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DR. MICHAEL JACKSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Michael Jackson was born in Chalfont-St-Giles in Buckinghamshire, England and was fascinated by natural history from a very early age.  As a young boy he helped look after his aunt’s farm in Nottinghamshire and used to milk the herd of 60 Guernsey cattle by him-self every morning when he was only eight years old.  He has always loved animals, kept his own chickens and was the youngest ever subscriber to Farmer’s Weekly in the UK. His first job was working in a pet store looking after the parrots and the tropical fish.  He has kept a tropical aquarium ever since.  Michael has also been a keen ornithologist since his early teens and has visited wetlands all over the world in search of exotic wildlife. He has kept records of his sightings for over fifty years and he has over 2,000 checklists on eBird recorded just from his study window at his home in Garden Bay over the past twelve years.

Michael was one of the first university students in the UK to study Ecology, a course which was initiated at the University of East Anglia in 1973. After publishing his third-year project on ‘The effects of bait-digging on cockle populations’ in the Journal of Applied Ecology, he joined the Nature Conservancy Council in Norwich, where he was recruited to catalogue historical records of rare and keystone species from the Norfolk Broads – a series of 56 man-made shallow lakes in East Anglia. From this work, he initiated a monitoring program of the aquatic plants of the broads and created a systematic protocol for conducting an annual survey of twenty-five lakes. This study is now in its forty-first year. With his beloved dog Dylan, Michael also undertook an aquatic plant survey of the hundreds of miles of ditches that drain the huge expanse of grazing marshes that surround the broads.

Three years later he graduated at University College London with a Master’s in Nature Conservation, which led to a job as the Conservation Officer for the Otter Trust in Suffolk. Here he helped coordinate a captive-bred release program, that eventually led to the rehabilitation of river otters to the English countryside. In the early eighties, Michael started a book business in London where he ran a chain of six bookstores that operated for over a decade. After a short stint as the stage manager at Hoxton Hall, the oldest music hall in London, and production manager for a touring rock band called Towering Inferno, he decided to return to Norfolk to study for his PhD. As a result of this research, Michael went on to lead an international research team to investigate the effects of anti-fouling paint on the freshwater flora and fauna of the Norfolk Broads, which showed that the use of TBT (tributyltin) may well have contributed to a catastrophic decline in the Broads ecosystem.

Michael moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2001 and was a founder and volunteer chair of the Lagoon Society for fifteen years, before taking up the post of Executive Director when the society transitioned to a governance structure. In 2001, he also set up a wetland restoration company called Bluewaters Environmental (formerly Acroloxus Wetlands Consultancy) which facilitated the creation of the Pender Harbour Water Master Plan for the Sunshine Coast Regional District, worked on many water-related research projects with Dr Hans Schrieir at UBC, and formed a community group to help conserve stickleback-species pairs on Texada Island with Dr Dolph Schluter.

Michael also owns a mosquito management business called Culex Environmental which was formed in 2004 to conduct mosquito control programs for numerous municipal and corporate clients, including Metro Vancouver and BC Hydro, where he developed the IMMPACT (Integrated Mosquito Management Plan of Action) program to help reduce the use of pesticides in mosquito control.

Michael has authored many peer-reviewed publications and technical reports, and has a broad knowledge of freshwater ecology and nature conservation. He has been instrumental in discovering a new stickleback species-pair on the Sunshine Coast and worked closely with Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and others to ensure the preservation of their limited habitat. He is frequently asked to plan and facilitate scientific conferences and workshops, and brings a wealth of experience in wetland ecology, habitat restoration, entomology, educational instruction, technical writing and project management.

