Mimi Elizabeth Lam's picture

Mimi Elizabeth Lam

Postdoctoral fellow, Marie Curie Fellow
  • E-mailMimi.Lam@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 26 14
  • Visitor Address
    Parkveien 9
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 BERGEN


I am a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Bergen, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities. I am also an University of British Columbia Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Policy and Ecosystem Restoration in Fisheries Research Unit and an Associate of the Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture. I am also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico, Department of Biology, and a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program.


Applying analytical insights from theoretical chemistry and physics, I study the complex interactions governing the structure and dynamics of coupled human and natural or social-ecological systems. I examine human values, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours as they relate to biophysical and socio-cultural environments, both to gain insights today and of our evolutionary past, but also to inform individual, community, and societal decision-making for a sustainable and just future. I investigate three interdisciplinary and overlapping themes within the human dimensions of fisheries and aquaculture:

  1. Seafood ethics and sustainability along the integrated seafood value chain and its relation to food security;
  2. Marine policy and governance, particularly analysis of rights and duties from socio-cultural, ethical, and institutional perspectives; and
  3. Participatory research and community engagement at the marine science-policy interface using a post-normal science approach.

I serve on the editorial board of the international journal Food Ethics. Previously, I have served on both community and academic organizations, locally and internationally, including the Gwaii Haanas Advisory Committee and the Advisory Councils of the Institute for Environmental Learning and the NSF Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, and e-Learning project. For the Ecological Society of America (ESA), I was an elected Member-at-Large on the Governing Board (2011-2013), the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section Chair (2008-2011), and profiled in the ESA Focus on Ecologists series for my efforts to enhance diversity in ecology.

Journal articles
  • Surma, Szymon; Pitcher, Tony J.; Kumar, Rajeev; Varkey, Divya; Pakhomov, Evgeny A; Lam, Mimi Elizabeth. 2018. Herring supports Northeast Pacific predators and fisheries: Insights from ecosystem modelling and management strategy evaluation. PLoS ONE. 13. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196307

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)


Lam, M. E. 2016. The Ethics and Sustainability of Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29(1):35-65 (invited, Special Issue of selected papers from the 11th EurSafe Congress).

Lam, M. E. 2015. Aboriginal Freshwater Fisheries as Resilient Social-Ecological Systems, Pages 422-437 in: Freshwater Fisheries Ecology, J. F. Craig, ed. (invited). Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK.

Lam, M. E. 2015. Reconciling Haida Ethics with Pacific Herring Management, Pages 169-175 in Know Your Food: Food Ethics and Innovation. Proceedings from the 12th EurSafe Congress, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 28 – 30 May 2015. D. E. Dumitras, I. M. Jitea, and S. Aerts (eds). Wageningen Academic Publishers: Wageningen, The Netherlands. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-813-1_25.

Pitcher, T. J. and M. E. Lam. 2015. Fish Commoditization and the Historical Origins of Catching Fish for Profit, Maritime Studies (MAST) 14(1):1-19.

Lam, M. E. 2014. Building Ecoliteracy with Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Do, Listen, and Learn, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12(4):250-251 (invited submission to Special Issue: Eco-literacy: Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships of Ecologists in the 21st Century).

Lam, M. E. 2013. Comparing the Ethics of Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture, Pages 305-312 in The Ethics of Consumption: The Citizen, The Market, and The Law. Proceedings from the 11th EurSafe Congress, Uppsala, Sweden, 11 – 14 September 2013. H. Röcklinsberg and P. Sandin (eds). Wageningen Academic Publishers: The Netherlands.

Pitcher, T. J., M. E. Lam, C. Ainsworth, A. Martindale, K. Nakamura, R. I. Perry, T. Ward. 2013. Improvements to the ‘Rapfish’ Rapid Evaluation Technique for Fisheries: Integrating Ecological and Human Dimensions. Journal of Fish Biology 83(4):865-889 (invited submission to Special Issue: Selected Papers from the Sixth World Fisheries Congress).

Lam, M. E. and M. E. Calcari Campbell. 2012. The Privilege to Fish, Ecology and Society 17(4):19, http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04156-170419.

Lam, M. E. 2012. Of Fish and Fishermen: Shifting Societal Baselines to Reduce Environmental Harm in Fisheries, Ecology and Society 17(4):18, http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05113-170418.

