The Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) was established in September 2016 through a partnership led by Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Prince Edward Island.

An international hub for ocean science, OFI brings together scientists and other experts from both sides of the Northwest Atlantic to harness the vast potential of the ocean by delivering transformative research.  

Research benefits

OFI research will help improve prediction and mitigation of major storms, help manage human activities as they relate to ocean resources, improve the fishing industry and aquaculture's potential to meet global seafood demand, strengthen marine safety and transform how we monitor the ocean with new data capture and IT tools. The research has two themes: 

  • Changes — research examines key aspects of atmosphere-ocean interaction and shifting ecosystems 
  • Solutions — focuses on effective approaches to resource development that are globally competitive, societally acceptable and resilient to change

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OFI research priorities

Geographic focus

OFI research focuses on the Northwest Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway, which includes the Labrador Sea and eastern portions of the straits of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The region's unique physical, chemical and biological processes make it an epicentre of international scientific interest and a predictor for the global ocean. Its deep overturning circulation results in the most intense carbon sequestration on the planet. It has a highly productive marine ecosystem and air-sea interactions that modulate the weather and climate of North America and Europe. Diminished ice cover has increased shipping in the Canadian Arctic, raising sovereignty, security, social and environmental issues.  


The ocean’s changing, and much of what’s happening is still a mystery. We know more about the moon than we do about the ocean. Yet, we depend on the ocean for our very survival and well-being:
  • 49 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • 71% of Earth’s surface covered by the ocean
  • About half of the atmospheric carbon emitted by humans is absorbed by the ocean
  • 90% of goods shipped by sea, 5% of global GDP
  • In Canada: 300,000 jobs and $6.6 billion in seafood exports per year. 

Communications is the secret to science success   
Dr. Brett Favaro of Memorial University of Newfoundland wants to share a secret: he knows that scientists who communicate their ideas effectively are more likely to succeed. So this OFI researcher is taking steps to strengthen the communications skills of his students. 
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