Dr. Robyn Irvine



Dr. Robyn Irvine R.P.Bio. is a conservation biologist specializing in issues of detecting and mitigating impacts of disturbance on ecological populations and ecosystems.


Robyn has an honours degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Guelph and a Ph.D. in Statistical Ecology from the University of Calgary. Her doctoral work focused on the detection of disturbance at the ecosystem level and merged quantitative contexts from population and ecosystem ecology to answer theoretical questions in an applied setting. Her doctoral thesis co-supervisors were Dr. Elizabeth Crone Tufts University and Dr. Leland Jackson University of Calgary.


Dr. Irvine co-created Poisson Consulting as a director in 2007 and has worked as a technical specialist, project manager and field lead on projects of varied complexity and scope for First Nations, NGOs, government and the private sector.
Dr. Irvine worked for four years as a statistical ecologist for Golder Associates from 2004 to 2008. From 2015-2017, Dr. Irvine is on partial leave from Poisson in order to manage the Conservation and Restoration projects for Parks Canada Agency in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage Site.


Robyn is an experienced project manager with a diverse portfolio of projects up to a value of $3 million completed successfully under her management. She is an experienced R programmer and statistical ecologist by training who can assist clients directly with study design and she specializes in translating highly technical modelling results so they are intelligible and usable by managers. Robyn is a widely experienced technical writer and reviewer. Since 2012, she has worked on behalf of First Nations clients to provide expert technical review on pending or changing developments in their traditional territories in the area of aquatic and fisheries ecology. Reviews have a particular emphasis on the means by which we can improve how we detect changes in the environment and incorporate Traditional Knowledge and Use into the assessment of impacts and have been commissioned by her colleagues at MSES and Firelight.


Dr. Irvine is also a seasoned field biologist with expertise in general field biology techniques, juvenile fish stranding,salmonid snorkel and electrofishing surveys and spawner and redd counts and invertebrate and periphyton studies. She has her boating certifications (SVOP, MEDA3, PCOC) and extensive experience in marine and freshwater settings.

Selected Publications

Robyn’s publications include over six peer-reviewed journal articles and 50 professional reports.

Irvine, R.L. 2011. “Beaver River Projects: Nutrient Addition Feasibility Study.” Nelson, B.C.: For Selkirk Power Company Ltd.

Irvine, R.L., J.T.A. Baxter, and J.L. Thorley. 2015. “Lower Columbia River Rainbow Trout Spawning Assessment: Year 7 (2014 Study Period).” A Mountain Water Research and Poisson Consulting Ltd. Report. Castlegar, B.C.: BC Hydro. http://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/environment-sustainability/water-use-planning/southern-interior/clbmon-46-yr7-2015-02-04.pdf.

Irvine, R. L., J. L. Thorley, R. Westcott, D. Schmidt, and D. DeRosa. 2014. “Why Do Fish Strand? An Analysis of Ten Years of Flow Reduction Monitoring Data from the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, Canada.” River Research and Applications, August, n/a–n/a. https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.2823.

Irvine, Robyn L., and Leland J. Jackson. 2006. “Spatial Variance of Nutrient Limitation of Periphyton in Montane, Headwater Streams (McLeod River, Alberta, Canada).” Aquatic Ecology 40 (3): 337–48. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10452-006-9036-4.

Irvine, Robyn L., Trevor Oussoren, James S. Baxter, and Dana C. Schmidt. 2009. “The Effects of Flow Reduction Rates on Fish Stranding in British Columbia, Canada.” River Research and Applications 25 (4): 405–15. https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.1172.

Irvine, Robyn L., Dana C. Schmidt, and Larry R. Hildebrand. 2007. “Population Status of White Sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River Within Canada.” Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136 (6): 1472–9. https://doi.org/10.1577/T06-190.1.

LaMontagne, Jalene M., Robyn L. Irvine, and Elizabeth E. Crone. 2002. “Spatial Patterns of Population Regulation in Sage Grouse (Centrocercus Spp.) Population Viability Analysis.” Journal of Animal Ecology 71 (4): 672–82. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2002.00629.x.

Thorley, J.L., R.L. Irvine, J.T.A. Baxter, L. Porto, and C. Lawrence. 2012. “DDMMON-2: Lower Duncan River Habitat Use Monitoring: Year 3 (Final Report).” An AMEC Earth & Environmental Ltd. Report VE51873-2010. Castlegar, BC: BC Hydro. https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/environment-sustainability/water-use-planning/southern-interior/ddmmon-2-lower-duncan-river-fish-habitat-use-monitoring-september-2012.pdf.