Lam, M. E. and T. J. Pitcher. 2012. The Ethical Dimensions of Fisheries, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4:364-373, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2012.06.008.

Lam, M. E. and T. J. Pitcher. 2012. Fish Commoditization: Sustainability Strategies to Protect Living Fish, Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 32(1):31-40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0270467612444583.

Beck, C., K. Klemow, J. Paulson, A. Bernstein, M. Lam, G. Middendorf, J. Reynolds, K. Belanger, C. Cardelus, C. Cid, S. Doshi, N. Gerardo, L. Jablonski, H. Kimmel, M. Lowman, A. Macrae-Crerar, B. Pohlad, J. de Roode, and C. Thomas. 2012. Add Ecology to the Pre-Medical Curriculum, Science, 335:1301-1302.

Lam, M. E. and T. Borch. 2011. Cultural Valuing of Fishery Resources by the Norwegian Saami, Pages 361-376 in: Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law, L. Westra, K. Bosselmann, and C. Soskolne (eds.), Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Lam, Mimi E. and Daniel Pauly. 2010. Who is Right to Fish? Evolving a Social Contract for Ethical Fisheries, Ecology and Society 15(3): 16. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss3/art16/.

Pitcher, Tony J. and Mimi E. Lam. 2010. Fishful Thinking: Rhetoric, Reality and the Sea Before Us, Ecology and Society 15(2): 12. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss2/art12/.

Lam, Mimi E. and Roberto Gonzalez-Plaza. 2006. Evolutionary Universal Aesthetics in Ecological Rationality. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 10:66-71.

Gulam Razul, M. S., E. V. Tam, M. E. Lam, P. Linden, and P. G. Kusalik. 2005. Computer Simulations of Heterogeneous Crystal Growth of Atomic Systems, Molecular Physics 103(14):1929-1943.

Lam, Mimi E., Russell J. Boyd and H. J. Kreuzer. 1996. Mechanism of C2H4 Dehydrogenation to C2H2 on Ni (111). Chemical Physics Letters 253:129-134.

Hensel, Kristine D., Mimi E. Lam, M. C. L. Gerry, and H. Willner. 1992. The Microwave Spectrum of BrNC18O and the Structure of Bromine Isocyanate. Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 151:184-196.

Le Roy, Robert J., Mark R. Davies, and Mimi E. Lam. 1991. Rate Proportional to (Frequency Shift)2 and Other ˝All Else Being Equal˝ Correlations in Vibrational Predissociation. Journal of Physical Chemistry 95:2167-2175.

Lee, Nelson, Mimi E. Lam, B. C. Sanctuary, and Max A. Keniry. 1991. Multipole Theory of Composite Pulses: II. Time-Reversal and Offset-Alternating Sequences with Experimental Confirmation. Journal of Magnetic Resonance 92:455-467.

Sanctuary, B. C., Nelson Lee, F. Commodari, G. Campolieti, Mangala S. Krishnan, and Mimi Lam. 1989. Operator Space Quantum Numbers for Spin Systems. Journal of Magnetic Resonance 84:323-332.

Technical Reports:

Kumar, R., S. Surma, T. J. Pitcher, D. Varkey, M. Lam, C. Ainsworth, and E. Pakhomovo. 2016. An Ecosystem Model of the Ocean Around Haida Gwaii, Northern British Columbia: Ecopath, Ecosim and Ecospace. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 24(2):76pp.

Pitcher, T. J., R. Kumar, M. E. Lam, S. Surma, and D. Varkey. 2016. Spatial Modelling of the Haida Gwaii Ecosystem: Contributions to Haida Gwaii Marine Spatial Plan. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 24(1):79pp.

Pitcher, T. J., R. Kumar, M. E. Lam and S. Surma. 2013. Spatial Modelling of the Haida Gwaii Ecosystem: A Pilot Project Contributing to Haida Gwaii Marine Spatial Planning. Report to the Haida Oceans Technical Team, 72pp.

Pitcher, T. J., M. E. Lam, P. Ganapathiraju, A. Martindale, K. Nakamura, R. I. Perry, D. Varkey and T. Ward. 2011. UBC Martha Piper Research Fund Final Report: Valuing the Human Dimensions of Fisheries.

