Will Atlas CV_January2015

wiatlas (at) gmail (dot) com

cell: 778-938-6883

Research Interests

Population ecology of Pacific salmon, sustainable fisheries, traditional ecological knowledge, food web ecology, fluvial geomorphology, life-history evolution and population dynamics


Simon Fraser University: M.Sc. in Biological Sciences, 2012

Thesis: “Resource subsidies, top predators, and community regulation in stream ecosystems.”

University of Washington: BS in Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, 2008

Deans List Autumn 2005-Autumn 2006, Spring 2007-Spring 2008.

GPA: 3.62

Relevant Coursework: (Graduate) Ecological Modeling, Population Modeling, Mark recapture models; (Undergraduate) Fish Ecology, Restoration of Fish Communities and Habitats in River Ecosystems, Landscape Ecology, Conservation Genetics, Fluvial Geomorphology and Sediment Dynamics.


BISC 309 Conservation Biology, Teaching Assistant, Spring 2010

BISC 102 Intro Biology, Teaching Assistant, Spring 2011

Guest lectures

Conservation Biology (Spring 2010, Spring 2012). “Salmonid Ecology and Conservation.”

Coastal Resilience (Spring 2012). “Managing Salmon for Resilience in the 21st Century.”

Consilience & Coastal Resilience (Spring 2013). “Koeye River Fish Weir: Supporting Adaptive Management of Heiltsuk Sokeye Fisheries”



Hakai Research Fellow, January 2014 – Present

Simon Fraser Graduate Fellowship, Fall 2010 & Fall 2011

Simon Fraser Travel and Research Award, Summer 2011


SAFS Faculty Merit Award for Academic Excellence, 2008.

H. Mason Keeler Endowed Scholarship, 2006 – 2007

H. Mason Keeler Endowed Scholarship, 2007 – 2008.

Professional Experience

Simon Fraser University, PhD student, Hakai Research Fellow. January 2014 – present:

My research focuses on understanding how physical drivers of salmonid life-histories interact across the landscape to produce diverse population portfolios, the implications of this diversity for population dynamics, and its implications for the resilience of salmon driven ecosystem and fisheries in the face of anthropogenic change.

Qqs Projects Society, Salmon Program Coordinator. 2012 – present:

In this position I have been tasked with the development of a salmon monitoring program for the Heiltsuk First Nation’s food fisheries. Responsibilities include study design, data collection and analysis, grant writing, hiring and training staff, operating boats and working in remote field environments.

Instream Fisheries – Seymour River Steelhead Population Modeling. Winter 2013:

This project required the development of a simulation model to examine the long term impacts of Seymour Falls dam on steelhead populations in the Seymour River. Specific questions included interactions between summer run and winter run life-histories, the influence of hatchery releases on wild populations, and the potential benefits of changes in summer time flow releases.

Simon Fraser University, Lab Manager, Dr. Jonathan Moore. Fall 2012 – Spring 2013:

I worked as a lab manager and research associate for Dr. Jonathan Moore. In this position I was responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from lab administration, ordering, and maintenance, to research. My research with Dr. Moore focused on the spatial scaling of density dependence in freshwater rearing anadromous fish, and the implications of natal site fidelity for population dynamics.

Simon Fraser University, Graduate Research Assistant. Fall 2009 – Spring 2012:

Senior Supervisor: Dr. Wendy J. Palen

My MSc research focused on resource subsidies, and how inputs of prey from terrestrial environments influenced food web dynamics into streams. Project involved designing and running a large scale field experiment over a two month period. Also required data collection and management skills, statistical analysis and data visualization in R and supervising three undergraduate assistants.

Simon Fraser University, Teaching Assistant:

  • Conservation Biology (SFU) Winter 2010
  • Intro Biology (SFU) Winter 2011

University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program, Field Biology Techinician, Summer 2007:

Working for the UW school of fisheries during the summer of 2007 I gained valuable skills in conducting field based fisheries research, as well as working and living in remote field camps

University of Washington Molecular Ecology Research Lab, Research Assistant in, June 2008 – June 2009:

Through this position I gained experience in lab based molecular genetics methods, data management, parentage analysis and population genetics. Through this work, and through participation in writing and analysis I contributed to research on salmon recolonization in the Cedar River, Washington, above Landsburg Dam.


The Osprey: Conservation Journal of Wild Salmonids.

  • Editorial Committee: 2007 – Present
  • Chair: Fall 2009 – Present

Wild Steelhead Coalition Science and Policy Committee. 2011 – Present

Bella Bella Community School 6th and 9th Grade Class Visit. October 2012. Learning about salmon biology and conservation.



