John Robert Post

John Robert Post



Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-6937


Educational Background

B.S. Biological Sciences, University of Toronto, 1980

Doctor of Philosophy Zoology, York University, 1987

M.S. Zoology, York University, 1984


Areas of Research


The primary goal of my research program is to understand the suite of processes that control growth and survival of juvenile fishes and lead to variability in recruitment into adult stocks. This "recruitment problem" is at the core of many issues in both basic and applied fisheries population biology and underlies the majority of research that my students and I are involved in. We use a combination of whole lake experiments, observations in nature, laboratory experiments and simulation models to explore these processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales.

Current foci include experimental studies aimed at understanding the importance of exploitative and interference competition and predation in size-structured fish populations. We are examining habitat choice and profitability, diet, growth rates, vulnerability to predation and survival rates of juveniles and adults in populations that vary in density and size-structure. We are also examining ontogenetic patterns in tradeoffs of energy allocation to somatic growth, storage for overwinter survival and reproduction. A key basic issue in this research is how we scale from individual behaviour and energetics to population level phenomena.

Applied studies include assessments of impacts of climate change on thermal behaviour, energetics and population dynamics of prairie and northern fishes. We are developing bioenergetic models to assess instream flow needs for riverine fishes. We are also examining the demography of collapse and recovery of harvested fish populations. We are using a large scale adaptive management experiment and models to optimize the management  of British Columbia Rainbow  and Lake Trout and anadromous stocks of Arctic Char in Nunavut.


Course number Course title Semester
ECOL 425 Quantitative Biology II Fall 2022
ECOL 439 Ecology of Populations Winter 2023


  • Best Paper of the Year Award, 2014
  • Community Engagement Award, 2014
  • "Noteworthy" Publication in Fisheries, 2014
  • Selected paper for "Foundations of Fishereis Science", 2014
  • Leibniz Institute Senior Fellowship, 2012
  • Best Paper of the Year in North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 2004