Pitcher, Tony J., Mimi E. Lam, Divya Varkey, Nathan Adams, Eny Buchary, Brian Hunt, Sarah Klain, Lingbo Li, Shannon Obradovich, Krystin Parkinson, Iain McKechnie, Dawit Tesfamichael, Zachary Schoenberger and Howard Stewart. 2009. The Sea Before Us: Reconstructing the Strait of Georgia, Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies Exploratory Workshop, 29-31 May 2009.

Lam, Mimi E. and U. Rashid Sumaila. 2008. Socio-economics Discussion Paper: Proposed revised Multiple Accounts Evaluation Framework emphasizing sociological resilience and community profile indicators, DFO Report.

Guénette, Sylvie, Villy Christensen, Carie Hoover, Mimi E. Lam, David Preikshot, and Daniel Pauly. 2007. A Synthesis of Research Activities at the Fisheries Centre on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Modelling and Assessment with Emphasis on the Northern and Central Coast of BC, Fisheries Centre Research Reports, Vol. 15(1), Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

I serve on both community and academic organizations, locally and internationally, including the Gwaii Haanas Advisory Committee and the Advisory Councils of the Institute for Environmental Learning and the NSF Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, and e-Learning project. For the Ecological Society of America (ESA), I was an elected Member-at-Large on the Governing Board (2011-2013), the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section Chair (2008-2011), and profiled in the ESA Focus on Ecologists series for my efforts to enhance diversity in ecology. I serve on the editorial board of the new international journal on Food Ethics and signed a book contract with Wiley-Blackwell to produce a monograph on Seafood Ethics: Implications for Global Food Security and Sustainability for publication in 2018.

Current Projects

European Commission Marie Curie Individual Fellowship: eSEAS: Enhancing Seafood Ethics and Sustainability

This project aims to explore new ways of securing seafood sustainability by embedding ethics and values in the management framework. In resource management and governance the explicit articulation of values is missing. Values can aid decision-makers in resolving inherent policy trade-offs that emerge at the science-policy nexus. This will facilitate more transparent, accountable, and inclusive public decision-making. eSEAS’ objectives are threefold: a. to promote cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research in the nascent field of seafood ethics; b. to develop three innovative multidisciplinary “fit-for-purpose” decision-support tools to enhance seafood ethics and sustainability; and c. to implement ethical approaches to European management challenges, including the complex multijurisdictional Norwegian-spring spawning and North Sea herring fisheries. The eSEAS action consists of five integrated research and training activities: 1. to define seafood ethics in relation to marine resource sustainability, policy, and governance within a post-normal science approach; 2. to develop an integrated ethical triage approach to assess sustainability with ethical indicators and test it for the balanced harvesting approach; 3. to conduct value chain analyses of European case studies, in response to consumer demand for ethical seafood; 4. to refine the values- and ecosystem-based management approach (VEBMA) I developed by incorporating a robust knowledge quality assessment and a game-theoretical / agent-based modelling approach to search for stable equilibria given stakeholder preferences; and 5. to introduce an ethical approach and apply aspects of the refined VEBMA to the Norwegian spring-spawning herring fisheries management at ICES participatory workshops. Through public engagement and dissemination, eSEAS will catalyze a science-society dialogue and collective actions to enhance seafood ethics and sustainability.



Past Projects

T. Buck Suzuki Foundation: Identifying Diverse Stakeholder Values for British Columbia’s Herring Fisheries

UBC PWIAS Arts-based Initiative: Herring People

UBC PWIAS International Research Roundtable: The Ethical Challenges of Herring Food Webs and Value Chains

UBC PWIAS Solutions Initiative: Collaborative Solutions for Haida Gwaii Herring Fisheries

NSERC Strategic Partnership Grant: Understanding the Ecosystem Role of Pacific Herring in Coupled Social-ecological Systems: Advancing Forage Fish Science

UBC Martha Piper Research Fund: Valuing the Human Dimensions of Fisheries

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Marine Conservation Initiative: The Privilege to Fish

Research Funding

T. Buck Suzuki Foundation

UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

UBC Sustainability Research Collaboration Grant Program

UBC Martha Piper Research Fund

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation