Heike Lotze


Canada Research Chair in Marine Renewable Resources (2006-2016)

MSc (University of Kiel, Germany, 1994)
PhD (University of Kiel, Germany, 1998)
PostDoc Dalhousie University (1999-2003)
PostDoc Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Sylt, Germany (2003-2005)

  • Teaching & Research
  • Students' Research Topics
  • Graduates' Occupations
  • Publications
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  • Teaching & Research

    marine ecology, renewable resources, coastal ecosystems, human impacts, ecological history, future projections, community ecology, ecosystem structure and functioning, management and conservation

    y research and teaching in marine ecology is shaped by a strong interest in human impacts on marine species and ecosystems and their consequences for the ocean and society today, in the past and into the future. Human activities such as fishing and hunting, habitat transformation, and nutrient loading have affected marine resources and shaped their ecosystems for millennia but strongly accelerated over the past 2-3 centuries. Today, climate change and other human pressures are enhancing the magnitude and range of impacts on natural ecosystems.

    Classes in which Heike currently teaches:

    The long-term history of change is often ignored in the study and management of today’s ecosystems. However, historical baselines and estimates of the total magnitude of change are essential to judge the current state of degradation and develop meaningful management and conservation goals. Past trends are also necessary to develop future projections. Human impacts not only accelerated over time but also expanded from inshore regions to the open ocean and the deep sea causing large-scale patterns of changes in diversity and community structure around the globe. Finally, human impacts multiplied throughout history and today, most species and ecosystem are affected by the cumulative effects of multiple human activities that don’t act in isolation.

    In my work, I try to reconstruct the long-term history of human-induced changes in marine species and ecosystems, to disentangle the cumulative effects of multiple human activities, and to analyze the consequences of changes on the structure and functioning of ecosystems today and into the future. I use a multi-disciplinary approach integrating data from paleontology, archaeology, history, fisheries science, ecology, and climate science, and a combination of field surveys and laboratory experiments, literature studies, ecologucal modelling and the analysis of large data sets.

    Resource Ecology, BIOL 3063 /Mari 3063. This class considers the ecology, utilization, and management of natural resources in fisheries, wildlife and forest management, agriculture and aquaculture. Topics include population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem support of resources as well as the history of resource utilization, practices of controlling production, pests, and predators, and sustainable management strategies.
    Term: Winter

    Pre-requisites: BIOL 2060.03, MATH 1000.03 (or STAT 1060.03 or DISP).

    Examples of Students' Research Topics


    • Andrea Bryndum-Buchholz (PhD, since 2016): Impacts of 21st century climate change on fish biomass and marine ecosystems.
    • Kristen Wilson (Masters, 2015-2017): Assessing and predicting distribution shifts of canopy-forming marine macrophytes in the Northwest Atlantic with remote sensing and species distribution models
    • Nakia Cullain (Masters, 2014-2016): Macroinfaunal communities in seagrass beds in Atlantic Canada.
    • James Scott McCain (Masters, 2014-2016): Historical analysis of fish in coastal ecosystems
    • Reba McIver (Masters, 2012-2015): Quantifying nitrogen loading and corresponding eutrophication symptoms in 7 bays in Eastern New Brunswick, Canada.
    •  Lauren Kay (Masters, 2012-2015): Canopy and community structure of rockweed beds in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
    • Allison Schmidt (PhD, 2006-2012): Causes and consequences of ecological changes in near-shore habitats.
    •  Anna Magera (Masters, 2008-2011): Recovery trajectories for marine mammals – developing new models and identifying critical factors to recovery.
    • Sean Anderson (Masters, 2007-2010): Patterns and ecosystem impacts of global invertebrate fisheries expansion.
    • Christine Ward-Paige (PhD, 2005-2010): ‘Using divers' logs to detect changes in coastal shark populations.
    • Francesco Ferretti (PhD, 2004-2011): The role of sharks in marine ecosystems: evaluating overexploited marine fish communities to detect long-term effects of predator removal.


    Selected Publications

    Milewski I, Loucks RH, Fisher B, Smith RE, McCain JSP, Lotze HK (2018) Sea-cage aquaculture impacts market and berried lobster (Homarus americanus) catches. Marine Ecology Progress Series 598: 85-97. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12623.

    Tittensor DP, Eddy TD, Lotze HK, Galbraith ED, Cheung WWL, Barange M, Blanchard J, Bopp L, Büchner M, Bulman C, Carozza DA, Christensen V, Coll M, Fulton EA, Hobday A, Huber V, Jennings S, Jones M, Lehodey P, Link JS, Mackinson S, Maury O, Niiranen S, Ramos RO, Roy T, Salvador JF, Schewe J, Shin Y-J, Watson J, Walker N (2018) A protocol for the intercomparison of marine fishery and ecosystem models: Fish-MIP v1.0. Geoscientific Model Development 11:1421–1442, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-1421-2018.

    Lotze HK, Guest H, O’Leary J, Tuda A, Wallace D (2018) Public perceptions of marine threats and protection from around the world. Ocean & Coastal Management 152: 14-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.11.004.

