Dak de Kerckhove
Research Scientist, Inland Lakes
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Assistant Professor (Graduate Studies) - Starting Jan 1, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto
I am an ecologist who works on both applied and theoretical questions in aquatic ecosystems. I strive to forge collaborative projects among academic, government and industrial partners to improve our understanding and management of Canada's natural resources. 
Please see below some of my collaborators in research.
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Design of Novel Fisheries Acoustic Methodologies for Monitoring Lakes


Under various NSERC grants, our laboratory has partnered with the global leader in fisheries acoustics (Kongsberg), an innovative Canadian acoustics consulting firm (Milne Technologies) and the Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) to develop novel methods and protocols to:


  • Improve estimates of fish population sizes using integrated telemetry tags activated by acoustic surveys

  • Estimate the number of fish schools within an area using stationary acoustic platforms

  • Use the Ideal Gas encounter model to improve estimates of school density in pelagic zones 

  • Measure the swimming speed of fish schools

  • Distinguish between invertebrate and fish swimming pattern


Improving Fish Production Estimates in Engineered Lakes in the Oil Sands


Under an Elevate grant from MITACS, we have partnered with an oil sands mining company (CNRL), an innovative consulting firm (EcoVision) and the laboratory of Dr. Mark Poesch at the University of Alberta to develop monitoring programs and mathematical models to estimate the level of fish production in artificial lakes. These lakes are built to offset lost fish habitat in the region, and so there is a great effort by industry, government and academic agencies to develop new methods to acheive robuist estimates. 

Design of a Fisheries Production Model for Rivers in Northern Alberta


Total E&P Canada is an oil and gas company that along with Golder Associates were challenged to develop a model that could estimate the abundance and production of fish communities in rivers in the lower Athabasca watershed. With Stephanie Mogensen at the University of Calgary, we are developing a method using Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Area-Per-Individual approach. This work has an applied focus as the model should be of great use across the Oil Sands region and elsewhere. At the same time, it allows us to ask fundamental questions about the relationships between body size and species abundance. 

Lake Trout Harvest Modelling in the Western Arctic


With the Fisheries Joint Management Committee in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Western Canadian Arctic, we are developing a fisheries model that can be used to manage Lake Trout stocks in the region.  

© Derrick T. de Kerckhove