I received my Ph.D. in Marine Zoology from Gothenburg University (Sweden) in 1996, studying the effects of habitat complexity and spatial heterogeneity on marine benthic fauna. I was fortunate to carry my research in a variety of geographical areas and habitats - from polar to tropical, and from intertidal to deep-water. I am  actively involved in seabed habitat mapping at Bedford Institute of Oceanography since 1998, carrying research on the relationship between distribution of benthic communities and physical properties of seafloor habitats (geological and oceanographic conditions) in Canadian waters. Working closely with marine geologists, I apply recent advances in underwater remote-sensing technology and ecological theory to benthic habitat classification and mapping. 


Habitat ecologist,
Natural Resources Canada,
Bedford Institute of Oceanography,
1 Challenger Drive (P.O. Box 1006),
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 
Canada, B2Y 4A2

Adjunct Professor,
School for Resource and Environmental Studies
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Suite 5010
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada, B3H 3J5


6 June 2006. Canadian Hydrographic Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Invited Speaker.

September 2006. NOAA Advanced technologies workshop, Seattle, Washington. Invited presentation.

13 October 2006. Invited talk: “Seabed habitat mapping for Ocean management: Keeping your eyes on the Goal. Examples from Canadian experience”. UNH Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping. USA.

December 2006Ottawa. Benthic Science workshop. DFO. Chaired a breakout group.

22 - 24 January 2007. Invited presentation at Scientific Experts’ Workshop on Biogeographic Classification Systems in Open Ocean and Deep Seabed Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. National University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.

19 - 20  February 2007Expert adviser. “Geoscientific Research in the St-Lawrence Estuary”. Workshop for members and partners of the GSC team working on marine geology in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Quebec city, Canada.

February 27th - March 1st 2007Geoscience for Oceans Management Workshop, NRCan. Presentation “First steps toward a national perspective on habitat mapping”. Chaired a breakout group “Habitat mapping - the big picture for Canada“. Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Canada.

5 – 7 March 2007. Participant, DFO National Workshop on survey design, database design and analysis of underwater video/photographic surveys. Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Canada.

26 March 2007. Invited presentation of habitat template model at US/Canada Habitat Workgroup Meeting, organized by NMFS at University of New Hampshire, USA.2005 Producing new ecological knowledge through seabed imaging.  Presentation at Memorial University of Newfoundland for Candidacy for the Tier II Canada Research Chair Position in Seabed Imaging and Seabed Processes.

2005 Blasco et al. Beaufort Sea Environmental and geotechnical research related to offshore hydrocarbon development. 32 Annual Yellowknife Geoscience forum 16 - 18 November 2004. [all abstracts, large file]

2005 Pickrill, R and Kostylev, V. E. Habitat Mapping and National Seafloor Mapping Strategies in Canada. GEOHAB 2005, Canada. Oral presentation.

2005 Kostylev V.E. Participation in the Census of Marine life planning meeting. Ottawa, Canada.

2005 Kostylev V.E.  Presentation to Nova Scotia Scallop fishery Association. Dartmouth.

2004 Kostylev V. E. Benthic habitat mapping on Scotian shelf. GEOHAB 2004 Galway, Ireland. Oral presentation. [abstract]

2004 Brian Todd, Shaw, J., Kostylev, V.E. New marine geoscience and benthic habitat map products from the Geological Survey of Canada. Poster presentation.

2004 Kostylev V.E. DFO Regional Advisory Process on benthic habitat mapping. Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth. Presentation of new habitat classification approach to DFO. 6 January 2004.

2004 Kostylev V. E. Challenging Geological Supremacy: An approach to Habitat Mapping. An overview of a new methodology of mapping habitat on the Canadian continental shelves. Memorial University, St Johns, NF.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Benthic habitat template model. James J. Howard Marine Science laboratory (NOAA, US). Presented NRCan habitat template modeling. Invitation and funding.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Presentation of Beaufort Sea Habitat mapping: benthos, multibeam, surveys. Research Day Open house in Inuvik, NWT. March 2004.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Presentation on progress of habitat mapping in Beaufort Sea to Fisheries Joint Management Committee at Freshwater Institute, Winnipeg, January 2004.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Benthic classification on Scotian Shelf. Presentation at DFO Workshop on the Maintenance of the Diversity of Ecosystem Types: Benthic Community Distributions of the Scotian-Fundy Area. December 2004.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Habitat template approach to habitat mapping. Presentation at the Institute of Ocean Science, BC. Invitation and Funding.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Represented NRCan at Ocean Zoning Workshop, Ottawa.

