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.

 

 

Eel Video Day 4-Eel Traditions

Eel Video Day 4-Eel Traditions

April 20, 2013News

It’s Slimy Saturday and time for today’s eel video– EEL TRADITIONS. You can watch it here. Albert Marshall, Charlie Joe Malikewe’j, John Sylliboy, Kerry Prosper and Shelley Denny look at the traditions of eeling in Mi’kmaq culture and the traditional knowledge that has been passed down over thousands of years and is alive today. Every … Read More

Eel Video Day 3-Eel Parasite

Eel Video Day 3-Eel Parasite

April 19, 2013News

Today’s Eel video is EEL PARASITE. You can watch it here. Katherine Jones, Shelley Denny and Angela Denny are scientists researching the eel bladder parasite in Cape Breton eels. The discovery of a roundworm infestation in eels has led to intensive study of the declining population. Every day for ten days UINR is releasing a … Read More

Eel Video Day 2-Eel Lifecycle

Eel Video Day 2-Eel Lifecycle

April 18, 2013News

Today’s Eel video is EEL LIFECYCLE. You can watch it here. Eels can live to over 40 years and have a unique and complex lifecycle, starting life down south in the Sargaso Sea and finding their way to live and mature in Cape Breton lakes and rivers. Parks Canada Ecologist James Brigland joins UINR’s Shelley … Read More

Eel Video Day 1-Eel Habitat

Eel Video Day 1-Eel Habitat

April 17, 2013News

UINR is releasing a series of ten short videos on the American eel. Every day, for the next ten days, UINR will release a new video and post its link here, on our Facebook page–UINRpage and on Twitter @UINR. Today’s eel video is EEL HABITAT–Where they live and all about eel lifestyle is the theme. Shelley … Read More

How old is that salmon??

How old is that salmon??

February 25, 2013Commerical Fisheries, Research

Staff from UINR, Eskasoni Fish & Wildlife Commission and Potlotek Guardians were at hand at a workshop, hosted by UINR, to age salmon by examining their scales. Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director of the Ocean Tracking Network, provided the background of his organization’s activities in the Bras d’Or Lakes and throughout Nova Scotia. He explained some … Read More

Training for CAPTAINS and FIRST MATES

Training for CAPTAINS and FIRST MATES

February 24, 2013Commerical Fisheries, News, Research

Training for CAPTAINS and FIRST MATES on the identification, handling and release of marine animals considered species-at-risk such as marine mammals, sharks, wolffish and sea turtles. Presentations will be given by the Canadian Sea Turtle Network, Marine Animal Response Society and the World Wildlife Fund.   MEMBERTOU and POTLOTEK–Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, Tuesday February … Read More

New Research Article on Eel Parasite Published

New Research Article on Eel Parasite Published

February 12, 2013News, Research

UINR is proud to announce the publication of our first research article in the journal BioInvasions Records of the Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre (REABIC). Distribution, prevalence and intensity of Anguillicoloides crassus in the American eel, Anguilla rostrata, in the Bras d’Or Lakes, Nova Scotia was written by Shelley K. Denny, Angela Denny and Tyson … Read More

Kataq: Journey of Our Eels

Kataq: Journey of Our Eels

December 10, 2012News, Research

A new children’s book was published today that tells the story of a Cape Breton eel from a Mi’kmaw perspective. Kataq: Journey of our Eels is illustrated by well-known artist Dozay Christmas and is written by Angela Denny and Shelley Denny of the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources. The book is in English with side-by-side … Read More

It's all about the people–Shelley Denny

June 14, 2010News

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 … Read More

New science projects at UINR

November 15, 2009News, Research

New science projects at UINR It is going to be a busy year for UINR! We recently received support from Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk to continue our eel research in the Bras d’Or Lakes. The project will determine biological characteristics and the relationship of American Eel (Kataq) abundance in the Bras d’Or Lakes. … Read More

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