® GIS. Edited by H.R. Akçakaya, M. Burgman, O. Kindvall, P. Sjogren-Gulve, J. Hatfield, M. McCarthy and C. Wood. Oxford University Press, New York.
  2. Smedbol, R.K., McPherson, A., Hansen, M.M., and Kenchington, E. 2002 Myths and moderation in marine metapopulations. Fish and Fisheries 3: 1-15.
  3. Smedbol, R.K., and Wroblewski, J.S. 2002. Metapopulation theory and northern cod population structure: interdependency of subpopulations in recovery of a groundfish population. Fish. Res. 55: 161-174.
  4. Smedbol, R.K., and Stephenson, R.L. 2001. The importance of managing within-species diversity in cod and herring fisheries of the north-western Atlantic. J. Fish Biol. 59 (Suppl. A): 109-128.
  5. Stephenson, R.L., and Smedbol, R.K. 2001. Small pelagic species fisheries. In: The Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences. Edited by Steele, J., Thorpe, S., and Turekian, K., San Diego. Vol. 5: 2814-2820.
  6. Ruzzante, D.E., Wroblewski, J.S., Taggart, C.T., Smedbol, R.K., Cook, D., and Goddard, S.V. 2000. Bay scale population structure in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in Labrador and Newfoundland, Canada. J. Fish Biol. 56: 431 447.
  7. Smedbol, R.K. 1998. What are the implications of localized stocks for appropriate management of fisheries? In: The implications of localized fisheries stocks. Edited by I. Hunt von Herbing, I. Kornfeld, M. Tupper, and J. Wilson. NRAES, Ithaca, NY. pp 154-159
  8. Smedbol, R.K., Schneider, D.C., Wroblewski, J.S., and Methven, D.A. 1998. The outcome of an inshore spawning event by northern cod (Gadus morhua) at low stock levels. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 55: 2283-2291.
  9. Smedbol, R.K., and Wroblewski, J.S. 1997. Evidence for inshore spawning of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, from 1991 to 1993. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 54 (Suppl. 1): 177-186.
  10. Wroblewski, J.S., Smedbol, R.K., Taggart ,C.T., and Goddard, S.V. 1996. Movements of farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) released in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. Mar. Biol. 124: 619-627.
  11. Wroblewski, J.S. ,Goddard, S.V., Smedbol, R.K., and Bailey, W.L. 1995. Movements of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) above the spring thermocline in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. J. Mar. Biol. Assn. U.K. 75: 265-284.

Secondary Publications:

  1. Clark, D.S., Coopper, T., Doherty, A., Ford, J.K.B., Koops, M.A., Mandrak, N.E., Morris, T.J., and Smedbol, R.K. Terms and concepts used in the SARA program. Can. Sci. Adv. Sec. Res. Doc. 2009/XXX. (in press; authorship order is alphabetical)
  2. Brown, M.W., Fenton, D., Smedbol, K., Merriman, C., Robichaud-Leblanc, K., and Conway, J.D. 2008. Recovery Strategy for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in Atlantic Canadian Waters. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. vi +76p.
  3. Worcester, T. and Smedbol, R.K. (eds.) 2008. Proceedings of the Maritimes Region science advisory process on the recovery potential assessment of cusk (Brosme brosme). DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Proceed. Ser. 2008/008.
  4. Smedbol, R.K. 2007. Recovery Potential Assessment of western North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in Canadian waters. Can. Sci. Adv. Sec. Res. Doc. 2007/044. 26p.
  5. Harris, L.E., Waters, C.L., Smedbol, R.K., and Millar, D.C. 2007. Assessment of the recovery potential of the Scotian Shelf population of northern bottlenose whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus. Can. Sci. Adv. Sec. 2007/078. 26p.
  6. Shelton, P.A., Best, B., Cass, A., Cyr, C., Duplisea, D., Gibson, J., Hammill, M., Khwaja, S., Koops, M.A., Martin, K.A., O'Boyle, R., Rice, J.C., Sinclair, A., Smedbol, K., Swain, D.P., Vélez-Espino, L.A., and Wood, C.C. 2007. Assessing recovery potential: longterm projections and their implications for socio-economic analysis. Can. Sci. Adv. Sec. Res. Doc. 2007/045. 43 p.
  7. Johnston, T.L., Smedbol, R.K., Serdynska, A., Vanderlaan, A., Helcl, N., Harris, L., and Taggart, C.T. 2007. Patterns of fishing gear in areas of the Bay of Fundy and southwest Scotian Shelf frequented by North Atlantic right whales. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2745. v + 52 p.
  8. Aiken, D., Chang, B., Haya, K., Page, F., Porter, J., Smedbol, K., Stephenson, R., Waddy, S. 2005. Expert opinion in response to parliamentary questions regarding possible environmental consequences of a liquid natural gas facility proposed for Robbinston, Maine. Expert Opinion 2005/08. 4p. (authorship determined alphabetically)
  9. Cochrane, N., Fenton, D., Lawson, Smedbol, K., Worcester, T., and Wright, D. 2005. Science Expert Opinion on assessment of possible effects of construction blasting at whites point quarry and marine terminal on marine mammals in the Bay of Fundy. Expert Opinion 2005/09. 19p. (authorship determined alphabetically)
  10. Johnston, T.L., and Smedbol, R.K. 2004. A numeric scoring matrix for use in the rapid assessment of extinction vulnerability of marine fish species in the NAFO regions 4VWX, 5Zc. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2525. v + 84p.
  11. Smedbol, R.K., Shelton, P.A., Swain, D.P., Fréchet, A., and Chouinard, G.A. 2002. Review of population structure, distribution and abundance of cod (Gadus morhua) in Atlantic Canada in a species-at-risk context. Can. Sci. Adv. Sec. Res. Doc. 2002/082. 134p.
  12. Smedbol, R.K., and Wroblewski, J.S. 2000. Metapopulation theory and northern cod population structure: interdependency of subpopulations in rebuilding of a groundfish population. Can. Stock Assess. Sec. Res. Doc. 2000/087. 29 p.