Atlas, W.I., and W.J. Palen. 2014. Prey vulnerability limits top-down control and alters reciprocal feedbacks in a subsidized model food web. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85830. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085830

Atlas, W.I, W.J. Palen, D.M. Courcelles, R.G. Munshaw, Z.L. Monteith. Dependence of stream predators on terrestrial prey fluxes: food web responses to subsidized predation. 2013. Ecosphere 4(6).

Munshaw, R.G., W.I. Atlas, W.J. Palen, D.M. Courcelles, and Z.L. Monteith. 2014. Correlates and consequences of injury in a large, predatory stream salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus). Amphibia Reptilia. In Press.

Anderson, J.H., P.L. Faulds, W.I. Atlas, and T.P. Quinn. 2013. Reproductive success of captively bred and naturally spawned Chinook salmon colonizing newly accessible habitat. Evolutionary Applications 6: 165-179.

Anderson, J.H., G.R. Pess, P.M. Kiffney, T.R. Bennett, P.L. Faulds, W.I. Atlas, and T.P. Quinn. 2013. Dispersal and tributary immigration by juvenile coho salmon during contribute to spatial expansion during colonisation. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 22: 30-42.

Lagasse, C. R., W. Ou, L. D. Honka, W. I. Atlas and M. D. Hocking. 2013. Building social and ecological resilience through community-based stream monitoring in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Ecology and Society, in review.

Anderson, J.H., P. Faulds, W.I. Atlas, G.R. Pess, and T.P. Quinn. 2010. Selection on breeding date and body size in colonizing coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. Molecular Ecology 19: 2562-2573.


Atlas, W.I. Qqs Salmon Program 2013 Annual Report: Preliminary Findings and Future Directions. Submitted to Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department, January 2014.


Atlas, W.I. Undoubtedly, Spring. The Fly Fish Journal. Vol. 4, Issue 3. 2013.

Atlas, W.I, Simms, R., Beardslee, K., and Soverel, P. Elwha River salmon, steelhead better off without hatcheries. The Crosscut. August 2nd 2011.

Atlas, W.I., Beardslee, K., and Simms, R. Restore the Elwha Without Hatchery Fish. Seattle Times Opinion and Editorial. July 12th 2011.

Atlas, W.I. 2010. WDFW’s Kalama River Broodstock Research Program: Exploring reproductive success in a wild first generation stock of summer steelhead. The Osprey, Conservation Journal of Wild Salmonids, vol. 65.

Atlas, W.I. and K. Rabnett. 2012. Skeena Sockeye Pushed Toward a Minefield. The Osprey: Conservation Journal of Wild Salmonids, vol. 73.


The Osprey Blog.


Director/Producer, Sitting on Water: A Season on the Koeye River.


Marine survival and spatial scaling of density-dependence, consequences for freshwater productivity in steelhead. IDEAS 2013.

Resource subsidies, top predators, and community regulation in stream ecosystems. MSc defence, April 2012.

The influence of terrestrial resource subsidies on the top-down effects of multiple predators in a freshwater community. ESA Annual Meeting. Austin Texas, August 5-12, 2011.

The role of terrestrial subsidies and multiple predators in stream foodwebs. IDEAS 2011.

Northern Pike (Esox lucius) feeding ecology: Invertivory and its implications on jaw morphology and growth. Pacific Evolution and Ecology Conference. March 2010.

Funded Proposals

Rebuilding fisheries science in the largest sockeye salmon lake in Canada: lake Babine smolt fence. The Northern Fund, Fall 2012. Contributor. ~$100,00

Building capacity for freshwater stewardship: a traditional fish weir in the Koeye Conservancy of the Great Bear Rainforest. The Vancouver Foundation, Fall 2012. ~ $30,000.

Building Capacity for Salmon Stewardship in the Great Bear Rainforest:Koeye River Traditional Fish Weir. Pacific Salmon Foundation: Community Salmon Program, February 2013. ~ $15,250

Koeye River Fish Weir Project. McLean Foundation, Spring 2013. ~ $5,000

Relevant Skills

· Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT-1)

· Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP)

· Field identification of juvenile and adult salmonids

· Fish population surveys:

– Enumeration via snorkel survey

– Redd identification and enumeration

– Safe operation of backpack electroshocker

· Fish handling: anesthetization, gastric lavage for diet analysis, tissue sampling and surgical implantation of PIT tags.

· Mark recapture study design and implementation

· Experimental design and survey design.

· Data management, organization and analysis in Excel

· Use of R for statistical analysis, data visualization, and simulation

· Population and mixed effects modeling

· Isotopic analysis

· Stream habitat surveys


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