    Cullain N, McIver R, Schmidt AL, Lotze HK (2018) Spatial variation of macroinfaunal communities associated with Zostera marina beds across three biogeographic regions in Atlantic Canada. Estuaries and Coasts, 41(5): 1381-1396. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0354-7.

    Lotze HK, Mills Flemming J, Magera A (2017) Critical factors to marine mammal recovery. Conservation Biology 31(6):1301-1311. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12957.

    Blanchard JL, Watson RA, Fulton EA, Cottrell RS, Nash KL, Buchholz A, Büchner M, Carozza D, Cheung W, Elliott J, Davidson L, Dulvy NK, Dunnex JP, Eddy TD, Galbraith E, Lotze HK, Maury O, Müller C, Tittensor D, Jennings S (2017) Linked sustainability challenges and trade-offs among fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1: 1240–1249. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0258-8.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Jubinville I, Wilcox C, Jambeck J (2017). Plastic as a persistent marine pollutant. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 42: 1-26. doi:10.1146/annurev-environ-102016-060700.

    Schmidt AL, Coll M, Lotze HK (2017) Regional-scale differences in eutrophication effects on eelgrass (Zostera marina) associated fauna. Estuaries and Coasts 40: 1096–1112. doi:10.1007/s12237-016-0204-z.

    Eddy TD, Lotze HK, Fulton EA, Coll M, Ainsworth CH, Araújo JN, Bulman C, Bundy A, Christensen V, Field JC, Gribble N, Hasan M, Mackinson S, Townsend H (2017) Ecosystem effects of invertebrate fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 18: 40-53. doi:10.1111/faf.12165.

    Eddy TD, Araújo JN, Bundy A, Fulton EA, Lotze HK (2017) Effectiveness of lobster fisheries management in New Zealand and Nova Scotia from multi-species and ecosystem perspectives. ICES Journal of Marine Science 74: 146-157. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsw127.

    Kay L, Eddy TD, Schmidt AL, Lotze HK (2016) Regional differences and linkage between canopy structure and community composition of rockweed habitats in Atlantic Canada. Marine Biology 163: 251. doi:10.1007/s00227-016-3027-3.

    McCain JSP, Rangeley RW, Schneider DC, Lotze HK (2016) Historical abundance of juvenile commercial fish in coastal habitats: Implications for fish habitat management in Canada. Marine Policy 73:235–243. DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.08.009.

    Ruane AC, Teichmann C, Arnell N, Carter T, Ebi K, Frieler K, Goodess C, Hewitson B, Horton R, Kovats S, Lotze HK, Mearns L, Navarra A, Ojima D, Riahi K, Rosenzweig C, Themessl M, Vincent K, Meehl G (2016) The Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services Advisory Board (VIACS AB v1.0) contribution to CMIP6. Geoscientific Model Development 9: 3493-3515. DOI:10.5194/gmd-9-3493-2016.

    Kay L, Schmidt AL, Wilson K, Lotze HK (2016) Cumulative effects of climate warming and eutrophication on the habitat-forming rockweed Ascophyllum nodosum. Aquatic Botany 133:70-78. DOI 10.1016/j.aquabot.2016.06.002.

    Baker DGL, Eddy TD, McIver R, Schmidt AL, Thériault M-H, Boudreau M, Courtenay SC, Lotze HK (2016) Comparative analysis of different survey methods for monitoring fish communities in coastal habitats. PeerJ 4:e1832. DOI 10.7717/peerj.1832.

    McCain JSP, Cull DJ, Schneider DC, Lotze HK (2016) Long-term shift in coastal fish communities before and after the collapse of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). ICES Journal of Marine Science 73(5):1415-1426. DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsv216.

    Wilson KL, Kay L, Schmidt AL, Lotze HK (2015) Effects of rising ocean temperatures on survival and growth of ecologically and economically important seaweeds in Atlantic Canada. Marine Biology 162(12): 2431-2444. DOI:10.1007/s00227-015-2769-7.

    McIver R, Milewski I, Lotze HK (2015) Land use and nitrogen loading in seven estuaries along the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. Estuaries and Coastal Shelf Science 165: 137–148. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2015.08.011.

    Guest H, Lotze HK, Wallace D (2015) Youth and the Sea: Ocean Literacy in Nova Scotia. Marine Policy 58: 98–107. DOI:10.1016/j.marpol.2015.04.007.

    Orzechowski EA, Lockwood R, Byrnes JE, Anderson SC, Finkel ZV, Finnegan S, Harnik PG, Lindberg DR, Hsiang Liow L, Lotze HK, McClain CR, McGuire JL, O’Dea A, Pandolfi JM, Simpson C, Tittensor DP (2015) Determinants of extinction selectivity over the last 500 million years: a meta-analysis of marine bivalves and gastropods. Global Change Biology 21(10): 3595-3607. DOI:10.1111/gcb.12963.

