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An unprecedented understanding of our ocean

Dalhousie is greatly advancing ocean-related exploration, critical thinking and innovation.

We’re creating new and sustainable solutions for regional, national and global ocean challenges, building better prediction methods, and influencing governance, policy, industry and community development.

Taking the lead

Dalhousie is home to several leading ocean-related initiatives and many of our researchers take a leading role in projects with local and global impact.

Learn more about Dal-led projects and initiatives

Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI)

OFI is one of the world’s most significant ocean science research collaborations. The Ocean Frontier Institute is built on world-class Canadian university expertise and represents an historic partnership between the flagship universities of three Atlantic Provinces (Dal, Memorial, UPEI). This expertise is linked with that of eight major international research institutes — including four of the top five ocean institutes in the world —and with partners in the Government of Canada’s federal laboratories, the Royal Canadian Navy, the National Film Board and national and international industry.    

Ocean Tracking Network (OTN)

Under the scientific direction of Sara Iverson, professor in Dalhousie's Faculty of Science, the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a revolutionary and agile global ocean research and technology-development platform headquartered at Dalhousie. OTN deploys Canadian-developed tracking and monitoring equipment to track the movements and survival of many culturally valued, commercially important, and endangered fish and marine mammals, and determines how they are affected by a changing ocean.


Led by Doug Wallace Canada Excellence Research Chairholder (CERC) in Ocean Science and Technology and Professor in the Faculty of Science, CERC.OCEAN is a world-class research program established to observe, understand, and predict the interaction of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen in oceans and the implications of these changes for marine life and the climate.

Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR)

Located at Dal, MEOPAR is a team of outstanding Canadian researchers who are improving Canada’s ability to manage and respond to risk in the marine environment.

Marine & Environmental Law Institute (MELAW)

Housed at Dal’s Schulich School of Law, MELAW is an international leader in marine and environmental law teaching (Marine & Environmental Law Program) and research. Researchers provide advisory services to agencies of the United Nations, all levels of government and NGOs.

The Centre for Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

Dal researchers are focusing on the integration and best practices of microbiome results to train future researchers and attract new relationships and collaborations for this multidisciplinary area of research.


Launched by Dal’s Marine Affairs Program, Fish-WIKS research enhances Canadian fisheries policy by understanding, exploring and harnessing western and Indigenous knowledge systems. 

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation - Extreme Marine Events  

Funded by the Lloyd's Register Foundation, Jinyu Sheng’s, Professor in the Faculty of Science, Modeling and Prediction of Marine Environmental Extremes research program to establish an international research network at Dal. The network’s research helps predict extreme marine events.

Dalhousie Marine Policy Development and Interdisciplinary Research for Actions on Coastal Communities, Youth and Seafarers (PIRACY) Project

Dal researchers are cataloguing global piracy incidents and counteractions to determine the true impacts and costs of piracy on seafarers, coastal states and communities. The research project is supported by funding from the TK Foundation and in-kind support from Dal's Marine Affairs Program.

Canadian Institute of Fisheries Technology

Established at Dal, CIFT supports technology transfer and the development of advanced technologies to effectively use commercial marine resources in Canada and around the world.

Maritime Activity and Risk Investigation Network (MARIN)

Headed by Ronald Pelot, Professor in Engineering, the MARIN Research Group develops software to help decision-making in many areas, from Search & Rescue planning to oil spill predictions and coastal zone planning.

POME (Prediction and Observation for the Marine Environment)

Established by Dal and the University of Bergen, Norway, POME provides a framework for cooperation in higher education in marine science to enhance the trainee opportunities for students at every level of their education.


Working with partners

Dal partners and collaborates with a broad range of leading oceans research institutions.

Discover who we partner with

Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE)

As a founding member, we host IORE and support their work to build partnerships among federal research laboratories, universities and the private sector to both boost marine research and translate it into real economic opportunity in Atlantic Canada.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Our partnership builds a strong exchange of knowledge, facilities and opportunities for students, along with collaborations involving research in advanced ocean monitoring technologies and joint participation and integration into large oceans projects such as the Ocean Tracking Network.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Together, our researchers are collaborating on research projects to help better understand our world’s oceans.

Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research (GEOMAR)

Through an MOU with IORE, our researchers work with GEOMAR to enhance and develop research and programs for marine and environmental research, including that of MEOPAR and Transatlantic Ocean System Science and Technology (TOSST).

Christian Albrechts University (Kiel University)

Our researchers are working together to addresses areas of marine law and economics, with particular focus on the sustainable use of the oceans.


A Cluster of Excellence based in Brest and funded by the "Investment for the Future" program of the French Ministry of Research and Education. LabexMER is managed by the Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM) and involves 700 researchers. Together our researchers are collaborting with European colleagues, exchanging ideas, methodology and participating in projects related to the Atlantic Ocean.

Schulich Dalhousie/Eilat Ocean Studies Initiative

A new collaboration with The Schulich Foundation brings together Israeli marine scientists and researchers from Dalhousie to undertake joint marine research projects, student internships and field courses in both countries. This is a Marine Science Collaboration in the Gulf of Eilat, supported by the Schulich Ocean Studies Centre Initiative.

Ocean University China

Our partnership focuses on ocean studies, marine life sciences, mathematics and statistics, materials science, and environmental science. The partnership creates exchange opportunities for students and builds on our strong network of ocean partners, as the Ocean University of China also works closely with Kiel University in Germany.

Exchange opportunities

Our partnerships go further than research, offering educational and exchange opportunities for our students.

Federal Research Labs


Sharing knowledge

Dal researchers share expertise with regional, national and international organizations to further our understanding of the world’s oceans.

Explore recent or ongoing collaborations

ArcticNet – A Network of Centres of Excellence

ArcticNet brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners from Inuit organizations, northern communities, federal and provincial agencies and the private sector to study the impacts of climate change in the coastal Canadian Arctic.

Oceans Network Canada (ONC)

The NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories operated by ONC collect data on physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the ocean to support research on complex Earth processes.

Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe)

CHONe unites university researchers with scientists and managers from Canada’s national resources agencies to provide new insights into marine biodiversity in Canada’s three oceans and to develop scientific guidelines for conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity resources.

Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities (CCORU)

Made up of nine universities with a particular niche in the area of ocean research, CCORU helps develop a national vision for ocean research in Canada. 

Australian Canadian Ocean Research Network (ACORN)


HydroNet is a national research network promoting sustainable hydropower and healthy aquatic ecosystems in Canada.

LOOKNorth - Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North

In collaboration with a broad network of industry, northern, business and research partners, LOOKNorth commercializes monitoring technologies to support safe and sustainable development of Canada’s northern natural resources.

International Ocean Institute (IOI)

IOI-Canada is a leading member of the worldwide network of International Ocean Institute (IOI) operational centres and focal points. Our mission is to promote responsible ocean governance and the stewardship and sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources in Canada and around the world.

Arctic Centre (University of Lapland, Finland)

From Arktikum House, Rovaniemi, Finland, the Arctic Centre conducts multidisciplinary research in changes in the Arctic region.

Climate Action Network (CAN) 

Canadian Maritime Law Association

The CMLA advances the development of effective, modern commercial maritime law within Canada and internationally. 

Canada Rivers Institute (CRI)

CRI is a collaboration of researchers developing the aquatic science needed to understand, protect, and sustain water resources for the region, nation,and the planet

CARBOOCEAN – Marine carbon sources and sinks assessment

CARBOOCEAN will determine the ocean’s potential as a natural sink for human-made carbon dioxide to help address climate change.

Carbon Management Canada (CMC)

To address industrial greenhouse gas emissions, CMC works to develop research institutes providing high-value, low-barrier research and development services to industry or public sector clients.

Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)

CMOS is the national society of individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing atmospheric and oceanic sciences and related environmental disciplines in Canada.

Global Partnerships for Oceans

The Global Partnership for Oceans is restoring ocean health by mobilizing finance and knowledge to activate proven solutions for the benefit of communities, countries and global well-being.

IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, Specialist group on Oceans, Coasts and Coral Reefs

The WCEL Oceans Specialist Group has been working with scientific, policy, and legal experts on issues involving marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction.