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About SCAS

The Society of Canadian
Aquatic Sciences (SCAS) has
been created 
jointly by the
Canadian Conference for
Fisheries Research (CCFFR)
and the Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL), with the
stated vision and mission.

Our Mission

The role of the SCAS/SCSA
is to offer an impartial, diverse,
and inclusive forum to share,
integrate, and advance
knowledge of fisheries,
limnology, and aquatic
sciences in Canada.

SCAS will play a vital role in Canada’s diverse 
aquatic science community, by presenting and 
advancing holistic and impactful research.


1. Promoting holistic and impactful research for the advancement of aquatic sciences in Canada;

2. Creating awareness of aquatic ecosystems and their science-based management and conservation
in Canada;

3. Supporting the engagement and contributions of students and early-career researchers to advancing
aquatic sciences;

4. Facilitating communication and networking among members of the Society in all sectors by coordinating
at least one inclusive national conference each year;

5. Fostering a welcoming environment and strengthen the aquatic sciences community through greater
equity, diversity and inclusion, and work to eliminate systemic barriers and mitigate biases that impedes
career advancements and integration into Canada’s aquatic sciences community;

6. Enabling and strengthening equitable relationships with rights holders and stakeholders that respect
and value different ways of knowing, doing and being.

The SCAS was formed through a merger of its two founding organizations: 

Canadian Conference or Fisheries Research (CCFFR) and the Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL).

The Canadian Committee on Freshwater Fisheries Research (CCFFR) was formed to take over some of the functions of the National committee on Fish Culture. This latter was a joint committee of the National Research Council and the Biological Board of Canada (renamed the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in 1938). CCFFR held its first meeting in January of 1948. It has existed solely as an annual meeting and it incorporated in 2009.

Click for a more complete history of CCFFR

Initially CFFR was the Canadian Committee on Freshwater Fisheries Research and was formed to take over some of the functions of the National committee on Fish Culture which was a joint committee of the National Research Council and the Biological Board of Canada (renamed the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in 1938). The first meeting of the CCFFR, sponsored by NRC, was held in Ottawa on January 6, 1948, and its terms of reference stated that the CCFFR "act as a clearing house for information and as a forum for discussion of common problems, to promote the coordination of research and technique, to consider what researches ought to be undertaken and to recommend accordingly, to give advice on the granting of funds for specific researches when such advice is requested and to advise on the dissemination of information". Initially it was a forum where research proposed by government scientists was reviewed by Canada’s academic community. CCFFR evolved from a committee into an organization that was wholly dependent on government financing to a self financed organization whose sole purpose was to convene one conference a year on a cycle of East-Centre-West-Centre. CCFFR was incorporated in 2009 to protect local arrangements Chairs from personal liability and the founding CCFFR Board was specific in deciding that the organization existed to convene the conference and it had no policies or procedures and took no positions on behalf of its members.

The Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL) was the Canadian Chapter of the Societas Internationalis Limnologiae, (SIL), the International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology, and was formed after the 1975 meeting of SIL held at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg. The role of SCL was to offer a Canadian forum to discuss limnological research and issues, to promote aquatic research in Canada, and to support the integration of young Canadian limnologists in the research community.

Click for a more complete history of SCL

The Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL) came to life during the 1975 meeting of SIL at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, responding to a broadly held perception that Canada’s freshwater scientists must find better ways to communicate with one another and speak with a common voice. The earliest presidents of SCL included Marcel Ouellet (1979–1981), and Michael Dickman (1981–1984) at Brock University. SCL initially evolved from SIL-Canada which existed under the directorship of Fred Ward at the University of Manitoba and Diane Malley at the Freshwater Institute. SCL first participated in a joint national conference in partnership with the Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research in 1979, and has participated in annual meetings with CCFFR every year since then. In 2014, the SCL held a joint meeting for the Genomes to Biome conference, co-organized with the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) and the Canadian Society of Zoologists (CSZ). SCL began recognizing lifetime achievement in Limnology with its Rigler Award starting in 1985, and student achievement started being recognized with the Peters Award starting in 2007. In 2018, the SCL was federally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and several members of its first Board of Directors played an active role in the creation of SCAS.

