Erika Eliason

AlumniPost Doctoral Fellows - Alumni  (2015)

Please note that Erika Eliason is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her lab website is:

My research examines the basic physiological processes that allow fish to thrive in their environment. I examine the integrated physiological mechanisms that allow fish to exercise, digest and reproduce. I am especially interested in how fish populations are physiologically adapted to their local environment.

Another aspect of my research examines the physiological basis for thermal tolerance. Accumulating evidence suggests that thermal tolerance is set by cardiac function in many species of ectotherms and may be a key limiting factor regulating species distribution globally. My research examines how cardiac function sets thermal limits.

I use an integrative approach to examine questions across all levels of biological organization (population, whole animal, organ, cellular to genome-level) using a variety of techniques (e.g., biotelemetry, respirometry, surgical intervention, blood gas measurements, plasma chemistry, microscopy, enzyme assays, qRT-PCR, microarrays).


2014 – Present: NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON
2012–13:   NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia
2011–12:   Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
2006–11:   Ph.D. in Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
2003–06:  M.Sc. in Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
1998–03:   B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Lab Publications (5)

  • Reid, A.J., A.K. Carlson, I.F. Creed, E.J. Eliason, P.A. Gell, P.T.J. Johnson, K.A. Kidd, T.J. MacCormack, J.D. Olden, S.J. Ormerod, J.P. Smol, W.W. Taylor, K. Tockner, J.C. Vermaire, D. Dudgeon and S.J. Cooke.  In Press.  Emerging threats and persistent conservation challenges for freshwater biodiversity.  Biological Reviews.  00:000-000.

  • Lennox RJ, Eliason EJ, Havn TB, Johansen MR, Thorstad EB, Cooke SJ, Diserud OH, Whoriskey FG, Farrell AP, and Uglem I. In Press. Bioenergetic consequences of warming rivers to adult Atlantic salmon during their spawning migration. Freshwater Biology 00:000-000.

  • Szekeres, P., E.J. Eliason, D. Lapointe, M.R. Donaldson, J.W. Brownscombe and S.J. Cooke. 2016. On the neglected cold side of climate change and its implications for fish. Climate Research. 69:239-245.

  • Fisheries Cover Image

    Whitney, J.E., R. Al-Chokhachy, D.B. Bunnell, C.A. Caldwell, S.J. Cooke, E.J. Eliason, M. Rogers, A. Lynch and C. Paukert. 2016. Physiological basis of climate change impacts on North American inland fishes. Fisheries. 41:7, 332-345.

  • Gale, M.K., S.G. Hinch, S.J. Cooke, M.R. Donaldson, E.J. Eliason, K.M. Jeffries, E.G. Martins and D.A. Patterson.  2014.  Observable impairments predict mortality of captured and released sockeye salmon at various temperatures.  Conservation Physiology DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cou029

Other Publications

Eliason, E.J., A.P. Farrell. 2014. Effect of hypoxia on specific dynamic action and postprandial cardiovascular physiology in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A in press

Antilla, K., E.J. Eliason, K.H. Kaukinen, K.M. Miller, A.P. Farrell. 2014. Facing warm temperatures during migration –   cardiac mRNA responses of two adult sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka populations to warming and swimming challenges. Journal of Fish Biology in press

Eliason, E.J., T.D. Clark, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2013. Cardiorespiratory performance and blood chemistry during swimming and recovery in different populations of adult sockeye salmon. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 166: 385-397

Eliason, E.J., T.D. Clark, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2013. Cardiorespiratory collapse at high temperature in swimming adult sockeye salmon. Conservation Physiology 1: doi:10.1093/conphys/cot008

Eliason, E.J., S.M. Wilson, A.P. Farrell, S.J. Cooke, S.G. Hinch. 2013. Low cardiac and aerobic scope in a coastal population of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka with a short upriver migration. Journal of Fish Biology 82: 2104-2112

Wilson, S.M., S.G. Hinch, E.J. Eliason, A.P. Farrell, S.J. Cooke. 2012. Calibrating acoustic acceleration transmitters for estimating energy use by wild adult Pacific salmon. Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry A 164: 491-498

Jeffries, K.J., S.G. Hinch, T. Sierocinski, T.D. Clark, E.J. Eliason, M. Donaldson, S. Li, P. Pavlidis, K. Miller. 2012. Consequences of high temperatures and premature mortality on the transcriptome and blood physiology of wild adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). Ecology and Evolution 2: 1747-1764

Cooke, S.J., S.G. Hinch, M.R. Donaldson, T.D. Clark, E.J. Eliason, G.T. Crossin, G.D. Raby, K.M. Jeffries, M. Lapointe, K. Miller, D.A. Patterson, A.P. Farrell. 2012. Conservation physiology in practice: How physiological knowledge has improved our ability to sustainably manage Pacific salmon during up-river migration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. 367: 1757-1769

Gale, M.K., S.G. Hinch, E.J. Eliason, S.J. Cooke, D.A. Patterson. 2011. Physiological impairment of adult sockeye salmon in fresh water after simulated capture-and-release across a range of temperatures. Fisheries Research 112: 85-95

Eliason, E.J., T.D. Clark, M.J. Hague, L.M. Hanson, Z.S. Gallagher, K.M. Jeffries, M.K. Gale, D.A. Patterson, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2011. Differences in thermal tolerance among sockeye salmon populations. Science 332: 109-112

Eliason, E.J., B. Djordjevic, S. Trattner, J. Pickova, A. Karlsson, A.P. Farrell, A. Kiessling. 2010. The effect of hepatic passage on postprandial plasma lipid profile of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) after a single meal.  Aquaculture Nutrition 16: 536-543

Farrell, A.P., E.J. Eliason, E. Sandblom, T.D. Clark. 2009. Fish cardiorespiratory physiology in an era of climate change. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87: 835-851

Clark, T. D., E.J. Eliason, E. Sandblom, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2008. Calibration of a hand-held haemoglobin analyser for use on fish blood. Journal of Fish Biology 73: 2587-2595

Eliason, E.J., D.A. Higgs, A.P. Farrell. 2008. Postprandial gastrointestinal blood flow, oxygen consumption and heart rate in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 149: 380-388

Steinhausen, M. F., E. Sandblom, E.J. Eliason, C.V. Verhille, A. P. Farrell. 2008. The effect of acute temperature increases on the cardiorespiratory performance of resting and swimming sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 3915-3926

Eliason, E.J., D.A. Higgs, A.P. Farrell. 2007. Effect of isoenergetic diets with different protein and lipid content on the growth performance and heat increment of rainbow trout. Aquaculture 272: 723-736

Eliason, E.J., A. Kiessling, A. Karlsson, B. Djordjevic, A.P. Farrell. 2007. Validation of the hepatic portal vein cannulation technique using Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. Journal of Fish Biology 71: 290-297

Karlsson, A., E.J. Eliason, L.T. Mydland, A.P. Farrell, A. Kiessling. 2006. Postprandial changes in plasma free amino acid levels obtained simultaneously from the hepatic portal vein and the dorsal aorta in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Journal of Experimental Biology 209: 4885-4894