Google Scholar Link

  • Mogensen S., J.R. Post and M.G. Sullivan. 2014. Vulnerability to harvest by anglers differs across climate, productivity and diversity clines. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71:416-426.
  • Lapointe, N., S. Cooke, J. Imhof, D. Boisclair, J. Casselman, R.A Curry, O. Langer, R. McLaughlin, K. Minns, J.R. Post, M. Power, J. Rasmussen, J. Reynolds, J. Richardson, W. Tonn. 2014. Principles for ensuring healthy and productive freshwater ecosystems that support sustainable fisheries. Environmental Reviews 22:1-25.
  • Pinto, M.C., J.R. Post, A.J. Paul, F.D. Johnston, C.J. Mushens and J.D. Stelfox. 2013. Lateral and longitudinal displacement of stream rearing juvenile bull trout in response to upstream migration of spawning adults. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:1590-1601.
  • Hutchings, J. and J.R. Post. 2013. Gutting Canada’s Fisheries Act: No fishery, no fish habitat protection. Fisheries 38:497-501.
  • Laliberte, J., J.R. Post, J.S. Rosenfeld. 2013. Hydraulic geometry and longitudinal patterns of habitat quantity and quality for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Rivers Research and Application. Published Online May 2013. 
  • Ward, H.G.M., P.J. Askey and J.R. Post. 2013. A mechanistic understanding of hyperstability in catch per unit effort and density-dependent catchability in a multistock recreational fishery. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70:1542-1550. 
  • Askey P.J., E.A. Parkinson, J.R. Post. 2013. Linking fish and fisher dynamics to assess stocking strategies for hatchery-dependent, open access recreational fisheries. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 33:557-568. [Best Paper of the Year Award]
  • Ward, H.G.M., M.S. Quinn and J.R. Post. 2013. Angler characteristics and management implications in a large multi-stock spatially structured recreational fishery. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 33:576-584.
  • Post, J.R. 2013. Resilient recreational fisheries or prone to collapse? A decade of research on the science and management of recreational fisheries. Fisheries Management and Ecology 20:99-110.
  • Ward, H.G.M., P.J. Askey, J.R. Post, D. Varkey and M. McAllister. 2012. Basin characteristics and temperature improve abundance estimates from standard index netting of small lakes. Fisheries Research 131-133:52-59.
  • Post, J.R. and E.A. Parkinson. 2012. Temporal and spatial patterns of angler effort across lake districts and policy options to sustain recreational fisheries. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69:321-329.
  • Mogensen S. and J.R. Post. 2012. Energy allocation strategy modifies growth-survival tradeoffs in juvenile fish across ecological and environmental gradients. Oecologia 168:923-933.
  • Johnston, F.D., R. Arlinghaus, J. Stelfoxd and J.R. Post. 2011. Decline in angler use despite increased catch rates: anglers’ response to the implementation of a total catch-and-release regulation. Fisheries Research 110:189-197. 
  • Rosenfeld J.S., K. Campbell, E.S. Leung, J. Bernhardt, and J.R. Post. 2011. Habitat effects on depth and velocity frequency distributions: implications for modelling hydraulic variation and fish habitat suitability in streams. Geomorphology 130:127-135. 
  • Johnston, F.D. and J.R. Post. 2009. Density-dependent life history compensation of an iteroparous salmonid. Ecological Applications 19:449-467
  • Post, J.R., L. Persson, E.A. Parkinson and T. van Kooten. 2008. Angler numerical response across landscapes and the collapse of freshwater fisheries. Ecological Applications 18:1038-1049.
  • Biro, P.A. and J.R. Post. 2008. Fishery-induced evolution: rapid depletion of genotypes with fast growth and bold personality traits. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 105:2919-2922.
  • Rosenfeld, J.S., J.R. Post, G. Robins and T. Hatfield. 2007. Hydraulic geometry as a physical template for the River Continuum: application to optimal flows and longitudinal trends in Salmonid habitat. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 64:755-767.
  • Biro, P.A., J.R. Post and D.J. Booth. 2007. Climate induced mortality of fish populations is mediated by behaviour in whole-lake experiments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 104:9715-9719.
  • Askey, P.J., L.K. Hogberg, J.R. Post, L.J. Jackson, T. Rhodes and M.S. Thompson. 2007. Spatial patterns in fish biomass and relative trophic level abundance in a waste water enriched river. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 16:343-353.
  • Johnston, F.D., J.R. Post, C.J. Mushens, J.D. Stelfox, A.J. Paul and B. Lajeunesse. 2007. The demography of recovery of an overexploited bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus, population. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 64:113-126.
  • Askey, P.J.,  J.R. Post, E.A. Parkinson, E. Rivot, A.J. Paul and P.A. Biro. 2007. Estimation of gillnet efficiency and selectivity across multiple sampling units: A hierarchical Bayesian analysis using mark-recapture data. Fisheries Research 83:162-174.
  • Askey, P.J., S.A. Richards, J.R. Post and E.A. Parkinson. 2006. Linking angling quality and learning under catch and release regulations: why are the fish not biting? North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:1020-1029.
  • Post, J.R., van Poorten, B.T., Rhodes, T., Askey, P. and Paul, A.J. 2006. Fish Entrainment into Irrigation Canals: an Analytical Approach and Application to the Bow River, Alberta, Canada. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:875-887
  • Anderson, K., A.J. Paul, E. McCauley, L. Jackson, J.R. Post and R. Nisbet. 2006. Ecological dynamics and the management of instream flow needs in rivers and streams. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6:309-318.
  • Mackenzie-Grieve, J.L. and J.R. Post. 2006. Thermal habitat use by lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in two contrasting Yukon lakes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:727-738.
  • Mackenzie-Grieve, J.L. and J.R. Post. 2006. Projected impacts of climate warming on production of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in southern Yukon lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63:788-797.
  • Biro, P.A., J.R. Post and M.V. Abrahams. 2005. Ontogeny of energy allocation reveals selective pressure promoting risk-taking behaviour in young fish cohorts. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B 272:1443-1448.
  • Biro, P.A., M.V. Abrahams, J.R. Post and E.A. Parkinson. 2004. Predators select against high growth rates and risk-taking behaviour in domestic trout populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B 271:2233-2237.
  • Biro, P.A., A.E. Morton, J.R. Post and E.A. Parkinson. 2004. Overwinter lipid depletion and mortality of age-0 rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 61:1513-1519.
  • Parkinson, E.A., J.R. Post and S.P. Cox. 2004.  Linking the dynamics of harvest effort to recruitment dynamics in a multi-stock, spatially-structured fishery. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 61:1658-1670.
  • Biro, P.A., J.R. Post and E.A. Parkinson. 2003. From individuals to populations: prey fish risk-taking mediates mortality in whole-system experiments. Ecology 84:2419-2431.
  • Biro, P.A., J.R. Post and E.A. Parkinson. 2003. Density-dependent activity reduces growth and survival of prey fish in whole-lake experiments. Journal of Animal Ecology 72:546-555.
  • Post, J.R., C.J. Mushens, A.J. Paul and M. Sullivan. 2003. Assessment of alternative management strategies for sustaining recreational fisheries: model development and application to bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:22-34. [Awarded Best Paper of the Year].
  • Biro, P.A., J.R. Post and E.A. Parkinson. 2003. Population consequences of a predator-induced habitat shift by trout in whole-lake experiments. Ecology 84:691-700.
  • Paul, A.J., J.R. Post and J.D. Stelfox. 2003. Can anglers influence the distribution of native and non-native salmonids in streams from the Canadian Rocky Mountains? North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:109-119
  • Post, J.R., M. Sullivan, S. Cox, N.P. Lester, C.J. Walters, E.A. Parkinson, A.J. Paul, L. Jackson, B.J. Shuter. 2002. Canada’s recreational fisheries: the invisible collapse? Fisheries 27:6-17.
  • Post, J.R. and E.A. Parkinson. 2001. Energy allocation strategy in age-0 fish: allometry and survival. Ecology 82:1040-1051.