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Chairholder Profile

Jon Grant

Jon Grant

Department of Oceanography
Dalhousie University

Chair Title

NSERC-Cooke Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Senior Industrial Research Chairholder since 2013


Salmon farming is an important economic activity in Canada, but it faces problems related to sustainability in coastal marine ecosystems. The vision for the NSERC-Cooke Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture is a new era in aquaculture husbandry and management where economic return, rural employment, and environmental integrity are all optimized on the basis of innovation in simulation modeling. The proposed collaboration will concentrate on four economic bottlenecks faced by Cooke Aquaculture regarding (a) fish health and disease management, (b) waste dispersion and environmental impact, (c) interaction with habitat and wild fisheries, and (d) husbandry practices and net design. The core research approach employs ecosystem simulation models rigorously validated by field observations such as acoustic habitat detection and bottom imaging. In the proposed research, Dr. Jon Grant will lead a team of Canadian and international investigators, postdocs and graduate students in a multi-year field and modeling program. By working closely with partner Cooke Aquaculture, the resulting modeling system will be applied to farm planning and management via scenario analysis and optimization in a quantitative approach to sustainability. These results position Dalhousie University as an objective science-based leader in industrial success and aquaculture training, while providing further credibility to Cooke's social license.

Jon Grant is one of the most experienced aquaculture-environment researchers in the world. He has pioneered the application of oceanography to an ecosystem approach in aquaculture. His research capabilities within aquaculture are expansive, covering finfish and shellfish, bioenergetics and growth of farmed species, ecosystem modeling, indices of coastal health, GIS, and habitat mapping. Beyond aquaculture, Dr. Grant also has an outstanding reputation in benthic ecology. Author of more than 120 publications, with first-author papers in both Science and Nature, he has participated in many of the major Canadian oceanographic and aquaculture research initiatives.

In Canada, aquaculture is a major economic activity on both coasts and inland, with an industry value of $2.1 billion and employing 14,500 people. Fish farming is actively expanding in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The need for rural economic development in these provinces and the availability of prime aquaculture sites are an ideal match. Adoption of best husbandry practices supported by science allows continued expansion of the industry. The proposed research has its roots in state-of-the-art mapping, modeling, and observational methodologies applied to fish farming for greater economic return within a framework of enhanced environmental sustainability.


  • Cooke Aquaculture

Contact Information

Department of Oceanography
Dalhousie University
1355 Oxford Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4R2

Tel.: 902-494-2021
Fax: 902-494-3877

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