Michael is a highly engaging public speaker who has given talks throughout the UK and North America. He has appeared on broadcast media such as CBC News, Global News, BC Almanac &The Nature of Things, and in print media including The New York Times, Vancouver Sun, the Province, BC Magazine, the Harbour Spiel, the Coast Reporter and the Local. Michael also sat on the board of the Sunshine Coast Festival of Written Arts, and was chair of the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association for two years. Michael has a large collection of antiquarian natural history books and he likes to read about the lives of legendary natural historians, particularly Darwin, Wallace, Huxley, Thoreau, Audubon, Humboldt, David Attenborough and most of all Gerald Durrell. In his spare time Michael listens to Sibelius, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Ed Sheeran, paints big oil canvases, shares good food with friends, spends time exploring Thormanby Island, goes fishing without catching anything, takes photographs and watches science fiction films. His crowning achievement is to have landed the job of one of two Pender Harbour pie judges at the Fall Fair in Madeira Park.

 

Publications:

Jackson, M. J. (1978). The Changing Status of Aquatic Macrophytes in the Norfolk Broads. Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society. 24(4). 137-152.

Jackson, M. J. & James, R. (1979). The Influence of Bait Digging on Cockle, Cerastoderma edule, Populations in North Norfolk. The Journal of Applied Ecology. 16. 671. 10.2307/2402844.

Clayton, C.J. & Jackson, M.J. (1981) Norfolk Otter Survey 1980-1981. Otters - The Journal of the Otter Trust. 1980, 1(4): 16-22.

Jackson, M. J. (1997) Sampling Methods for Studying Macroinvertebrates in the Littoral Vegetation of Shallow Lakes. BARS 17. The Broads Authority, Norwich, UK. 173pp.

Jackson, M.J. & Howlett, D.J. (1999) Freshwater Molluscs of the River Waveney Grazing Marshes. A Survey carried out During the Summer of 1997. BARS 18. The Broads Authority, Norwich. 77pp.

Jackson, M.J. (1999) The Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Fauna of the Littoral Zone of the Norfolk Broads 1977-1995. Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society. 32(1): 27-55.

Jackson, M. J. & Richardson, J. S. (2002). Aquatic Invertebrates. Cambridge University Press, Handbook of Ecological Restoration. 300-323. DOI: 10.1017/cbo9780511549984.018

Sayer, C. D., Hoare, D. J., Simpson, G. L., Henderson, A.C., Liptrot E.R., Jackson, M. J.*, Appleby, P. J.,Boyle J.F., Jones J. I., and Waldock, M.J. (2006) TBT Causes Regime Shift in Shallow Lakes. Environmental Science & Technology. 40 (17), 5269-5275. DOI: 10.1021/es060161o

Hoare D., Jackson M.J. & Perrow M. (2006) The Addition of Artificial Macrophytes to provide Macroinvertebrate Refugia at Alderfen Broad, Norfolk, England. Conservation Evidence. 3, 58-60.

Gow, J.L., Rogers S.M., Jackson M., and Schluter D (2008). Ecological Predictions lead to the Discovery of a Benthic-limnetic Sympatric Species Pair of Threespine Stickleback in Little Quarry Lake, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 86(6):564-571. 

Jackson, M. J., Gow, J. L., Evelyn, M. J., Meikleham, N. E., Mcmahon, T.,Koga, E., Howay, T. J., Wang, L. & Yan, E. (2009). Culex Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus, and the Application of Innovative Management in the Design and Management of Stormwater Retention Ponds in Canada. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada. 44(1). 103-110.

Davidson, T. & Sayer, C. & Langdon, P. & Burgess, A. & Jackson, M. (2010). Inferring Past Zooplanktivorous Fish and Macrophyte Density in a Shallow Lake: Application of a New Regression Tree Model. Freshwater Biology. 55. 584-599. 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02391.x.

