Colin Bates

Adjunct Professor

My Links

  • Click here to see a CBC News story about my Masters research.
  • Click here to visit my photography website

Contact Information


Research Interests

I am interested in all aspects of marine ecology, but most of my work has focused on seaweeds. In particular, my research involves understanding the consequences of human-induced alterations in intertidal community structure. This work has two components: 

a) monitoring for changes in algal communities. This work is taking place in Barkley Sound & the Broughton Archipelago (British Columbia). As an continuation of my M.Sc work, I am also collaborating with Dr. Gary Saunders to maintain a long-term monitoring program in the Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick).

b) using manipulative experiments to determine the ramifications of change in seaweed communities, with specific reference to resultant change in invertebrate communities. This work takes place in Barkley Sound, and is based out of the Bamfield Marine Science Centre

Other research interests include:

1) Communication of science through video and multimedia. I teach science filmmaking workshops with Jeff Morales (National Geographic Film & Television, VONIGO Films). To learn more about this work, visit

2) Measurement of biodiversity. I am particularly interested in understanding the relationships between taxonomic and functional diversity. Major questions also surround a) the benefits and consequences of sampling and analysis at various data resolutions (e.g. coarse taxonomic levels, functional groups, diversity indices, etc.) ; and b) the incorporation of taxonomic information into diversity indices. 

3) Biostatistics, with a focus on nonparametric multivariate analysis of biological community structure 

4) Understanding the relative importance of positive interactions in structuring marine biological communities.

5) Marine conservation issues. To facilitate understanding about the effects of human influence on marine intertidal communities, I organized a marine biodiversity workshop in April 2004.

Selected Publications

Bates CR, Saunders GW, & Chopin T. (2009) Historical vs. contemporary measures of seaweed biodiversity in the Bay of Fundy, New, Brunswick, Canada. Botany 87: 1066-1076.

Bates C.R. (2009) A comparison of host taxonomic relatedness and functional group affiliation as predictors of seaweed-invertebrate epifauna associations. Marine Ecology Progress Series 387: 125-136.

Bates, C.R. and R.E. DeWreede (2007) Do changes in seaweed biodiversity influence invertebrate epifauna?Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 344: 206-214.

Bates, C.R., G. Scott, M. Tobin, and R. Thompson (2007) Weighing the costs and benefits of reduced sampling resolution in biomonitoring studies: Perspectives from the rocky intertidal. Biological Conservation 137: 617-625.

Bates CR, Chopin T, and Saunders GW (2005). Taxonomic distinctness and seaweed community responses to environmental stress in the Bay of Fundy, NB, Canada. Botanica Marina 48:231-234.

Bates, CR. (2004). An introduction to the seaweeds of British Columbia. In: Klinkenberg, Brian.(Editor) 2004. E-Flora BC: Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Bates CR, T Chopin, and Saunders GW (2001). Monitoring seaweed diversity in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. p.163-176. In: Opportunities and challenges for protecting, restoring and enhancing coastal habitats in the Bay of Fundy. Proceedings of the 4th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop, Saint John, New Brunswick, September 19-21, 2000. Chopin T. and P.G. Wells (Eds.). Environment Canada, Atlantic Region Occasional Report No. 17, Environment Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 237p.

Chopin T, Yarish C, Neefus C, Kraemer G, Belyea E, Carmona R, Saunders G, Bates C, Page F, & Dowd, M. (2001) Underutilized tools: seaweeds as bioremediation and diversification tools and bio-indicators for integrated aquaculture and coastal management. Journal of Phycology 37 (3), 12-12.

Submitted manuscripts

Bates CR (in review) Seaweed morphology and wave exposure interact to determine biodiversity of invertebrate epifauna.