What is SeaOMICS?

SeaOMICS is a group created to share information and research we are doing about how changing ocean conditions affect marine ecosystem health and resilience, using molecular and ecological methods.


Our research group is interested in the coastal health, resilience, and productivity of marine populations, using shellfish as both socio-economically important aquaculture organisms and bioindicator species. Despite playing critical roles in the function of the marine environment, coastal and estuarine dominant species are being exposed to ever-increasing threats caused by human activities, environmental fluctuations, and climate change. In particular, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification is of significant concern as it can have negative impacts on a broad range of species, especially those with calcium carbonate shells such as shellfish. As the capacity for socio-economically important shellfish species to adapt to such changes is largely unknown, the focus of many of our research projects are to gain a better understanding of ecosystem health and resilience to these stressors using multiple techniques such as functional genomics, metabolomics and genetics.


This page is created by the Shellfish Health and Husbandry Group purely as a means of communicating scientific knowledge and program research, and does not reflect the views and opinions of Vancouver Island University.


  • Our very own Caitlin Smith featured in a VIU advert and soon to be in a West Jet magazine (October edition) Congratuations Caitlin! We are all very proud of you and all of your accomplishments!

  • Now collaborating with the MEOPAR InForm group to look at levels of Fukushima radiation in shellfish species 

  • The electronic version of the Proceedings of the Atlantic and Pacific Climate Change and Aquaculture Workshops, Bulletin 2015-2, is now available for download (see link below)

  • The SeaOMICS crew head to the Hakai Field Station on Quadra Island for the first field excursion of 2016 to sample the shellfish in the Ocean Acidification Monitoring Project. 

  • Caitlin presents her Undergraduate Research Project, titled "The immune response of the Mytilus edulis mussel to changing coastal ocean conditions on Quadra Island, BC" at VIU's CREATE Conference.

  • Presentations from the Climate Change and Aquaculture in Canada, Pacific Workshop (June 24-25, 2015):


GK Reid, H Gurney-Smith, KEB Dalton, A Garber, C Smith, and L Cooper

Climate Change and Aquaculture Literature Review

S Allen

MEOPAR Salish Sea Research and Climate Change in Marine BC- Part 1

S Allen

MEOPAR Salish Sea Research and Climate Change in Marine BC- Part 2

S Johnson

Climate Change and Aquaculture in Canada: Potential Impacts on Aquatic Animal Health

T Benfey

Climate Change and Aquaculture- Warming Waters

G Waldbusser, B Hales, and many others

A Crash-course in Ocean Acidification: Shellfish Edition

GK Reid & H Gurney-Smith

The NSERC Partnership Workshop, Climate Change and Aquaculture in Canada: Atlantic Workshop Summary


Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
April 13-15, 2016


Dr. Helen Gurney-Smith presents "Flexing your Mussels: Shellfish as Powerful Ecosystem Indicators" on TED Talks in Victoria, BC.

Filmed on November 19, 2011

Dr. Helen Gurney-Smith nominated for the Mid-Island Science and Technology Innovation Council (MISTIC) Awards in 2012 for Promising Pre-Commercial Innovation (featured 1:46 min into video)