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Current Winner - 2023

Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships

Amanda Bates

Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships

Faculty of Science

University of Victoria

Oceans are being impacted by human activities and species are disappearing and migrating to different regions in response, altering existing natural systems. The emerging “wicked problems” facing society require working in large teams with diverse expertise.

Dr. Amanda Bates combines her talents for gathering large collaborator networks, using biodiversity datasets to identify ecological responses to global change, and filling in key gaps in empirical knowledge that are useful for informing management and government policies. Her research has broad influence, spanning ecosystems from shallow rocky and coral reefs to the deep sea. Bates is leading a global initiative to uncover the environmental, ecological, and conservation impacts of the COVID-19 lockdowns. She is also turning her focus to map rocky reef biodiversity patterns on the West Coast of British Columbia to contribute data for under-sampled cold-water regions to the global Reef Life Survey data set.

Bates is strongly committed to decolonization of science and research based on respectful and inclusive practices with local communities. She has co-developed a large project with Nunatsiavut Government researchers studying dynamic coastal systems to inform plans for future changes through knowledge sharing with Inuit communities. Bates is taking what she has learned from this project and sharing approaches that researchers trained in Western science institutions can adopt to support Indigenous rights to data sovereignty in the natural sciences.

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