Jessie Lilly

Jessie Lilly attaches a tag to an Atlantic Sturgeon at night

For Jessie, holiday trips to Vancouver Island, charter fishing excursions with her dad and becoming a certified diver at the age of 15 sparked her interest in marine ecology. These experiences made her aware of the tough balance between sustaining fisheries and preserving ecosystems, leading her to want to pursue fisheries science.

For the Quantifying fish-turbine interactions using new VEMCO tagging technology project, Jessie focused on tracking the movement of Atlantic Sturgeon through the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) test site in Minas Passage. In this study, new tagging technology developed by VEMCO was used to determine if Atlantic Sturgeon and Striped Bass pass through the FORCE test site. The new technology requires that only one ping be detected by a receiver to identify a tag, as opposed to the 8-10 consecutive pings needed for traditional coded tags.

“The most enjoyable part of the Net Zero Atlantic project is having the opportunity to work with a variety of species and learning about their unique life history, including Atlantic Sturgeon, Striped Bass, Atlantic Salmon and American Lobster. I am also enjoying being able to learn from members of the renewable energy sector, fishers and scientists. Their wide array of viewpoints are helping to broaden my view from a scientist’s perspective.”

Jessie plans to continue on to pursue a PhD, expanding and integrating her knowledge of acoustic tagging technology with statistics to help better assess the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on commercial and endangered fishes.