Our Scientists

Joanna Smith

Joanna Smith

Marine Spatial Planning Science Manager, TNC Canada, Global Oceans

Joanna Smith is the Marine Spatial Planning Science Manager for TNC Canada, providing leadership for ocean use planning with the Global Oceans Team. Jo develops science-based marine plans with TNC’s country or regional programs and provides leadership to improve best practices and skills for practitioners. Previously, from 2011-2014, she was the Science Coordinator to the Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP) in British Columbia, a multi-objective planning process co-led by the Province of BC and 18 First Nations. From 2008-2011, Joanna worked as a marine ecologist and science supervisor in TNC’s Washington Chapter, Seattle, WA, leading the science to support marine planning work on the Washington coast and numerous conservation projects including a Northeast Pacific Marine Ecoregional Assessment. Prior to this, from 1995-2008, she was a private consultant with Birdsmith Ecological Research, a company she founded for research, conservation, and education.

With more than 15 years of experience in natural resource management in several countries, Joanna’s work at TNC Canada and Global Oceans Team includes partnering with all levels of government and collaborating with scientists, marine industries, and communities to develop or implement marine plans in Canada, US and around the world. Jo focuses on creating strong linkages between science, policy, economics, and culture to develop recommendations for decision makers and is consulted for advice from national governments, non-governmental organisations, First Nations, industry, managers, and scientists.

Jo received a Ph.D. in fisheries and aquatic sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle and Masters at University of Victoria, British Columbia. She is adjunct faculty at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia and lectures occasionally at colleges and universities. Jo has authored peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and technical reports on multiple topics including seabird ecology, fisheries bycatch, marine protected areas, and island restoration. She currently serves on science advisory committees for the SeaDoc Society and Laskeek Bay Conservation Society, and is on the Executive Council for Pacific Seabird Group. Joanna is a collaborator with Open Channels.

Download Joanna's CV



Vander Schaff, D., K. Popper, D. Kelly, J. Smith and J. White. 2013. Pacific Northwest Marine Ecoregional Assessment. The Nature Conservancy. Portland, OR.


Agostini, V, M. Anderson, C. Burns, P. Doran, J. Fargione, C. Groves, L. Hanners, J. Hoekstra, R. Marshall, S. Morrison, S. Palmer, D. Shaw, J. Smith, and J. Ward. 2011. Stepping up to the Challenge: A concept paper on whole system conservation. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder CO.

Smith, J.L., C.P.H. Mulder and J.C. Ellis. 2011. Seabirds as Ecosystem Engineers: Nutrient Inputs and Physical Disturbance. In: Seabird Islands: Ecology, Invasion, and Restoration (Eds. W.B. Anderson, P.J. Bellingham, C.P. Mulder, and D.R. Towns). Oxford University Press.


Smith, J.L., N.R. Parker, K.H. Morgan, L.K. Blight, M.J. Chutter, P.J. Hodum, T. Mawani and D. C. Cunnington. 2007. Recovery Strategy for the Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) and Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) in Canada [Draft]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. 52 pp.


Gaston, A.J., S.A. Stockton and J.L. Smith. 2006. Species-area relationships and the impact of deer-browse in the complex phytogeography of the Haida Gwaii archipelago (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia. Ecoscience. 13(4): 511-522.

Blight, L.K., J.L. Smith and J.M. Cooper. 2006. COSEWIC Status Report on black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 71 pp.

Stockton, S.A., Bobechko, L., I. Buttler and J.L. Smith. 2006. Menzies' pipsissewa Chimaphila menziesii: a widespread but previously overlooked species on Haida Gwaii. Canadian Field Naturalist.

Smith, J.L. and N. Parker. 2006. Draft Recovery Strategy for short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) and pink- footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) in Pacific Canadian waters. Vancouver: Environment Canada, 31 pp.

Smith, J.L. 2006. A Closer Look: Invasive Species on the Queen Charlotte Islands. In: Boersma, P. D., S. H. Reichard, and A. N. Van Buren (Eds.). Invasive Species in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Pp. xxi-xxiv.


Smith, J.L. and K.H. Morgan. 2005. A review of seabird bycatch in the longline and net fisheries in British Columbia, 1995-2002. Technical Report Series No. 401, Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific and Yukon Region. 51 pp.


Wiese, F. and J.L. Smith. 2003. Mortality estimates and population effects of Canada's Pacific longline fisheries on black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes): national and international implications. In: DFO-CWS National Working Group [Eds.]. Status report and future directions towards the development of a National Plan of Action for the reduction of incidental catch of seabirds in domestic and foreign longline fisheries in Canadian waters. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences No. 2471: 23-50.

Smith, J.L. and K.D. Hyrenbach. 2003. Galapagos Islands to British Columbia: seabird communities along a 9,000 km transect from the tropical to the subarctic eastern Pacific Ocean. Marine Ornithology. 31:155-166.


Gaston, A.J. and J.L. Smith. 2001. Changes in oceanographic conditions off northern British Columbia (1983 - 1999) and the reproduction of a marine bird, the Ancient Murrelet (Synthliboramphus antiquus). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 79:1735-1742.

Joanna Smith

Marine Spatial Planning Science Manager, TNC Canada, Global Oceans


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.