Rick Cunjak

Emeritus Research Professor


Bailey Hall


1 506 452 6204

Academic interests

  • Aquatic Biology
  • Ecology/ Evolutionary
  • Environmental Conservation

Brief biography

My current research program is focused on running water environments and the biota living there, with special interest in the ecology and conservation of riverine fishes, especially Atlantic salmon. There are three areas of focus:

1. Winter Biology - studies of fish movement and habitat-use, energetic costs of overwintering, and the impact of river ice on egg survival and habitat availability;

2. Anthropogenic impacts and river conservation/restoration - quantification of forestry, hydroelectric and agriculture impacts in stream ecosystems (streamflow, sediment loading, nutrient cycling, water temperature);

3. Stream ecosystem dynamics - understanding the complexity of energy flow between terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and from primary producers to top predators using stable isotope analysis (C,N,H,S), and the importance of in-stream stressor events (e.g. floods, ice break-up, high temperature) on stream communities and populations (invertebrates, fish).

Selected research

Hayden, B., P. Nithirojpakdee, S. Tongnunui, FWH Beamish and RA Cunjak. 2017. Variation in stable isotope ratios between fin and muscle tissues can alter assessment of resource use in tropical river fishes. J. Fish Biol. 91 (2): 574–586.

Corey, E., T. Linnansaari, RA Cunjak and S. Currie. 2017. Physiological effects of environmentally relevant, multi-day thermal stress on wild juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Conservation Physiology 5(1): 000-000 [doi.org/10.1093/conphys/cox014].

Samways, KM and RA Cunjak. 2015. Increases in benthic community production and metabolism in response to marine-derived nutrients from spawning Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Freshw. Biol. 60(8): 1647-1658.

Kurylyk, BL, KTB MacQuarrie, T Linnansaari, RA Cunjak and RA Curry. 2014. Preserving, augmenting and creating cold-water thermal refugia in rivers: Concepts derived from the Miramichi River,New Brunswick (Canada). Ecohydrology 8: 1095-1108. DOI: 10.1002/eco.1566.