John Derksen
John Derksen instructing students

John has worked for the provincial fisheries government in Ontario for several years conducting field work in places like Wawa and Ignace. Following this, John worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans controlling sea lamprey in the great lakes. Once back at school, John acquired his fish culture training and appreciation of fish pathology while employed, teaching and earning his master’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. Upon completion of his degree, John accepted his teaching role at Lethbridge College and the rest, as they say, is history.

Up to now, John has over 30 years’ experience in the fisheries and aquatic field, working for both provincial and federal governments, academia and the private sector. He is currently chair of the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) and half time faculty and researcher. John has been with the college for 20 years, teaching courses in Aquatic Ecology, Fish Habitat, Fisheries Techniques, Fisheries Science, Water Quality, Limnology, Fish Culture and Senior Project. John is also involved with developing aquaponics curriculum. From a research perspective, aquaponics, aquatic ecosystem health, fish culture science and fish health are areas of research strength and experience. The science and ecology behind what makes aquaponics systems function is of particular interest to John as the potential of this growing technique for future generations is huge.

John maintains active involvement in his field through conferences and memberships (American Fisheries Society, North American Lake Management Society, Alberta Lake Management Society, Oldman River Watershed Council) and through managing is own  environmental aquatic consultancy (WET Environmental Inc.). John has a B.Sc. in Fisheries Biology and a M.Sc. in Fish Pathology, both from the University of Guelph, Ont.

Areas of expertise

  • aquaponics
  • aquatic ecosystem health
  • fish culture science
  • fish health

Current research project

Made possible by a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), this Integrated Fish and Plant Systems project is addressing critical issues relating to the production of aquaponics, including food safety, consumer acceptance and economic ROI. Find out more about this project.

Publications and presentations