Dr Natalie Ban is an assistant professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, where she leads the Marine Ethnoecology Research group. Trained in geography (B.A. and M.A. in geography from McGill University), resource management and environmental studies (PhD from UBC Fisheries Centre), Dr Natalie Ban draws upon many disciplines from natural and social sciences in her work. Her research interests span ethnoecology, conservation biology, marine spatial planning, conservation planning and implementation, and evaluation and mapping of cumulative impacts, mainly in marine and coastal systems, with funding from both SSHRC and NSERC, among others.
With over 60 peer-reviewed journal publications, Dr Ban’s current research focuses on identifying options for management and conservation of biodiversity whilst respecting people’s needs and uses of resources. Her research is highly collaborative, and hence she is involved in many simultaneous projects. In addition to co-chairing the OceanCanada Pacific Working group, she serves as a member of the research management committee of the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network, is an associate director of Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA), and a member of the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) II network.
Here are examples of research projects she is currently actively pursuing.
- In partnership with the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (four First Nations on the Central Coast of BC), Dr Ban, UVic adjunct Dr Alejandro Frid and UVic Environmental Studies Master’s student Lauren Eckert are conducting interviews with indigenous knowledge holders and holding community meetings to ascertain the extent of declines in a culturally and economically important suite of species: rockfish. Another component of the project is supporting OceanCanada student Elena Buscher to work with Dr Ban, Dr Frid and Robyn Forrest at DFO to analyze rockfish catches in DFO’s fisheries surveys.
- With eight academic collaborators, including UVic postdoctoral fellow Tammy Davies, Dr Ban is investigating the ecological, social, and governance outcomes of large (>10,000km2) marine protected areas (MPAs). She was also involved in co-organizing – with other researchers and an organization of managers of large MPAs, Big Ocean – a human dimensions think tank on large MPAs, held in Hawaii in Feb. 2016.