Samantha Wilson


Thesis Title: Energetics and behaviour of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) during migration from coastal waters to inland natal spawning sites in British Columbia

Sockeye salmon face a myriad of anthropogenic and natural obstacles throughout their final coastal and freshwater migrations, including increased water temperatures, decreased water quality, and a variety of natural predators. Coping with these obstacles, apart from inducing physiological stress and, in some instances injury, also depletes energy resources. Over the last 15 years several bioenergetic models have been proposed, each based on data collected from electromyogram (EMG) telemetry and data loggers used in the Fraser River. While both techniques have been widely used in literature, the development of new technology in the form of tri-axial acoustic accelerometers has enabled the study of sockeye salmon through the entirety of their coastal and freshwater migration. The aim of my study is to increase the understanding of the energy budget of adult sockeye salmon on an entire migration scale as well as study the links between endogenous factors (e.g. initial energy, physio state, gender) and environment (e.g. temperature, salinity, travel speed, lake use) on energy use.


2011 – B.Sc. Honours in Biochemistry with COOP option from Carleton University (Ottawa, ON)
Undergraduate Thesis: Oxidative stress associated with paternal care in smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) supervised by Dr. William Willmore and Dr. Steven Cooke

Lab Publications (12)

  • Wilson, S.M., S.G. Hinch, D.A. Patterson, E.J. Eliason and S.J. Cooke. 2022.  Estimating adult Pacific salmon energy use in coastal British Columbia and the Fraser River estuary with acoustic accelerometer transmitters. Estuaries and Coasts.

  • Roche, D.G., M. Granados, C.C. Austin, S. Wilson, G.M. Mitchell, P.A. Smith, S.J. Cooke and J.R. Bennett. 2020. Open government data and environmental science: A Federal Canadian perspective. FACETS Journal. 5:942-962.

  • Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Cover Image

    Taylor, J.J., N.M. Sopinka, S.M. Wilson, S.G. Hinch, D.A. Patterson, S.J. Cooke and W.G. Willmore. 2016. Examining the relationships between egg cortisol and oxidative stress in developing wild sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka).  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. 200:87-93.

  • Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Cover Image

    Binder, T.R., C.M. O’Connor, S.H. McConnachie, S.M. Wilson, M.A. Nannini, D.H. Wahl and S.J. Cooke. 2015. Is winter worse for stressed fish? The consequences of exogenous cortisol manipulation on over-winter survival and condition of juvenile largemouth bass. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. 187:97-102.


  • Raby, G.D., S.M. Wilson, D.A. Patterson, S.G. Hinch, T.D. Clark, A.P. Farrell and S.J. Cooke. 2015. A physiological comparison of three techniques for reviving sockeye salmon exposed to a severe capture stressor during upriver migration. Conservation Physiology. 3(1):cov015.

See All 12 Publications by Samantha Wilson