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Very Employable Person (VEP) - Carolyn Brown

We're bringing back member spotlights! Check out our most recent Very Employable Person (VEP), Carolyn Brown!

Hiring? Or interested in Carolyn's research? Reach out via her contact information below.




PhD in Biological and Chemical Sciences

Wilfrid Laurier University

& Canadian Rivers Institute


Thesis information:

Incorporating Effects-Based Approaches into Environmental Impact Assessment to Improve Post-Development Monitoring

Supervisors: Kelly Munkittrick & Scott Smith

Expected graduation date: June 2024

What are your short-term career aspirations?

I am interested in exploring human impacts on the environment, particularly the aquatic environment. My PhD thesis focuses on demonstrating how better pre-development (baseline) data and modelling (predictive assessment) can improve our ability to detect impacts post-development (adaptive monitoring) early. I would enjoy having a career that continues to provide science to inform our environmental policy and regulations to protect our environment.

How long have you been with L-SETAC and what has your experience been like?

I have attended L-SETAC events periodically since 2009. I joined the Board as one of the student representatives from 2021-2023 and continued as a board member for a 2023-2026 term. Since becoming a board member I have organized an event about applying for ET&C jobs, instructed the electrofishing portion of the “Introduction to Stream Sampling” short course, and assisted with organizing the annual general meetings. I am impressed with the local science events L-SETAC provides.

Describe any interests or hobbies outside of academics and work:

One hobby I have is crochet. I usually make animals or blankets for gifts, often for a newborn. Here are examples of a Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum), a snail, and the Grinch.

What is your most memorable graduate school moment?

There are many memorable moments from my PhD time, but the most refreshing was when I almost got hypothermia. It was a windy November day and I was electrofishing for young-of-the-year Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu). The site was taking much longer than usual to get the number of fish I required (likely because water temperatures were below 10C). Once we had finished sampling the available habitat we walked back to the boat.

Except the boat was no longer there – it was floating downriver. I quickly took off the backpack electrofisher and ran down the shore, hoping that the boat would be shallow enough at the next small rock pile to grab the boat. But it was too far from shore to wade to it. I quickly decided to swim after the boat as I had a floater coat on and we were close to the truck. I swam, got the boat and swam with it to shore. Then I lay on the shore slightly upside down to empty my waders of water. I got the motor started, picked up my field partner and equipment, and drove back the truck. We got the boat on the trailer and with some difficulty from my shivering I stripped off my wet clothing. Wearing a jacket as a skirt and a dry sweater with the heat on full blast I drove back to my hotel room. I will never forgot to tie off my boat again!

Recent Publications and Media by Carolyn:

Brown et al. 2023. Examination of Recent Hydroelectric Dam Projects in Canada for Alignment of Baseline Studies, Predictive Modeling, and Postdevelopment Monitoring Phases of Aquatic Environmental Impact Assessments:
Brown et al. 2022. Considering Fish as Recipients of Ecosystem Services Provides a Framework to Formally Link Baseline, Development, and Post-operational Monitoring Programs and Improve Aquatic Impact Assessments for Large Scale Developments:
Co-author on Chomicki et al. 2022. Seasonal Variation in the Influence of Environmental Drivers on Nearshore Water Quality Along an Urban Northern Lake Ontario Shoreline:


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