Stephen Crawford

Associate Professor
Email: 
scrawfor@uoguelph.ca
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x53544
Office: 
SSC 2474
Lab: 
SSC 2405/2406
  • B.Sc. - University Guelph (1985)
  • M.Sc. - Queen's University (1987)
  • Ph.D. - University of Guelph (1993)

My research program is divided into three major themes that vary over time in response to the opportunity for innovative scholarly collaborations.

1. Great Lakes Fish Ecology

My initial training as a fish ecologist has continued over the past decades in several forms, including: developmental biology, animal behaviour, fish habitat, effect of exotic species, species-at-risk, fish population and community dynamics, and the response of ecosystems to natural and human disturbance. Currently, I am engaged in development and implementation of the following research projects associated with priority issues in the Great Lakes basin:

  • Effects of the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station on lake whitefish population(s) in Lake Huron
  • Larval fish nursery habitat evaluation in nearshore waters of the Great Lakes
  • Ecological factors associated with native and non-native salmonid population dynamics
  • Role of Local and Science knowledge systems in ecology/management of Muskellunge in SE Georgian Bay

2. Science in Natural Resource Management

Much of my professional history has been focused on Indigenous resource management negotiations with Canada (Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission), Ontario (Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment), as well as Industry and Environmental NGOs. Consistently, one of the major issues in these negotiations is the quality of science in management decision-making - especially as it relates to role of hypotheses and empirical evidence to evaluate uncertainty in (a) states of nature, and (b) consequences of proposed management actions (e.g., fisheries harvests, habitat alteration, cooling water intake systems). Currently, I am engaged in development and implementation of the following research projects:

  • Determination of safe harvest limits for Lake Huron fisheries
  • Re-incorporation of 'fish habitat' protection in the Canadian Fisheries Act
  • Development of Canadian regulatory framework for nuclear power plant entrainment/impingement

3. Indigenous-Western Science Knowledge Systems

When I was first asked to critically examine the theoretical and practical basis for engagement between their traditional knowledge holders and 'Western' scientists/managers, I had no idea about the depth and breadth of these issues. I was very fortunate to receive strategic support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada that enabled me to establish insightful collaborations with Ojibway, Haudenosaunee and Maori scholars who helped me begin to recognize the fundamental concept of knowledge systems in both Indigenous and Science cultural dynamics. Currently, I am engaged in a research program with Dr. Jeji Varghese (UG Sociology) with the following research projects:

  • Knowledge systems as a practical framework for cross-cultural, multidisciplinary engagement
  • Cultural history and relevance of 'Western' science for modern Indigenous communities
  • Survey of Western scholars' understanding of science in theory and practice
  • Canadian Crown's Duty to Consult Indigenous knowledge systems in EAs/resource management
  • Rigorous examination of published scientific knowledge: polar bear population ecology as a case study

 


Nawash-University of Guelph Research Partnership (2005-2017)

University of Guelph Research Publications

Nawash/Saugeen Ojibway Nation Fisheries Management Reports (1996-2009)

  • BIOL*1070 Introduction to Biodiversity
  • BIOL*1500 Humans in the Natural World
  • BIOL*2060 Ecology
  • BIOL*4500 Natural Resource Management