We welcome Dr. Kira Hoffman, the recipient of the 2018 BMSC Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is delighted to announce that Dr. Kira Hoffman is the recipient of the 2018 BMSC Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Hoffman completed her PhD in 2018 from the University of Victoria, School of Environmental Sciences, in Ecology. Her research integrated dendroecological approaches (using tree rings to study ecological processes over time), discovering 13,000 years of fire activity in the very wet Great Bear Rainforest region of British Columbia, with evidence that fire may have been historically used by First Nations as a management tool in this region.

Despite having just completed her PhD in February, she has already published seven research publications, including papers in Nature Communications, Journal of Biogeography, and Ecosphere. Her research was awarded the Ecological Society of America’s WS Cooper award in recognition of her outstanding quality of research. She has also been awarded the “Best Student Presentation” at the 2016 meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (and has won the same award at other national and international meetings), indicative of her dedication and excellence in science communication.

At the BMSC, Kira will work under the supervision of coastal archaeologist Dr. Iain McKechnie (UVic) to study the ecological legacies of First Nations historic resource management in Barkley Sound. Dr. Hoffman will apply dendrochronological methods in collaboration with the Huu-ay-aht and Tseshaht First Nations to reconstruct when historic First Nations habitation sites were last occupied, and to document how traditional land use practices such as replanting, fertilizing, and controlled burning were used to increase the productivity of specific plants in previously surveyed archaeological sites with millennia of human habitation. Dr. Hoffman’s research examines the landscape from an ecological perspective, but critically integrates cultural and resource perspectives. Consequently, she is an emerging leader in the integration of traditional ecological knowledge with modern ecological approaches to inform conservation science. More about Kira here.

The BMSC is proud to support her research efforts in this important area and looks forward to her contributions to our university programs as she helps train the next generation of scientists. The Acting Director would like to thank the Associate Directors of Research (Dr. E. Clelland) and Education (Dr. C. Neufeld) and the Academic and Research Committee of the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society for their work in the selection process.

WELCOME Dr. Hoffman!