2004 Kostylev V.E. Rapporteur for a working group. Census of Marine Life Workshop. Ottawa.

2003 Noji, TT; Thorsnes, T; Todd, B; Kostylev, V; Cogan, CB. 2003. Marine habitat mapping. In: Rachold, V; Cherkashov, G, eds. Arctic Coastal Dynamics - Report of the 4th International Workshop; St. Petersburg, Russia; Nov. 10-13, 2003; p. 162.

2003 Todd B. J, V. E. Kostylev and Page C. Valentine. Benthic habitat of eastern Georges Bank, Gulf of Maine. GEOHAB 2003 New Zealand. Oral presentation (Todd).

2003 Kostylev V.E. Benthic habitat mapping in Eastern Canada. Joint Fishery Management Committee annual review meeting, Winnipeg. Invited speaker. Presented about east coast habitat mapping model and shown applicability to Beufort Sea.

2003 Kostylev V.E. Benthic habitat mapping on Scotian shelf. James J. Howard Marine Science laboratory (NOAA, US). Presented NRCan habitat mapping strategies. Invitation and funding.

2003 Kostylev V.E. Series of seminars for DFO, Oceans Act Office on development of new habitat mapping methodology.

2003 Guest scientist, Geological survey of Norway, Trondheim. (Invitation and funding for 3 weeks visit). Invited speaker at Goldschmidt lecture series.

2003 Guest Scientist, Marine Biological Association, UK. (Invitation and funding, 10 days visit).

2003 Kostylev V.E. NRCan habitat mapping approaches and progress of project X32. Offshore Petroleum Board, Halifax.

2002 Kostylev, V.E. Benthic habitat mapping on Scotian shelf. Scientists and Fishermen conference, Halifax, N.S. Invited speaker

2002 Kostylev, V.E. Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. Presentation of NRCan benthic habitat mapping activities for seagoing personnel. Invited speaker. Bridgewater, N.S.

2002 Kostylev, V.E. Centre for Marine Biodiversity, Dartmouth. Invited presentation of new approach to broad-scale habitat mapping.

2002 Valentine, P. C., Todd, B. J. and Kostylev, V. E. A Regional Approach to Marine Sublittoral Habitat Classification: An Example for Northeastern North America. GEOHAB 2002, USA. Oral presentation (Todd).

2001 Kostylev, V.E. DFO Regional Advisory Process on benthic habitat mapping. Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth. Presented NRCan views on habitat mapping, edited proceedings.


1994/1997 University of Vigo, Spain. Prof. E. Rolan-Alvares. Studies of evolutionary ecology of intertidal gastropods. Invitation and funding.

1994 Swire Marine biological laboratory, Hong Kong. Prof. G. Williams. Studies of habitat complexity and benthic communities. Invitation and funding.

1998/present Marine Biological Association, UK. Prof. S. Hawkins. Ongoing cooperation on effects of spatial heterogeneity and habitat complexity on marine fauna.

1999/present Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. A. Aksu. Cooperation on palaeoecology of Black and Marmara Sea.

1999/present Rhodes University, South Africa. Dr. J. Erlandsson, Prof. McQuaid. Cooperation of topographic effect on intertidal fauna.

1999/present Geological survey of Norway. Dr. O. Longva. Studies on habitat mapping in Norwegian fjords. Invitation and funding. Ongoing.

2002/present DFO, interdepartmental habitat mapping, principal investigator. Funding from DFO at 50,000 per year for 3 year project.

2003 Marine Biological Association, UK. Prof. S. Hawkins. Invitation and funding for cooperative research.



2001/present Member of Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management initiative planning committee.

2001/present Member, GEOHAB. International group for geological habitat mapping.

2001/present Member, Centre for Marine Biodiversity.

2002/present DFO, invitation to lead interdepartmental habitat mapping, principal investigator.

2003/2005 Project leader, NRCan project # X32, Geoscience for Eastern Scotian shelf Integrated Management.

2003 Member, Marine Biological Association, UK. Recommended by MBA Director, Prof S. Hawkins.

2003 - present Official Canadian representative at International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Working Group on Marine Habitat Mapping.

2003/2005 Responsible for benthic habitat component of NRCan project #X33, “Habitat Mapping.”

2003/present Project manager. Beaufort Shelf Benthic Habitat Mapping. Funded by PERD.

2004 Member of Gulf of Maine Global Ocean Observing System (GoMaGOOS) international planning team.

2004 Appointed as an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University School for Resources and Environmental Studies.

2005 Thesis supervisor. "Predictive mapping of benthic habitats using acoustic remote sensing techniques". University of Ulster/NOAA/GSCA