Senior Research Assistant, Zoology

Noel Alfonso.

Contact Information

Tel: 613.364.4064
Fax: 613.364.4027

Noel Alfonso's work at the Canadian Museum of Nature continues his lifelong fascination with fishes.


  • Phylogeny and taxonomy of temperate and Indo-Pacific flatfishes.
  • Taxonomy of the lake charr (Salvelinus namaycush).
  • Taxonomy of  catostomids.


  • M.Sc., University of Ottawa, 2001.

Documenting Biodiversity (2 min. 53 sec.)


Noel wears several hats for the museum, but his favourite one by far is the one that has him identifying and sometimes even naming Canadian fishes. He works on flatfishes (which are the most asymmetric vertebrates), lake trout and suckers. He is also an expert on Arctic fishes and is a contributor to the forthcoming Arctic Marine Fishes of Canada book, and authored the chapter on Arctic flatfishes. He also maintains the database of fishes of the National Capital Region, which was started in 1958 by the museum's first curator of fishes. This job entails doing local fish surveys, as well as GIS (computer mapping) and statistics.

The other hat that Noel wears is a green one. He has initiated and advised the museum on its various environmental goals and program. Currently, he runs the museum's Environmental Monitoring Program, which involves the conservation of a 76-hectare tract of mixed deciduous and coniferous forest at the museum's research and collection facility.

Professional Services

  • Identification of fish species.
  • GIS and multivariate statistics.


Coad, B.W. and Alfonso, N. (2005). The Hornyhead Chub, Nocomis biguttatus, a Fish New to the National Capital Region (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae). Trail and Landscape 39: 68-72.

Alfonso, N.R. (2004). Evidence for Two Morphotypes of Lake Charr (Salvelinus namaycush) from Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. Environmental Biology of Fishes: 71: 21–32.

Renaud, C.B., Alfonso, N., Comba, M.E. and Kaiser, K.L.E. (2004). A Comparison of Organochlorine Contaminant Levels, on a Lipid Basis, in Sea Lamprey Larvae from Mad River, Lake Huron Basin and Michipicoten River, Lake Superior Basin (1960–1976) Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 39: 7–82.

Alfonso, N. (2002). Review of Introduction to Biometry. Pierre Jolicoeur. Biodiversity 3: 44–45.

Alfonso, N. and Coad, B.W. (2002). Donald Evan McAllister 23 August 1934 – 17 June 2001. Poster presented at 2002 Annual Meeting Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research, 3-5 January, Empire Landmark Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Campbell, M. and Alfonso, N. (eds). (2001). Sea Wind 15(1/2). 64 pp.

Coad, B.W., Reist, J.D., Renaud, C.B., McAllister, D.E., Møller, P.R., Alfonso, N. and Berkes, F. (2001). A Field Guide to the Arctic Marine Fishes of Canada. Poster presented at Arctic Ocean Sciences Board, Twentieth Meeting (AOSB-XX), 23–24 April 2001, Iqaluit.

Alfonso, N. (2001). Revision of the Family Samaridae (Pleuronectiformes: Actinopterygii). Unpubl. M.Sc. Thesis. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. 178 pp.

Alfonso, N. and McAllister, D.E. (2000). Deepwater Coral Distribution on Canada's West Coast. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Deep Sea Corals, Science and Conservation of Deep Sea Corals, July 30 ‑ August 3, 2000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Alfonso, N. and McAllister, D.E. (1994). Biodiversity and the Grande-Baleine Hydroelectric Development. Great Whale Environmental Assessment: Background Paper No. 11, Great Whale Public Review Support Office. 75 pp.