Erika Eliason

Assistant Professor
(805) 893-2966
2306 Marine Science Building
Lab Website


Erika Eliason received her B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Simon Fraser University, Canada and her M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia, Canada studying cardiorespiratory physiology and digestion in fish. Her Ph.D. was conducted in Zoology at the University of British Columbia, focusing on local adaptation and temperature tolerance in migrating salmon. Erika was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney, Australia and at Carleton University, Canada where she examined phenotypic plasticity, energetics, and anthropogenic stress in various species of fish.


The Eliason Lab studies ecological and evolutionary physiology in fish. We are interested in the behavioral, physiological and biochemical processes that allow fish to thrive in their specific environmental conditions. Our work examines how natural and anthropogenic environmental stressors influence performance traits and species distribution. Our research addresses both basic and applied questions and can help inform conservation policy and manage natural resources.

Selected Publications

  • Eliason, E.J., A.P. Farrell. 2015. Oxygen uptake in Pacific salmon: When ecology and physiology meet. Journal of Fish Biology 88: 359-388
  • Eliason, E.J., A.P. Farrell. 2014. Effect of hypoxia on specific dynamic action and postprandial cardiovascular physiology in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 171: 44-50
  • Anttila, K., E.J. Eliason, K.H. Kaukinen, K.M. Miller, A.P. Farrell. 2014. Facing warm temperatures during migration- cardiac mRNA responses of two adult sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka populations to warming and swimming challenges. Journal of Fish Biology 84: 1439-1456
  • Eliason, E.J., T.D. Clark, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2013. Cardiorespiratory performance and blood chemistry during swimming and recovery in different populations of adult sockeye salmon. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 166: 385-397
  • Eliason, E.J., T.D. Clark, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2013. Cardiorespiratory collapse at high temperature in swimming adult sockeye salmon. Conservation Physiology 1: doi:10.1093/conphys/cot008
  • Cooke, S.J., S.G. Hinch, M.R. Donaldson, T.D. Clark, E.J. Eliason, G.T. Crossin, G.D. Raby, K.M. Jeffries, M. Lapointe, K. Miller, D.A. Patterson, A.P. Farrell. 2012. Conservation physiology in practice: How physiological knowledge has improved our ability to sustainably manage Pacific salmon during up-river migration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. 367: 1757-1769
  • Eliason, E.J., T.D. Clark, M.J. Hague, L.M. Hanson, Z.S. Gallagher, K.M. Jeffries, M.K. Gale, D.A. Patterson, S.G. Hinch, A.P. Farrell. 2011. Differences in thermal tolerance among sockeye salmon populations. Science 332: 109-112
  • Farrell, A.P., E.J. Eliason, E. Sandblom, T.D. Clark. 2009. Fish cardiorespiratory physiology in an era of climate change. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87: 835-851
  • Eliason, E.J., D.A. Higgs, A.P. Farrell. 2008. Postprandial gastrointestinal blood flow, oxygen consumption and heart rate in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 149: 380-388
  • Steinhausen, M. F., E. Sandblom, E.J. Eliason, C.V. Verhille, A. P. Farrell. 2008. The effect of acute temperature increases on the cardiorespiratory performance of resting and swimming sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 3915-3926