Robert L. Stephenson - Research Scientist & Director, St. Andrews Biological Station

Robert L. Stephenson


Tel: 506-529-5882
Fax: 506-529-5862


  • B.Sc. (Hons) Biology (1976, Trent University)
  • Ph.D. Zoology  (1981, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

Dr. Robert Stephenson has been a research scientist with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) since1984, and since 2005 has been Director of the St. Andrews Biological Station (St. Andrews, New Brunswick). He has been an active contributor to fisheries science internationally, including roles as chair of International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Resource Management Committee (1997-2000) and Pelagic Fish Committee (1994-1996) and membership of the ICES Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management and ICES Consultative Committee (1994-2000). Dr. Stephenson has been an Honorary Research Associate of the Dept of Oceanography, Dalhousie University since 1995, and in 1999-2000 he was visiting Research Professor at the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (Helsinki, Finland). Dr. Stephenson is a member of the Boards of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (Portland Me.), the Huntsman Marine Science Centre (St. Andrews NB), and the International St. Croix Watershed Board.

Dr. Stephenson has worked extensively on the ecology, assessment, and management of Atlantic herring. He has also worked more broadly on issues related to fisheries resource evaluation and management including development of the concept of Fisheries Management Science. Current research interests include herring ecology and management, development of integrated management and implementation of the ecosystem approach (particularly in fisheries and aquaculture), development of policies and strategies for marine conservation, and the history of marine science in Canada.

Selected publications

  • Melvin, G.D., and R.L. Stephenson. 2007. The dynamics of a recovering fish stock: Georges Bank herring. ICES Journal of Marine Science 64: 69-82.
  • Gavaris, S., J.M. Porter, R.L. Stephenson, G. Robert and D.S. Pezzack. 2005. Review of management plan conservation strategies for Canadian fisheries on Georges Bank: A test of a practical ecosystem-based framework.  ICES CM 2005/BB:05.
  • Rahikainen, M., and R.L. Stephenson. 2004. Consequences of growth variation in northern Baltic herring for assessment and management. ICES Journal of Marine Science 60: 94-109.
  • McPherson, A.A, R.L. Stephenson and C.T. Taggart. 2003 A genetic basis for Atlantic herring Clupea harengus spawning waves. Marine Ecology Progress Series 247:303-309.
  • Stephenson R.L. 2002. Stock structure and management structure: an ongoing challenge for ICES. ICES Marine Science Symposia 215: 305-314
  • Stephenson R.L. and K.J. Clark. 2002.  The role of ICES herring investigations in shaping fisheries science and management.  ICES Marine Science Symposia 215: 504-514
  • McPherson, A.A., R.L. Stephenson, P.T. O’Reilly, M.W. Jones and C.T. Taggart. 2001.  Genetic diversity of coastal Northwest Atlantic herring populations: implications for management. Journal of Fish Biology 59(Suppl A):356-370
  • Smedbol, R.K. and R.L. Stephenson. 2001.  The importance of managing within-species diversity in cod and herring fisheries of the north-western Atlantic. Journal of Fish Biology 59(Suppl A):109-128
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 2000.  Institutional arrangements for fisheries: alternate structures and impediments to change. Marine Policy 24: 385-393
  • Stephenson R.L. 1999.  Stock complexity in fisheries management: a perspective of emerging issues related to population subunits.  Fisheries Research 43:247-249
  • Stephenson, R.L., K. Rodman, D.G. Aldous and D.E. Lane.  1999. An in-season approach to management under uncertainty: the case of the SW Nova Scotia herring fishery. ICES Journal of Marine Science 56: 1005-1013
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 1999. Fisheries-management science: a framework for the implementation of fisheries-management systems. ICES Journal of Marine Science 56: 1059-1066.
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 1998. Fisheries co-management: Organization, process, and decision support. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 23: 251-265.
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 1998. A framework for risk analysis in fisheries decision making.  ICES Journal of Marine Sciences, 55:1-13.
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 1996. SATURN: A framework for Integrated Analysis in Fisheries Management. INFOR 34(4),156-180.
  • Lane, D.E. and R.L. Stephenson. 1995. Fisheries Management Science: the framework to link biological, economic, and social objectives in fisheries management.  Aquat. Living Resour. 8: 215-221
  • Stephenson, R. L.  and D.E. Lane. 1995. Fisheries Management Science: A plea for conceptual change.  Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 52: 2051-2056
  • Stephenson, R. L., D. E. Lane, D. G. Aldous, and R. Nowak.  1993.  Management of the 4WX herring fishery: an evaluation of recent events.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences: 50: 2742-2757.