Assisting Tara Lepine with fish sampling on Smith-Dorrien Creek.

Dr. Benjamin Kissinger

Pronouns: He/him



Educational Background

BSc. Fisheries and Water Resources, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, 2011

PhD Biology, University of Manitoba, 2017


I am currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary (U of C) and the Water and Fish Program Lead at fRI Research. fRI Research is a not-for-profit focused on conducting applied research that influences policy and practice within the resource sector. This organization has numerous programs, partnerships and resources that aid in tackling challenging questions on our landscape. I feel this position in combination with my status at the U of C offers an excellent opportunity to advance applied research initiatives.

In addition, prior to my current position, I spent the past decade and a half working throughout North America on fish at federal (DFO), state / provincial (WI DNR, MN DNR, AEPA), academic (UWSP, Cornell, and U of M), consulting / industry (Amnis Opes Inst. and PWSAC) organizations. My research has taken me from as far east as the Adirondack Mountains in New York State where I worked on projects recovering brook trout that had been extirpated by lake and river acidification, to as far west as Alaska where I worked in salmon hatcheries. Much of my work to date, has been related to applied fisheries management, research and recovery associated with government initiatives. My work in a broad array of sectors has given me an opportunity to learn the benefits and challenges of each organization. I sincerely enjoy helping students and young professionals navigate the complicated job market within fisheries and wildlife management and research. 

My current research interests have been focused on understanding hybridization extent between native and non-native salmonids using genomic tools, understanding changes in non-native species over time through the use of dynamic occupancy models and the relationship between species presence and temperature. All this research relies heavily on strong collaborations with various organizations and all staff and students that work with me will benefit from these connections. I am also the current president of the Mid-Canada Chapter (MCC) of the American Fisheries Society and assisted in developing and implementing the 2023 Alberta Native Trout Science Workshop. In both roles, my hope is to improve communication and information sharing among people who influence fish and water resources. Any interested students can contact me for potential projects and involvement in my research.     

Select publications 

Kissinger, B.C., Sullivan M.G., Paul, A.J., Meinke, A., Post, J. 2024. Establishment of Bull Trout in a previously fishless subalpine lake by translocation. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. (in press). 

Andrew J. Paul, Kissinger, B.C. and Goehing, J. 2024. Alberta native trout science workshop proceedings: February 1-3, 2023 | Alberta Environment and Protected Areas.

Joubert, B.A., Sullivan, M.G., Kissinger, B.C., Meinke, A.T. 2020. Can smartphones kill Trout? Mortality of memorable-sized Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) after photo-releases. Fisheries Research. 223.10548

Kissinger, B.C., Harris, L.N., Swainson, D., Anderson, W.G., Docker, M.F., and Reist, J.D. 2017a Fine-scale population structure in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) influenced by life history variation in the Husky Lakes drainage basin, NT Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. DIO: 10.1139/cjfas-2016-0524 

Kissinger B. C., Bystriansky J, Czehryn N., Enders E. C., Treberg J., Reist J. D., Whitmore E., and Anderson W. G. 2017b. Environment-phenotype interactions: influences of brackish-water rearing on lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) physiology. Environmental Biology of Fishes. DIO: 10.1007/s10641-017-0607-0

Kissinger, B. C., Gantner, N., Anderson, W.G., Gillis, D. M., Halden, N. M., Harwood, L. A., Reist, J.D. 2016. Brackish-water residency and semi-anadromy in Arctic lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) inferred from otolith microchemistry. Journal of Great Lakes Research, Special Issue, Large Lakes in Northern Canada. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2015.05.016