Joint meetings of CCFFR and SCL have been held since January of 1979. Meeting registration and sessions were fully integrated in 2014, and informal discussions about a combined organization began in 2015. In 2019, formal motions were passed at CCFFR and SCL business meetings to strike a merger committee to develop a path forward.

Society of Canadian Aquatic Sciences (SCAS)

The name “Society of Canadian Aquatic Sciences (SCAS)” was selected through a survey of both CCFFR and SCL members, and was formally adopted at the 2021 joint meeting. The same survey garnered input on the mission, purposes and terms of reference.

Subsequently, SCAS was incorporated and an inaugural board was formed to continue advancing the society development. A logo was commissioned and revealed at the 2022 CCFFR/SCL conference where SCAS was formerly introduced to conference attendees and had its kickoff meeting. Seven committees have been formed, and a new board was appointed to continue the society development.

In February 2023 in Montreal, SCAS will have its inaugural conference as a society, and a new board will be elected.



Steven J. Cooke (He/Him)

Professor, Department of Biology and Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science
Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

Vice President

Karen Smokorowski (She/Her)

Research Scientist, Freshwater fish habitat, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Past President

Kerri Finlay (She/Her)

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

University of Regina, Regina, SK


John Lark (He/Him)
Coherent Advice Inc., Ottawa, ON


Joshua Thienpont (He/Him)
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change
York University, Toronto, ON

Early Career Researcher Representative

Anas Usoof (He/Him)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences

University of Regina, Regina, SK

Student Representative

Erin Stewart (She/Her)

Ph.D. Candidate, Integrative Fish Ecology Lab

Trent University, Peterborough, ON

Members at Large

Andrea Kirkwood (She/Her)

Professor of Biological Science

Faculty of Science, Ontario Tech University

Jerome Marty (He/Him)

Executive Director 

International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR), Ottawa, ON


JEDII (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity): Tina Semeniuk (University of Windsor)
Communications: Cale Gushulak (University of Regina)
Awards and Recognitions: Caleb Hasler (University of Winnipeg)
Membership: Josh Thienpont (York University)

Advocacy: Karen Smokorowski (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Fundraising: Gavin Christie (Retired Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Student/ECR: Erin Stewart (Trent University), Anas Usoof

Meetings: Steven Cooke (Carleton University)

The SCAS has formed a number of committees and are seeking
members to join the one(s) of most interest:

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee works to advance the Society’s mission and goals by overseeing the implementation of communications in French and English to society members and the general public. Interested? Read the additional committee details.

Awards and Recognition Committee

The Awards Committee collaborates to establish clear guidelines on identity, scope, communication, evaluation, and timelines of SCAS awards. For those interested in joining, additional committee details are available.

Student and ECR Engagement Committee

The purpose of the Student and ECR Engagement Committee is to provide direction for the future of student engagement within SCAS. Click here for more details about this committee.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity Committee (JEDII)

The JEDII Committee exists to provide JEDII guidance and best practices for SCAS governance, activities, and associated conferences. If you’re considering joining this committee, additional information can be found here.

Currently, SCAS also has Committees focused on the following areas:


• Fundraising

• Meetings, local arrangements and programs

Annual Meetings

The SCAS has an annual meeting held in conjunction
with its Annual Conference. At the 2022 CCFFR/SCL conference,
SCAS had a kickoff meeting, and in 2023 in Montreal,
SCAS will have its inaugural conference as a society.

Minutes, Treasurer’s Reports, and other relevant
documents are available in our online repository.


The SCAS By-Laws
are available as a

PDF file for download


Check out our 
online store for 
SCAS branded 
hats, T-shirts 
and other swag!


Learn More

Awards & Donations

The SCAS makes calls each year for a number of award nominations to recognize the best and brightest among our field, and to support student travel to our annual meeting.

Information on our four awards listed below can
be found, and donations can be made, on our
Awards page:

Rigler Award

Robert Peters Award

Stevenson Award

Clemens-Rigler Travel Award

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