Our Research Associates

Devin M. Bartley, Ph.D.

Devin was appointed Aquaculture Coordinator for the California State Department of Fish and Game in 2008. Until this posting he was a senior fishery resources officer in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome. His main areas of responsibility included genetic resource management in fisheries and aquaculture and inland fisheries; he is the Secretary of the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission.

Dr. Bartley’s association with WFT began in the early 1990’s and concerned issues associated with gene banking as an aid to conservation and improved broodstock management. Since then, FAO and WFT have co-organized and participated in several joint activities on developing policies for the responsible use and conservation of genetic resources. Dr Bartley was a visiting scientist at World Fisheries Trust in Victoria, British Columbia in 2007.


Cathy Carolsfeld, M.Sc.

Cathy obtained an Honours degree in Marine Biology from Memorial University in Newfoundland and a Masters in marine invertebrate physiology from the University of Victoria. She currently operates a scientific supply company as well as pioneering environmental education initiatives in Victoria schools – including a novel use of local cold-water marine aquaria. She collaborates with World Fisheries Trust on environmental education projects, locally and internationally, as well as contributing to local environmental restoration initiatives. Her dedication to the Seaquaria Ocean Education project on Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland BC has inspired dynamic marine education programming in 20 public and private schools.

Brian Davy, Ph.D.

Brian has worked with the IDRC (The International Development Research Centre) in both management and programming positions based in Canada (Vancouver and Ottawa) as well as extensive work in Asia based primarily in Singapore.

This work has been linked in various ways with WFT from the earliest pre planning of WFT. He is presently a senior program advisor with World Fisheries Trust and adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa (C-FOAM, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Canada).

His interests lie in the evolution of development change processes in natural resource management particularly in aquatic resource systems.

Jack Littlepage, Ph.D.

Dr. Littlepage has been actively working on international development projects in Brazil since 1980 when he had a one year posting to Fortaleza as a CIDA cooperant. He has continued working with CIDA since that time in a number of capacities.

Dr. Littlepage collaborates with WFT in developing artesanal mariculture for various Brazilian states and has extensive experience in this field, including his experience as Program Director for the tier-one CIDA funded Brazilian Mariculture Linkage Program (1996 – 2003) and co-director for the tier-two SOED project with Brazil and Africa.

Kenneth T. MacKay, Ph.D.

Dr. MacKay is a marine biologist with extensive experience in conservation, sustainable fisheries and agriculture. He has most recently been the director of a research institute at the University of the South Pacific. His recent work has focused on community involvement in Marine Protected Areas, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and research and conservation of the endangered marine turtles and sharks in the South Pacific.

Elaine Ward, M.I.L., LL.B.

Elaine holds a law degree from the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) and a Masters of Public International Law from Lund University (Sweden). Elaine has worked with aboriginal groups in Canada and Greenland, as well as with community-based Maasai organizations in Tanzania to develop a culturally-sensitive gendered approach to environmental management and land rights.

Elaine is currently a gender and development specialist with WFT’s IDRC, CIDA-funded project on food security, fisheries and aquaculture in the Bolivian Amazon, acting as a senior program advisor to assist in gender mainstreaming.

Nikki Wright

Nikki Wright has had experience with community organizing for over thirty-five years, marine education for the last eighteen years, and has acted as the Executive Director SeaChange Marine Conservation Society.

She has also organized community eelgrass mapping for twenty-three coastal conservation groups on the BC coast and serves as Co-Chair for the Seagrass Conservation Working Group (SCWG).

Alison Macnaughton, M.A.

Alison completed an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Victoria (2000), and a Master of Arts at the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia (2004) where she studied organizational learning and watershed governance in Santo André, Brazil.

Since 2004, she has worked with World Fisheries Trust on the design and implementation of integrated, multi-disciplinary projects. She leads research, training and extension work in participatory processes, community development, social aspects of fisheries management, and monitoring and evaluation for small-scale fisheries, poverty reduction and aquatic biodiversity conservation, primarily in Latin America.

John Nelson, Ph.D.

John obtained a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison before moving to Canada in the early 1990’s to apply molecular population genetic techniques to salmon conservation and management for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Shortly after this post-doctoral work, he formed a DNA-services company (SeaStar Biotech) and continues as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria and as a Research Scientist for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

His current research focus is molecular biological oceanography of Arctic zooplankton but he also continues to study the molecular population genetics of a variety of other species.

Frank Chopin

Frank Chopin is a natural resources development specialist based in Bedford, Nova Scotia and has degrees in Fisheries Science (Japan) and Fishing Technology (UK).  A Canadian / Australian national, Frank has more than thirty years’ experience working fisheries and aquaculture. Since 2015 Frank has been working with Small Island Developing States in the Pacific and Caribbean to support capacity building in fisheries development through UN and World Bank projects. Prior to work in the Pacific, Frank was based in Rome where he was Chief of fishing operations and technology for UN FAO.  Frank has held posts as manager of a joint venture offshore tuna fishing company (Canada), fisheries training advisor for JICA (Japan), Director of the Newfoundland Fisheries and Marine Institute (Canada), fisheries lecturer at the Australian Maritime College (Australia) and fishing technologist for Seafish (UK).  Frank’s interests are focused on development projects that strengthen community resilience, improve livelihoods and which increase the role fisheries play in food security and nutrition at local and national levels.  He has a successful track record in design and implementation of small (<$500K), medium (<$5M) and large-scale ($5-30M) fisheries development projects.