Madgwick, G., Emson, D., Sayer, C. D., Willby, Nigel. J., Rose, N. L., Jackson, M. J. and Kelly, A. (2011), Centennial-scale Changes to the Aquatic Vegetation Structure of a Shallow Eutrophic Lake and Implications for Restoration. Freshwater Biology. 56(12): 2620–2636. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02652.x

Jackson, M. J., Gow, J. L., Evelyn, M. J., McMahon, T. S., Howay, T. J., Campbell, H., Blancard, J. & Thielman, A. (2012). An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Commercial Mechanical Trap to Reduce Abundance of Adult Nuisance Mosquito Populations. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 28(4), 292-300. DOI:10.2987/12-6241r.1

Jackson, M. J., Gow, J., Evelyn, M.J., McMahon, T.J., Campbell, H., Sheppard, J., Howay J., Fladmark, D. & Thielman, A. (2013). Modelling Factors that Affect the Presence of Larval Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Stormwater Drainage Systems to Improve the Efficacy of Control Programs. The Canadian Entomologist. 145(6), 674-685. DOI:10.4039/tce.2013.46

Jackson, M. J. & Howay, T. & Belton, P. (2013). The First Record of Culiseta particeps (Diptera: Culicidae) in Canada. The Canadian Entomologist. 14(01). 10.4039/tce.2012.99.

Jackson, M. J. & Belton, P. & McMahon, S. & Hart, M. & Mccann, S. & Azevedo, D. & Hurteau, L. (2015). The First Record of Aedes ( Hulecoeteomyia ) japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Its Establishment in Western Canada. Journal of Medical Entomology. 53(1). tjv164. 10.1093/jme/tjv164.

 

Research Projects:

•    Researching the effect of bait-digging on cockle populations on the North Norfolk Coast;

•    Researching the status of aquatic macrophytes in the Norfolk Broads;

•    Creating long-term monitoring programs for broads and grazing marshes of East Anglia;

•    Developed manual of sampling protocols for the study of aquatic macroinvertebrates;

•    Undertook survey of river otter population of East Anglia and set up baseline of 800 sampling sites at road bridges crossing rivers;

•    Helped re-introduce captive-bred otters into the wild in the UK using radio-tracking devices;

•    Surveyed and studied populations of rare molluscs in reedbeds across Norfolk and Suffolk;

•    Surveyed chalk streams for invertebrates in South Downs of England;

•    Undertook year-long study of the invertebrates of Heron’s Carr adjacent Barton Broad;

•    Studied the effects of Tributyl Tin (TBT) on the ecology of the Norfolk Broads and how this may have triggered a change in Alternative Stable States;

•    Studied the importance of Eurasian perch and macroinvertebrate predation in the biomanipulation of shallow lakes systems;

•    Setup the Texada Island Stickleback Group and led the group for five years;

•    Worked with Professor Dolph Schluter and Dr Jennifer Gow from UBC to study the importance of macrophytes in maintaining stickleback species-pairs in Paxton and Priest Lakes on Texada Island. Set up long-term survey protocols for monitoring plants and invertebrates;

•    Began long-term monitoring of mosquito population in the Lower Duncan Floodplain in 2002 and continued monitoring until 2016;

•    Developed predictive model of Lower Duncan Floodplain to show temporal and spatial variation in mosquito production under different environmental scenarios;

•    Setup long-term monitoring protocols for mosquito populations in the Lower Mainland on behalf of Metro Vancouver and also for multiple other municipalities in BC and Ontario;

•    Worked on setting up long-term monitoring studies of mosquito populations from 2006-2015 in the Tempisque Valley of Quanacaste, Cost Rica;

•     Conducted multiple research studies on natural mosquito control with Professor Hans Shrieier from UBC and Dr Carl Lowenberger from SFU to demonstrate the need for more intensive long-term monitoring to reduce the necessity of using pesticides and particularly chemical treatments;

•    Discovery of new stickleback species-pair in Little Quarry Lake on Nelson island;

•    Setup the Lagoon Society team for the PSF multi-year Salish Sea Citizen Science Project - monitoring oceanographic parameters and collecting plankton samples;

•     Conducted pilot study of marine invertebrates and plants of the intertidal zone of Pender Harbour;

•    Setup and maintained the database to house the records from the Lagoon Society BioBlitz;

•     Conducted research studies of numerous lakes and other water bodies in Vancouver and Victoria and on the Sunshine Coast to establish baseline data sets for ongoing monitoring.