Chris Cahill, Ph.D.

Chris Cahill

Contact Me


Assistant Professor; Associate Director, Quantitative Fisheries Center
Quantitative Fisheries Center


File Download


  • Ph.D. - Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2021
  • M.S. - Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2014
  • B.Sc - Water resources (Fisheries Science option), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2011


I am originally from northwestern Illinois, and completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.  After finishing this degree, I moved to Alberta, Canada, for an MS degree where I helped evaluate fish habitat offsetting or compensation projects at a diamond mine in the Canadian Arctic. Upon completion of my MS, I moved to Calgary, Alberta to complete a Ph.D., and then moved to Vancouver in 2021 as a post-doctoral research associate at Simon Fraser University.

Research Interests:

-Fishery stock assessment and population dynamics modeling

-Hierarchical modeling to inform resource management

-Bayesian modeling

-Simulation methods and harvest control rule evaluation

My research focuses on the development, use, and simulation evaluation of a wide variety of quantitative tools required to extract ecological signals from applied data and to help inform resource management problems. Recent work focuses on the 1) development and application of age-structured stock assessment models to improve understanding of fish population dynamics, 2) use of simulation tools to inform harvest management decisions for fish populations with spasmodic or highly variable recruitment dynamics, 3) development and evaluation of mixed-effects, abundance, and bioenergetics models to inform resource management and 4) teaching students and natural resource professionals to simulate, fit, and code bespoke ecological models in R, Template Model Builder (TMB), and Stan.

Selected Publications: 

Cahill, C.L., Walters, C.J., Paul, A.J., Sullivan, M.G., and Post, J.R. 2022. Unveiling the recovery dynamics of walleye after the invisible collapse. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 79(5): 708-723.

Paul, A.J., Cahill, C.L., MacPherson, L., Sullivan, M.G., and Brown, M.R. 2021. Are Alberta’s Northern Pike Populations at Risk from Walleye Recovery? North American Journal of Fisheries Management.

Cahill, C.L., Anderson, S.C., Paul, A.J., MacPherson, L., Sullivan, M.G., van Poorten, B., Walters, C.J., and Post, J.R. 2020. A spatial–temporal approach to modeling somatic growth across inland recreational fisheries landscapes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 77(11): 1822-1835.  

Wilson, K.L., De Gisi, J., Cahill, C.L., Barker, O.E., and Post, J.R. 2019. Life‐history variation along environmental and harvest clines of a northern freshwater fish: plasticity and adaptation. Journal of Animal Ecology 88(5): 717-733.

Cahill, C.L., Mogensen, S., Wilson, K.L., Cantin, A., Sinnatamby, R.N., Paul, A.J., Christensen, P., Reilly, J.R., Winkel, L., Farineau, A., and Post, J.R. 2018. Multiple challenges confront a high-effort inland recreational fishery in decline. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 75(9): 1357-1368.