Shelley Denny

Director of Aquatic Research and Stewardship
 

Around UINR Shelley Denny is known to be active in many aspects of marine biology, but ask anyone what Shelley is most passionate about in her work and the answer is EEL! The eel represents to Shelley much more than a creature to be studied, she recognizes its spiritual, cultural and historical signifiance to the Mi’kmaq people.

It’s no wonder that Shelley ended up working with the inhabitants of the Bras d’Or Lakes–both the creatures and the people! Her first job as a student was to sample lobster and snow crab and she continued her studies to gain a Masters of Science in Biology in fisheries ecology from St. F.X. University. Her continuing education includes courses in open-water scuba diving. An avid reader, Shelley is a self-confessed Student-of-Life and listens to the voice of Mother Earth and the teachings of our Elders. Shelley learns by listening to people in the communities she serves.

“There are so many things that I find rewarding. I am passionate about the Bras d’Or Lakes and all she nourishes. I really enjoy working with our communities. When we open ourselves to the communities, we open ourselves to valuable teachings. These teachings give me direction for my role at UINR.”

You could break down the work Shelley does at UINR into three areas:

  • Research– “We use science and two-eyed seeing to address questions relating to marine and aquatic issues.”
  • Technical support– “UINR can act in an advisory role for Mi’kmaq communities on environmental concerns, fishing and potential effects of development.”
  • Stewardship–“Gathering information is fine, but our Elders are frustrated when no action is taken to address the problems. Stewardship is a way we can change behaviour that harms the environment. It helps us re-establish our interconnection with nature. We are responsible for Mother Earth. Let’s take our responsibility to action.”

Shelley’s activities and accomplishments range from enhancing the Bras d’Or Lakes with artificial lobster habitat to developing a management plan for Mi’kmaq traditional use of lobster, and using traditional Mi’kmaq knowledge and scientific approaches in studying eels. Her knowledge on marine water quality helps us understand the environmental water quality in the Bras d’Or Lakes and what areas and issues that need to be addressed.

 

 

Managing for Seven Generations

Managing for Seven Generations

August 15, 2014News, Research

UINR’s Shelley Denny, Angela Denny and Tyson Paul are attending the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Fisheries Society in Quebec City on August 17 to 21. They are presenting our poster Managing for Seven Generations: Mi’kmaq Knowledge, Eels and the Bras d’Or Lakes during the poster presentation reception on Monday from 6:00 to 8:30 … Read More

Return of the UINR Smolt Wheel

Return of the UINR Smolt Wheel

April 28, 2014News, Research

Many people use the first sighting of a crocus or the sound of spring peepers as their first sign of Spring. At UINR it’s the return of our smolt wheel to Middle River! UINR is continuing our research on Atlantic salmon populations. The smolt wheel, which looks like a giant funnel on its side, collects … Read More

What to Do with a Tagged Salmon

What to Do with a Tagged Salmon

October 22, 2013Commerical Fisheries, News, Research

 UINR is Asking for Your Cooperation. If you catch a tagged salmon during the fall harvest, please report it to us. If possible, please release any tagged fish and report the tag number. If you keep a tagged fish, please report it and return the tag to UINR or a guardian. You can also … Read More

Fish-WIKS comes to Unama'ki!

Fish-WIKS comes to Unama'ki!

August 12, 2013News, Partnerships, Research

Lenita Dominique Denny, a 14 year old grade 8 student from Eskasoni, is the winner of the Fish-WIKS logo contest for the East Coast region. Her design, along with designs from three other regions across Canada, will form the Fish-WIKS logo. She was presented with a $500 award by UINR/Fish-WIKS Community Liaison Coordinator Tyson Paul, … Read More

Plamu UPDATE

Plamu UPDATE

July 4, 2013News, Research

On Wednesday July 10 UINR is hosting a meeting with salmon scientists and fishers to give an update on Atlantic Salmon populations. DFO will provide information on the current status of salmon populations in Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia. Two sessions will be held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, from 1–4 pm and … Read More

Help Us Help Malikewe'j

Help Us Help Malikewe'j

May 31, 2013News

There’s a BIG weekend coming up for the community of Malikewe’j. On Friday and Saturday June 7 and 8, UINR will be hosting our annual Spring Cleaning and Community Ditch Clean-up. Help us help Malikewe’j by putting out large items that you want to have disposed of on the main road and Cemetery Road. Please … Read More

Everything You Wanted to Know About Eels… LIVE!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Eels… LIVE!

May 30, 2013News, Research

At the next Wagmatcook Lecture Series on Thursday June 6 we are presenting a series of ten short videos on eels and their importance in Mi’kmaq culture. The videos tell everything we know about the American eel in Cape Breton. UINR biologist Shelley Denny will be on hand with Mi’kmaq eel fishers Joe and Judy Googoo … Read More

Eel Video Day 10-Winter Eeling

Eel Video Day 10-Winter Eeling

April 26, 2013News

It’s time for today’s eel video– Winter Eeling. You can watch it here. This video shows how eel are traditionally speared during the winter. Eel fishers Kerry Prosper and John Sylliboy explain everything about winter fishing from digging through the ice to how to spear. UINR researcher Shelley Denny looks at some of the traditions … Read More

Eel Video Day 9–Summer Eeling

Eel Video Day 9–Summer Eeling

April 25, 2013News, Research

It’s time for today’s eel video– SUMMER EELING. You can watch it here. This video looks at how eels are speared in  summer. Mi’kmaq fishers Tracey Googoo, Charlie Joe, Kerry Prosper and John Sylliboy talk about summer fishing and why the tradition is so important. UINR’s Angela Denny, Lorraine Marshall and Shelley Denny talk about … Read More

Eel Video Day 5-Eels at Risk

Eel Video Day 5-Eels at Risk

April 21, 2013News, Research

It’s Slippery Sunday and time for today’s eel video– EELS AT RISK. You can watch it here. Eels are a Threatened Species in Cape Breton and scientists here are determined to find out why. Parks Canada’s James Brigland, UINR’s Shelley Denny and CBU’s Katherine Jones tell us what they are learning from both science and … Read More

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