Aaron Tamminga

Systems Ecologist

Key skills: Fluvial geomorphology, ecohydraulics, spatial data analysis and modelling, remote sensing, assessment of watershed cumulative effects, research and technical writing, programming in R, data visualization, numerical modelling of hydrodynamics and sediment transport.

Aaron’s work focuses on the interface between physical and biological processes in aquatic ecosystems. He is interested in data-driven assessments of river dynamics and how watersheds respond to environmental and land-use changes. Building off a broad background in physical geography and environmental science, Aaron is enthusiastic about the interdisciplinary nature of complex environmental management problems and strives to leverage his quantitative skills, knowledge of ecological processes, and strong systems mindset to put analytical results in context and provide interpretation that supports informed decision making.

Aaron holds a B.Sc. in Earth Systems Science from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) and a Ph.D. in Fluvial Geomorphology from University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia). During his graduate studies, Aaron focused on the geomorphic and aquatic habitat effects of large flood events on streams in the Canadian Rockies. This research involved integrating field work, drone-based remote sensing, and numerical modelling to evaluate how changes to a river’s structure affect hydraulics and in-stream habitat. Aaron was also involved in a breadth of projects as a member of the NSERC HydroNet research network, which allowed him to work alongside academic, government, and industry partners in support of sustainable hydropower on rivers across Canada. After his Ph.D., Aaron joined BC Hydro for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow, developing tools to apply multi-scale remote sensing to characterize the hydrogeomorphology of Peace River, British Columbia for long-term fish and aquatic habitat monitoring.

Aaron’s time in consulting has allowed him to build on his geomorphology specialization and expand into a range of applied environmental assessment and monitoring projects. He has taken a leading role in watershed assessments in support of fish conservation and forest management in coastal and northern British Columbia, working closely with Indigenous groups to assess cumulative effects to aquatic systems from land-use change, natural disturbance, and climate change. Other projects have included technical assessment of sturgeon spawning enhancement opportunities on Columbia River, monitoring of geomorphic and habitat impacts from small run-of-river hydropower projects, reconstruction of forest harvest histories in relation to salmon population dynamics, assessments of fish stranding risk on regulated rivers, and spatial analyses of watershed pressures to support prioritization of fish habitat restoration actions. Aaron excels at synthesizing complex data sources and bridging gaps between analytical and conceptual project dimensions, and enjoys disseminating his work with strong technical writing and creative applications of interactive data visualization.

Outside of work, Aaron enjoys cooking/baking, gardening, running, cycling, and racquet sports.

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