Photo of Steven Cooke

Steven Cooke

Professor, Former Canada Research Chair

Degrees:B.ES. (Waterloo), M.Sc. (Waterloo), Ph.D. (Illinois)
Phone:613 867 6711
Office:Office: CTTC 4440
Website:Visit my lab website


Cooke has diverse interests in integrative biology, conservation science, and natural resource management.  His work spans the natural and social sciences with a particular focus on developing solutions to problems facing fish and other aquatic organisms.  Specific projects of late have focused on issues and topics such as fish migration, fish-hydropower interactions, the sustainability of recreational fisheries, aquatic habitat restoration, the movement ecology of fish, the ecology of stress in wild fish, and winter biology.  He has also been deeply involved with defining the new discipline of “conservation physiology” – a field dedicated to understanding the mechanisms underlying conservation problems.  He has much experience working with practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders to co-create usable knowledge.  Cooke founded the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and is working with diverse partners to build capacity for evidence synthesis in his various roles in the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence.  He has published more than 700 peer reviewed papers on topics such as conservation science, knowledge mobilization and enabling interdisciplinarity but recognizes that bi-directional knowledge exchange with potential knowledge users is even more rewarding.  Cooke is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and is Secretary of the College of the Royal Society of Canada.

Selected Publications

Cooke, S.J.  In Press.  From frustration to fruition in applied conservation research and practice: ten revelations. Socio-Ecological Practice Research. 00:000-000.

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.  2018.  Emerging threats and persistent conservation challenges for freshwater biodiversity.  Biological Reviews.  DOI 10.1111/brv.12480.

Cooke, S.J., A.M. Rous, L.A. Donaldson, J.J. Taylor, T. Rytwinski, K.A. Prior, K.E. Smokorowski and J.R. Bennett.  2018.  Evidence-based restoration in the Anthropocene – From acting with purpose to acting for impact.  Restoration Ecology. 26(2):201-205.

Lennox RJ, Eliason EJ, Havn TB, Johansen MR, Thorstad EB, Cooke SJ, Diserud OH, Whoriskey FG, Farrell AP, and Uglem I. 2018. Bioenergetic consequences of warming rivers to adult Atlantic salmon during their spawning migration. Freshwater Biology 63: 1381-1393.

Bower, S.D., Brownscombe, J.W., Birnie-Gauvin, K., Ford, M., Moraga, A.D., Pusiak, R.J.P., Turenne, E., Zolderdo, A.J., Cooke, S.J., and J.R. Bennett. 2018. Making tough choices: Picking the appropriate conservation decision-making tool. Conservation Letters. 11(2):1-7.