Andrea Frommel, Assistant Professor and Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture (she/her)

I have a BSc in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz, a MSc from the University of Southern Denmark and a PhD from the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Germany. I’ve traveled the world doing all things fishy before arriving in beautiful British Columbia. UBC is a fantastic place to do ocean research, with its breathtaking nature and marine biodiversity. My research bridges climate change, fisheries and aquaculture, with the focus on gathering physiological data that can be integrated into adaptive management practices for commercial fish.

Virginie Chalifoux, PhD student

I have a BSc in biology from the Université de Montréal and a MSc in oceanography from the Institut des Sciences de la mer of the Université du Québec à Rimouski. My master’s degree allowed me to discover my research skills and interests in fish ecophysiology as I worked on the performance evaluation of a bioenergetics model for brook charr. Originally from the east part of Canada in Québec, I decided to cross the country to start a PhD in beautiful British Columbia where I would be able to discover a different ocean and new species of fish! My research will focus on the effects of climate change on Pacific salmon, which is of great interest to me. I am glad to have the opportunity of pursuing my dream on studying fish at UBC in the Aquaculture and Climate Change Lab.

Leah Wessler, MSc student (she/her)

My current research focuses on interactions between seaweed and shellfish in aquaculture. I’ll be monitoring how dulse reduces effects of ocean acidification on young bivalves. The Aquaculture and Climate Change Lab provides a wonderful space to examine how marine species can be allies in combating climate change and fulfilling the global need for nutritious, sustainable, and accessible food. I’m from the ancestral lands of Takelma, Shasta, Klamath Basin, Cow Creek Umpqua, Modoc, and Latgawa Peoples, also known as Oregon, USA. I received a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College in Organismal Biology and Ecology, and completed minors in Spanish and Southwest Studies that have facilitated looking at the world through multiple lenses. I am interested in my role as a settler-descendant in the integration of Indigenous and Western science to bring food sovereignty and climate change solutions to coastal communities.

Benjamin Niemann, MSc student (they/them)

My research focuses on the potential impacts of diet inclusion with fulvic acid on the gut microbiota and immune response of different aquaculture fish species. Growing up in Michigan in the US, I was always surrounded by water and loved aquariums from a very young age. During my time as an undergrad at the University of Michigan, I realized I wanted to study host-symbiont interactions in aquatic species and how these interactions can influence host resilience and health. Professor Frommel, UBC, and DFO have allowed me to combine those interests in the wonderful city of Vancouver. It has always been my dream to work with and study fish, and I am glad to finally have the opportunity to do just that!

Shuyi Fang, WLIUSRA

I am Shuyi Fang, a fourth-year student majoring in Earth and Ocean Sciences at UBC. For the summer of 2023, I am working as a WorkLearn student at DFO. I love all bodies of water and am curious about what is happening below the surface. With an interest in fisheries and biological oceanography, I am excited to be involved in the current aquaculture research project in Aqua CC lab!


Zihan Li, Honors student (2022)

My honors thesis focuses on the effect of dietary humic substance additives on the growth of juvenile Chinook salmon. Originally from Beijing, China, I’ve always been fascinated with marine life through aquarium visits and documentaries. I’m very fortunate to have been able to explore my interests in my Applied Animal Biology major at UBC through companion animal clinical work, wild water bird dissections, and this unique fish nutrition project at DFO.

Zihan is currently studying veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

Gary Wijaya, WLIUSRA (2022)