Keynote speakers

Steven J. Cooke, Professor in biology and conservation physiology, Carleton University

Dr. Cooke leads a team focused on understanding and solving complex conservation problems with a focus on freshwater fishes. He has also been deeply involved with defining the new discipline of “conservation physiology” – a field dedicated to understanding the mechanisms underlying conservation problems. He has much experience working with practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders to co-create usable knowledge.

He also founded the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and as the Director, he is engaged in evidence synthesis activities including on topics related to fish habitat and connectivity.

Check out his work at

Carole-Anne Gillis, Research Director, Gespe’gewa’gi Institute of Natural Understanding (GINU)

Dr. Gillis is a fisheries research biologist and freshwater ecologist with 18 years of experience in freshwater and coastal ecosystems, mainly in the Restigouche River watershed. She is also the Restigouche River Science Advisory Committee Chair and the Atlantic Salmon Research Joint Venture Science Committee Co-Chair.

In 2018, she took on the role of Research Director at the GINU where she leads and manages various community-driven research projects and fish habitat restoration efforts in Gespe’gewa’gi with her multidisciplinary team.

She will present best practices, research tenets, challenges, and benefits regarding true collaborative research. By building relationships with community, adapted management is rooted in participatory research that leads to relevancy, rapid action, and implementation.

Theodore R. Castro-Santos, Research Ecologist, S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Castro-Santos leads the Fish Passage Design and Analysis Team focusing on issues of fish passage and aquatic connectivity. He has pioneered the use of telemetry in the study of animal movement, including both technological development and developing methods for quantifying movement and behavior, particularly in the context of barrier passage. His team also studies fundamentals of locomotion such as swimming performance and kinematics. His work is integrative, combining physiology, hydraulics, and behavior, seeking to identify and address knowledge gaps in ways that will lead to improved design of fishways and the control of invasive species.

He is also one of the founders of the Fish Passage conference, and has been working with the American Fisheries Society Bioengineering Section and the Fish Passage conference steering committee over the last ten years, bringing together the fisheries biologists and bioengineers.

Marianne Bachand, Ecohydraulic Modeling Project Coordinator, National Hydrologic Services, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Dr. Bachand has obtained her Ph.D. in plant biology from Université Laval in 2013 where she studied the resilience of the boreal forest facing deer overabundance. She moved to ecohydraulic modelling for her postdoc in 2013. She then developed several habitat models for different species and a wetland model that were used in the evaluation of the 2000 Rule Curves of the Rainy Lake and Namakan Reservoir System.

She has been in her current role since 2016 and has developed several other habitat and wetland models for water bodies spanning the Canada-U.S. border including the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Basin, the St Marys River, Saint-Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Those models are used in water-level management and the evaluation of flood mitigation measures.

Since 2019, she has had the privilege of coordinating a very competent multidisciplinary team in the development of the Coastal Wetland Response Model for the Canadian Great Lakes.