View this email in your browser
e-newsletter July 2018
News from the PI

Our staffing is now complete. We are happy that Dr. Oliver Kirsebom joined the MERIDIAN family as the Lead Acoustic Data Analyst. Oliver's previous position was with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Denmark. In a project of the size of MERIDIAN, in an area with a lot of demand for the skills our staff represents, some mobility of the personnel is to be expected. We therefore want to thank Dr. Erico Neves (Lead Data Analyst)  for his excellent and valued contribution to MERIDIAN, particularly in the area of AIS data analytics. Erico has recently moved to a new job with Health Canada in Ottawa.

We are very pleased that MERIDIAN was successful in its recent application for MEOPAR funding. This funding will assist us in putting together the first MERIDIAN User Workshop that is going to take place at the Atlantica Hotel in Halifax, August 16 and 17.

We are also making progress in our discussions with Compute Canada in setting up the MERIDIAN high-end computing infrastructure, including infrastructure data discovery service, data archive and software portal.

Dr. Stan Matwin - MERIDIAN Principal Investigator


To ensure MERIDIAN’s success, including an effective collaboration amongst all consortium members and stakeholders, relevance of the infrastructure and it’s long-term sustainability, the above governance structure has been established.


The Consortium Management Committee ensures the development, use and sustainability of MERIDIAN, oversees the Partnerships and Sustainability Committee, Research Data Infrastructure Operations Committee, the Team Leaders Meeting and the Scientific Advisory Committee. As MERIDIAN is a joint venture, the Consortium Management Committee has representatives from:

  • University of Victoria (Dr. Francis Juanes),

  • the University of British Columbia (Dr. Ray Ng)

  • Simon Fraser University (Dr. Fred Popowich, also Chair of the Research Data Infrastructure Operations Committee),

  • St. Lawrence Global Observatory (Dr. Andréane Bastien),

  • Depart of Fisheries and Oceans (Mr. Mathieu Ouellette),

  • Memorial University (Dr. Len Zedel, also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee).

MERIDIAN’s principal investigator, Dr. Stan Matwin chairs the committee. Ms. Juliana Serroul represents Dalhousie's Research Services and Drs. Ines Hessler and Kes Morton prepare and provide updates on the infrastructure development and implementation, and finances.


The Scientific Advisory Committee is guiding the development of the MERIDIAN infrastructure to realize the maximum scientific potential of Canada’s ocean data. It is also encouraging and facilitating research that aligns with MERIDIAN’s Vision and Mission, fosters integration and interaction with relevant partners, both nationally and internationally, as well as facilitates interaction both within and between MERIDIAN users and partners. The members are Dr. Len Zedel (Chair, Memorial University), Dr. Yvan Simard (DFO and UQUAR), Dr. Clark Richards (Bedford Institute of Oceanography), Dr. David Barclay (Dalhousie University), Dr. Richard Dewey (Oceans Network Canada), Dr. Fred Whoriskey (Dalhousie University), MERIDIAN Principal Investigator, Dr. Stan Matwin and MERIDIAN Senior Data Manager, Dr. Ines Hessler.


The Research Data Infrastructure Operations Committee will monitor the development of the research data infrastructure to ensure that it meets the ongoing needs of the research questions. In the first year the committee will be chaired by Dr. Fred Popowich (Simon Fraser University), however, the nomination of other members hasn’t been finalized yet.

The Partnerships and Sustainability Committee will meet for the first time in year 2 of the MERIDIAN project. It’s mandate is to develop and maintain partnerships and manage the transition to ongoing operations at the end of year three.

The Team Leader meeting is a new addition to the governance structure and wasn't part of the original proposal. At the beginning of the project the need for a semi-regular Team Leader meeting emerged to provide a communication platform for knowledge exchange, project progress discussions and an opportunity to regularly re-evaluate the needs of the individual MERIDIAN teams. 

Introducing our 2 remaining team leaders
Yvan Simard - Dir. Chaire de Pêches et Océans Canada, Université du Québec à Rimouski.
Yvan holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from Laval University. He is a research scientist at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Mont-Joli, Qc, where he has conducted diverse research projects using acoustics to understand oceanographic processes in whale feeding grounds. Since 2001, he holds a research Chair in underwater acoustics applied to ecosystem and marine mammals at the Marine Sciences Institute of Québec University at Rimouski. His present research in Canadian waters focuses on using passive acoustics methods to monitor sounds of marine mammals in their natural habitats and assess the impact of natural and anthropogenic underwater noise.
Francis Juanes - Liber Ero Chair for Fisheries Research and a Professor at the University of Victoria.
Francis works mainly on the behaviour, ecology and evolution of fishes and marine invertebrates. After being a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for 18 years, Francis relocating to UVic in 2011. Currently, Francis’ work focuses on the effects of anthropogenic noise on fish behavior and physiology; measuring and describing underwater soundscapes in a variety of freshwater and marine habitats; predator-prey interactions in piscivorous fishes; coastal marine biodiversity; and early life history of Pacific salmon. His MERIDIAN project is partially funded by the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) and the Liber Ero Endowment.
Tales from the field
May 2018 - Maritime Big Data Workshop, La Spezia, Italy
The Centre for Maritime Research & Experimentation (CMRE) organized its first Maritime Big Data Workshop based on the recent growth of the global maritime traffic, exploitation of marine resources that has been accompanied by an increased concern for sustainability and safety, and the tremendous increases in the amount of available data. 
The workshop brought together over 20 participants representing projects and organizations addressing the challenges of managing and analyzing Big Maritime Data. MERIDIAN was represented by Fabio Frazao, Data Scientist in our data analytics team. As the only project dedicated to acoustic data management and analysis, we were received with great interest by other projects. Fabio presented our plans for developing a data catalogue and metadata standard for acoustic ocean datasets, as well as three ongoing technical projects
- the Soundscape Atlas, which will provide a tool for visualizing noise in the ocean,
- a Deep Learning algorithm to automatically identify whales from hydrophone recordings,
- a noise propagation tool that will use ship tracking data to estimate the noise produced in areas of interest.
CMRE and EMODnet (the European Union’s Marine Observation and Data Network) expressed interest in establishing collaborations, since acoustic datasets will eventually be integrated their own databases and MERIDIAN’s initiative can certainly contribute to improve international acoustic metadata standards. 

June 2018 - Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), Halifax, Canada
Fabio presented MERIDIAN again on CMOS's 52nd Congress that focussed on “marine and environmental risks and impacts”. The audience, comprised of a range of scientists and professionals from across Canada, had just attended a workshop on machine learning. Fabio spoke about the exciting ways in which artificial intelligence can help us to understand and mitigate noise pollution in the oceans.
MERIDIAN is supported by

With the exception of logos and third party images or where otherwise indicated, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons 4.0 International Attribution License.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Faculty of Computer Sciences, Dalhousie University · 6050 University Ave · Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 · Canada

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp