Surviving grad school – lessons from a Roomba


You may think that the title of this post was just clickbait. Obviously, its clickbait, but it is also surprising how much my Roomba (his name was Roy, now Svein, RIP Roy) is teaching me about success in grad school. So far this sounds like the ravings of a mad person and of course, and that is exactly what it … Read More

On writing


I have come to believe, that I am not alone in my writing anxiety and that it is a lot messier than we ever see or talk about. In a hopefully helpful book I have just acquired, “Writing your journal article in 12 weeks,” the author Wendy Laura Belcher likens writing to sex in 19th century Vienna…everyone does it, none … Read More

Join me on a dive

MorganSCUBA diving

The underwater world is very hard to describe well. A picture is supposedly a 1,000 words, so a video must be a million, but even movies don’t do it justice.  It is the best I can do for now though, so here are a series of short videos montages of typical dives a I am grateful to enjoy. Most of … Read More

Fish sing like birds!

MorganSide projects

Most people don’t realize it, but fish make a variety of sounds…on purpose! This makes sense as it is often hard to see underwater, but sounds are transmitted quite well. Xavier Mouy is a Ph.D. student and colleague of mine at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is tackling the challenging task of documenting which species make which sounds. Turns … Read More

Underwater noise in Rockfish Conservation Areas

MorganSide projects

An invited guest blog by Kat Nikolich, PhD student in our lab summarizing her research I have been helping with… Almost everything that humans do in the ocean produces noise. Motorized vessels, sonar, construction noise like drilling and pile-driving, oceanic oil and gas exploration, even offshore wind farms and tidal turbines that harness sustainable energy! These ubiquitous activities are all part … Read More

Knowledge Keepers – CBC Radio One

MorganClam gardens

I was gratefully able to contribute to a program on CBC radio on the intersection between science and indigenous knowledge.  This is a huge and complex topic and there is so much to be learned and told. This hour-long special delves into some of these complexities by speaking to several individuals who are currently working in this blended research to … Read More

Sustainability and loving fish go hand in hand


Sustainability is a word that is flung around willy-nilly, usually to market an idea or product, but rarely describing something that is truly sustainable. I would describe sustainable as resulting in no net loss to the environment. Keep it simple, does it cause harm or remove more than what can be replaced?…then it is not sustainable. Here is an entertaining Ted … Read More

Clam garden construction and restoration

MorganClam gardens

The first question I am usually asked is what exactly is a ‘clam garden’. In these instances, it describes a cleared and terraced beach. They are ancient structures that were built, by coastal First Nations in the Pacific Northwest, to support traditional food species including, but not limited to, Pacific Little Neck clams (Protothaca staminea) and Butter clams (Saxidomas giganteus). … Read More

Let there be light


Beautiful and colorful biodiversity while SCUBA diving

Whoa!…thought is was GREEN and is was actually PINK! How quickly light diminishes underwater has a dramatic effect.

Clam gardens – Northeast Pacific Stonehenge

MorganClam gardens

Seagoing with Morgan Black Photo 2

It is amazing to think that until two years ago, I had never heard of a clam garden. I have spent considerable time exploring the shorelines of coastal British Columbia and had never noticed these amazing inter-tidal structures. However, even if I had seen them I, like many others, likely would have not understood their significance. The construction of a … Read More