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

In fact, recording and cataloging data has been his lifelong ‘obsession’ and he has initiated numerous long-term monitoring studies since he graduated from the University of East Anglia in 1976.  That year he started working for the Nature Conservancy Coun-cil in Norwich where he was recruited to catalogue all the records of rare and keystone species from the Norfolk Broads – a series of fifty-six man-made shallow lakes in East An-glia. From this work he initiated a monitoring program of aquatic plants (macrophytes) and created a systematic protocol for conducting an annual survey of about twenty-five lakes. This study is now in its forty-first year.  A similar monitoring program was set up by Jackson for aquatic invertebrates and plants in the extensive ditch networks that surround the lakes and form tens of thousands of acres of drained pastureland.  Again, these surveys continue to this day. Michael completed his Masters degree in Wildlife Conservation at University College London in 1979 and succeeded in obtaining his PhD in Freshwater Ecology from the University of East Anglia in 2002. 

Michael has authored many peer-reviewed publications and technical reports and has a broad knowledge of freshwater ecology and entomology. He has been instrumental in discovering two new species of freshwater fish on the Sunshine Coast, and has worked closely with DFO to ensure the preservation of their limited habitat. Michael is a highly engaging public speaker who has given talks throughout North America. He has been quoted as an expert on broadcast media such as CBC Almanac and The Nature of Things, and in print media like the New York Times, Vancouver Sun, & the Province. 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 has been involved in numerous monitoring and research studies over the years including:

•    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.


•     The First Record of Aedes (Finlaya) japonicus (Diptera:Culicidae) and its Establishment in Western Canada | September 2015 | Journal of Medical Entomology

•     Modelling factors that affect the presence of larval mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in stormwater drainage systems to improve the efficacy of control programmesDecember 2013 | The Canadian Entomologist

•     The first record of Culiseta particeps (Diptera: Culicidae) in Canada | February 2013 | The Canadian Entomologist

•    An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Commercial Mechanical Trap to Reduce Abundance of Adult Nuisance Mosquito Populations

December 2012 | Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association

•    Centennial‐scale changes to the aquatic vegetation structure of a shallow eutrophic lake and implications for restoration | August 2011 | Freshwater Biology

•    Inferring past zooplanktivorous fish and macrophyte density in a shallow lake: Application of a new regression tree model

March 2010 | Freshwater Biology

•    Culex Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus, and the Application of Innovative Management in the Design and Management of Stormwater Retention Ponds in Canada January 2009 | Water Quality Research Journal of Canada

•    Ec ological predictions lead to the discovery of a benthic‐limnetic sympatric species pair of threespine stickleback in Little Quarry Lake, British Columbia | June 2008 | Canadian Journal of Zoology

•    TBT Causes Regime Shift in Shallow Lakes
October 2006 | Environmental Science and Technology

•     Aquatic InvertebratesJanuary 2002 | Handbook of Ecological Restoration | Cambridge University Press

•    Freshwater Molluscs of the River Waveney Grazing Marshes carried out during the summer of 1997 – 1999 | Broads Authority

•    Norfolk Otter Survey 1980‐81 | Jan 1980 | Journal of the Otter Trust

•     The Influence of Bait Digging on Cockle, Cerastoderma edule, Populations in North Norfolk | Dec 1979 | Journal of Applied Ecology

•     The changing status of aquatic macrophytes in the Norfolk Broads | April 1978 | Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Trust

•     Sampling methods for the studying macroinvertebrates in the littoral vegetation of shallow lakes Jan 1977  | The Broads Authority