OFI committees ensure the decisions made — and resources used — are aligned with public interest and that OFI funding which is contributed by government, industry and institutional partners, is prudently used to establish a world-leading, and collaborative, research institution. 

Executive Council

This group stewards OFI on behalf of Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Prince Edward Island. Members of the Executive Council provide institutional oversight, financial accountability and direction to the scientific and management affairs of OFI.

The Chair of the Executive Council is Alice Aiken, Vice President, Research, Dalhousie University.

Members are:

  • Mark Abrahams, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dean of Science 
  • Glenn Blackwood, Memorial University, Vice-President, Marine Institute
  • Neil Bose, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Vice-President (Research)
  • Chris Moore, Dalhousie University, Dean, Faculty of Science
  • Ian Nason, Dalhousie University, Vice President, Finance & Administration
  • John Newhook, Dalhousie University, Dean of Engineering 
  • Paul Snelgrove, OFI Associate Scientific Director
  • Kim Thomson, OFI Chief Administrative Officer 
  • Anya Waite, OFI Scientific Director 
  • Wendy Watson-Wright, OFI Chief Executive Officer

Management Committee

This team of people ensures OFI, and the projects and programs it undertakes, are managed in accordance with Canada First Research Excellence Fund guidelines.

The Chair is Wendy Watson-Wright, OFI CEO.

Members are:

  • Jonathan Fisher, Research Scientist, Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Larry Hammell, Dean (interim), UPEI Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research
  • Nancy Hayter, Dalhousie University, Executive Director, Research Services 
  • Julie Rideout, OFI Manager of Operations
  • Paul Snelgrove, OFI Associate Scientific Director
  • Kim Thomson, OFI Chief Administrative Officer 
  • Anya Waite, OFI Scientific Director 

Scientific Committee

This committee provides general oversight to the planning and coordination of research projects, including the allocation of research funding.

The chair is Anya Waite, OFI Scientific Director

Members are:

  • Brad de Young, Memorial University
  • Katja Fennel, Dalhousie University
  • Ian Fleming, Memorial University   
  • Paul Hill, Dalhousie University
  • Barbara Neis, Memorial University
  • Daniel Ruzzante, Dalhousie University
  • Paul Snelgrove, Memorial University

Excellence, Impact and Engagement Committee

The Excellence, Impact and Engagement Committee (EIEC) provides guidance on OFI’s research focus, reviews annual progress reports and funding allocation, project development and strategic direction. The EIEC also ensures mechanisms are in place to exceed expectations for mid-term funding renewal.

The chair is Geoff Munro, Owner, Trestle Networks Inc. 

Members are:

  • Heide Hackmann, Executive Director, the International Council for Science (ICSU)
  • Nancy Hamzawi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology at Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Jim Hanlon, CEO, Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise
  • Ray Gosine, Memorial University, Associate Vice-President (Research)
  • Karin Lochte, Director, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre
  • Arran McPherson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ecosystems and Oceans Science, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Kathy Sullivan, Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute and Ambassador at Large, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum 

International Scientific Advisory Committee

Advises the Management Committee on scientific excellence, strategic focus and alignment of research projects with the mission, goals and deliverables with the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

The chair is Jake Rice, former Chief Scientist for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans:

Members are:

  • Malcolm Beveridge, Head of aquaculture, UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome
  • Frank Glöckner, Head of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Oliver Glöckner, Head of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and Professor of Bioinformatics at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • Eileen Hofmann, Professor of Oceanography at Old Dominion University
  • Bonnie McCay, Distinguished Service Professor, Emerita, at Rutgers University
  • Katherine Richardson, Professor, Biological Oceanography and Vice Dean of Science at the University of Copenhagen 
  • Oscar Schofield, Professor, Biological Oceanography at Rutgers University 

Learn more about the International Scientific Advisory committee by reading their biographies

Innovation and Commercialization Committee 

This Committee is responsible for advising on progress towards meeting annual, mid-term and seven-year targets set for innovation and commercialization, and for promoting, developing and facilitating commercialization arising from OFI’s proposed innovation deliverables.

Chair: Kim Thomson, OFI's Chief Administrative Officer


  • Bruce Batson, OFI Industry Partnership Manager 
  • Carey Bonnell, Ocean Choice
  • Amy Brookman, Vemco Stephen Hartlen, Dalhousie University 
  • Kevin Dunn, Deep Sense 
  • Calvin Gosse, IBM Sarah Simpson, Irving
  • Jim Hanlon, COVE 
  • Susan Hunt, Ocean Supercluster
  • Paula Mendonca, Memorial University, Technology Transfer & Commercialization Office
  • Justin Moores, UPEI's Synapse Applied Research & Industry Services
  • Michelle Simms, Genesis