Bertrum MacDonald

Professor Emeritus

Faculty Profile_Bertrum MacDonald (214x210)

Related Information

Phone: (902) 494-2472
Fax: (902) 494-2451
Mailing Address: 
Department of Information Science
Dalhousie University
Rowe Management Building, Suite 4010
6100 University Avenue
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Research Clusters:

  • Scientific information (environment management, fisheries management, grey literature, information networks, information use and influence, integrated coastal and oceans management, marine and oceans issues, marine governance, public policy and decision making, science-policy interface, state of environment reporting)

Research Interests:

Dr. MacDonald’s research focuses on the communication and use of scientific information, historically and present day. He heads the interdisciplinary Environmental Information: Use and Influence initiative ( conducting research with several governmental organizations. His historical studies have been reported at history of science and history of print culture conferences.


  • Dip. Agriculture (Hons.) (Nova Scotia Agricultural College)
  • BSc (Acadia University)
  • MA (University of Western Ontario)
  • MLS (University of Western Ontario)
  • PhD (University of Western Ontario)

Selected Publications:

  • Castillo, D. J., Vicary, T., Kalentsits, M., Soomai, S. S., & MacDonald, B. H. (2023). Ensuring equitable access to ocean and coastal information to advance knowledge and inform decision-making: The global Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts. Ocean & Coastal Management, 231, 106399.
  • Yet, M., Manuel, P., DeVidi, M., & MacDonald, B. H. (2022). Learning from experience: Lessons from community-based engagement for improving participatory marine spatial planning. Planning Practice & Research, 37(2), 189-212. Refereed.
  • MacDonald, B. H., Gruzd, A., & Collins, V. (2022). Scientific communication networks: Tracking Victorian and twenty-first century communication with social network analysis. EasyChair Preprint No. 8021.
  • Moreland, H. R., De Santo, E. M., & MacDonald, B. H. (2021). Understanding the role of information in marine policy development: Establishing a coastal marine protected area in Nova Scotia, Canada. FACETS, 6, 1–30.
  • Black, F. A., Grek Martin, J. M., & MacDonald, B. H. (2021). Geographic information systems and book history. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Literature ([32] p.). Oxford University Press.
  • Martin, C., & MacDonald, B. H. (2020). Using interpersonal communication strategies to encourage science conversations on social media. PLOS ONE, 15(11), e0241972.
  • Cadman, R., MacDonald, B. H., & Soomai, S. S. (2020). Sharing victories: Characteristics of collaborative strategies of environmental non-governmental organizations in Canadian marine conservation. Marine Policy, 115, 103862.
  • MacDonald, B. H., Cadman, R., Martin, C., Ryder-Burbidge, S., Soomai, S. S., Stewart, I., & Wells, P. G. (2020). Is the production and use of grey marine literature a model for open science? The Grey Journal, 16(2), 73–83.
  • MacDonald, B. H., & Soomai, S. S. (2019). Environmental research and knowledge production within governmental organizations. In L. Börjesson & I. Huvila (Eds.), Research outside the academy (pp. 21–50). Palgrave Macmillan / Springer International Publishing.
  • MacDonald, B. H., Soomai, S. S., De Santo, E. M., & Wells, P. G. (Eds.) (2016). Science, information, and policy interface for effective coastal and ocean management. Boca Raton: CRC Press / Taylor and Francis. Open access (2020) -

Selected Awards and Honours:

  • Faculty of Management Research Impact Award, 2021
  • Ocean Frontier Institute / Canada First Research Excellence Fund. “Social Licence and Planning in Coastal Communities: Marine Spatial Planning.” 2017-2024 ($362,300).
  • SSHRC Insight Grant: “Elucidating Information Use at the Science-Policy Interface in Marine Environmental Decision-Making.” 2015-2022 ($371,575).
  • SSHRC Partnership Development Grant: “Investigating and Enhancing the Policy Relevance of Marine Scientific Information (Especially Grey Literature) Through Multi-Partner Collaboration,” Principal Investigator ($198,795), 2012-2014.
  • Exceptional Interdisciplinary Endeavour in Scholarly Research Award, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University, November 2011.
  • GreyNet International Award, 2004 (with R.E. Cordes and P.G. Wells).
  • Dibner Resident Scholar Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, DC, 2001.
  • Marie Tremaine Medal, 2000 (Highest honour awarded by the Bibliographical Society of Canada).