    Finnegan S, Anderson SC, Harnik PG, Simpson C, Tittensor DP, Byrnes JE, Finkel ZV, Lindberg SR, Hsiang Liow L, Lockwood R, Lotze HK, McClain CM, McGuire JL, O’Dea A, Pandolfi JM (2015) Paleontological baselines for evaluating extinction risk in the coastal oceans. Science 348 (6234): 567-570. DOI:10.1126/science.aaa6635.

    Eddy TD, Coll M, Fulton EA, Lotze HK (2015) Trade-offs between invertebrate fisheries catches and ecosystem impacts in coastal New Zealand. ICES Journal of Marine Science 72(5): 1380-1388. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv009.

    Ellis JE, Rowe S, Lotze HK (2015) Expansion of hagfish fisheries in Atlantic Canada and worldwide. Fisheries Research 161: 24-33. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2014.06.011.

    Britten GL, Dowd M, Minto C, Ferretti F, Boero F, Lotze HK (2014) Predator decline leads to decreased stability in a coastal fish community. Ecology Letters 17: 1518–1525. doi: 10.1111/ele.12354

    Magera AM, Flemming JM, Kaschner K, Christensen LB, Lotze HK (2013) Recovery trends in marine mammal populations. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77908. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077908

    Ferretti F, Osio CG, Jenkins CJ, Rosenberg AA, Lotze HK (2013) Long-term change in a meso-predator community in response to prolonged and heterogeneous human impact. Scientific Reports 3: 1057. doi:10.1038/srep01057.

    Harnik PG, Lotze HK, Anderson SC, Finkel ZV, Finnegan S, Lindberg DR, Liow LH, Lockwood R, McClain CM, McGuire JL, O’Dea A, Pandolfi JM, Simpson C, Tittensor DP (2012) Extinctions in ancient and modern seas. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27(11): 608-617. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2012.07.010.

    Anderson SC, Branch TA, Ricard D, Lotze HK (2012) Assessing global marine fishery status with a revised dynamic catch-based method and stock-assessment reference points. ICES Journal of Marine Science 69(8): 1491-1500. doi:10.1093/icesjms/FSS105.

    Schmidt AL, Wysmyk JKC, Craig SE, Lotze HK (2012) Regional-scale effects of eutrophication on ecosystem structure and services of seagrass beds. Limnology and Oceanography 57: 1389-1402.

    Ward-Paige CA, Keith D, Worm B, Lotze HK (2012) Recovery potential and conservation options for elasmobranchs. Journal of Fish Biology 80: 1844-1869.

    Lotze HK, Coll M, Magera AM, Ward-Paige CA, Airoldi L (2011) Recovery of marine animal populations and ecosystems. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(11): 595-605.

    Ward-Paige CA, Lotze HK (2011) Assessing the value of recreational divers for censusing elasmobranchsPLoS ONE 6(10): e25609. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025609

    Schmidt AL, Coll M, Romanuk T, Lotze HK (2011) Food-web structure, functioning and ecosystem services in eelgrass (Zostera marina) and rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) bedsMarine Ecology Progress Series 437: 51-68.

    Coll M, Schmidt AL, Romanuk, T, Lotze HK (2011) Food-web structure of seagrass communities across different spatial scales and human impacts. PLoS ONE 6(7): e22591. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022591.

    Anderson SC, Mills-Flemming J, Watson R, Lotze HK (2011) Rapid global expansion of invertebrate fisheries: trends, drivers and ecosystem effectsPLoS ONE 6(3): e14735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014735.

    Ward-Paige CA, Pattengill-Semmens C, Myers RA, Lotze HK (2011) Spatial and temporal trends in yellow stingray abundance: evidence from diver surveysEnvironmental Biology of Fishes90(3): 263-276.

    Lotze HK, Coll M, Dunne J (2011) Historical changes in marine resources, food-web structure and ecosystem functioning in the Adriatic Sea. Ecosystems 14(2): 198-222.

    Anderson SC, Mills-Flemming J, Lotze HK (2011) Serial exploitation of global sea cucumber fisheriesFish and Fisheries 12(3): 317-339.

    Ward-Paige CA, Mora C, Lotze HK, Pattengill-Semmens C, McClenachan L, Arias-Castro E, Myers RA (2010) Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean: a footprint of human pressures. PLoS ONE 5(8): e11968. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011968.

    Tittensor DP, Mora C, Ricard D, Jetz W, Lotze HK, E. Vanden Berghe, Worm B (2010) Global patterns and drivers of marine biodiversity across taxaNature 466: 1098-1101.

    Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Kaschner K, Lasram FBR, Aguzzi1 J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovaro R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gaso JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guilhaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos MS, Koukouras A, Lampadariou N, Laxamana E, López-Fé de la Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Dimitris V, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E (2010) Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns and threatsPLoS ONE 5(8): e11842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011842.

    Lotze HK (2010) Historical reconstruction of human-induced changes in U.S. estuariesOceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 48: 265-336.

    Ferretti F, Worm B, Britten GL, Heithaus MR, Lotze HK (2010) Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean. Ecology Letters 13: 1055-1071.