Get to know the members of our Science Committee (SCICOM).

​​​​​​Science Committee Chair

Jörn Schmidt
The Chair of SCICOM is based at our Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark. As Chair, Jörn works with committee members, the Secretariat, and the network to strengthen the relevance, influence, and impact of the organization's science. 

Jörn is a specialist in inter- and transdisciplinary work with experience in immunological laboratory work, zooplankton ecology, fish larvae ecology, fisheries assessment and management, and ecological-economic modelling. He is currently working on marine socio-ecological systems and concepts of sustainability in the ocean. He seeks to improve communication between science, policy, stakeholders, and the general public. Jörn was a recent (2015–2019) co-chair of ICES Strategic Initiative on the Human Dimension.

Email, ProfileGoogle ScholarResearchGate

​Chairs of Steering Groups
Andy Kenny, Human Activities, Pressures and Impacts Steering Group

Andy is a Principal Scientist and marine benthic ecologist at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). He has research interests in the assessment and management of the effects of human activities, especially marine aggregate extraction and bottom fishing activities, on vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs).  He works closely with the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) and North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) where he provides scientific advice on area-based fishery management measures to protect high seas biodiversity and the assessment of significant adverse impacts on VMEs.  He is currently Chair of the Working Group Integrated Assessment of the North Sea (WGINOSE).

Email, ‪Google Scholar

​Ann-Lisbeth Agnalt, Aquaculture Steering Group

Ann-Lisbeth is a senior scientist at Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen, Norway. Her scientific work related to aquaculture focuses on assessing chemotherapeutants applied in salmon farming combating sea lice and effects on a range of non-target species. Outcomes of this research are implemented in the IMR's annual risk assessment of the environmental effects of Norwegian aquaculture. Ann-Lisbeth has some previous experience in aquaculture in developing countries, and she has also worked with sea ranching and stock  enhancement. 


Debbi PedreschiIntegrated Ecosystem Assessments Steering Group
Debbi is a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland. Her role is in progressing the ecosystems approach to fisheries management through developing innovative fisheries management and integrated ecosystem assessment. Her scientific work focuses on understanding marine socio-ecological systems and involves working with stakeholders to learn from their knowledge and experience. Outcomes of her research are intended to advance understanding and application of integrated ecosystem assessment as a tool for ecosystem-based management and advice.

She is co-Chair of the Working Group on Ecosystem Assessment of Western European Shelf Seas (WGEAWESS).

EmailGoogle ScholarLinked InORCiDResearchGate

​Jens Rasmussen, Data Science and Technology Steering Group
Jens is Scientific Data Manager at Marine Scotland, Aberdeen, Scotland. His role is to help safeguard, integrate, and make use of data from research, monitoring and advice both nationally and internationally. His work focusses on making data flow efficiently from field collection to publication. Jens has previously worked as a Zooplankton Ecologist at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.


Joël Vigneau, Ecosystem Observation Steering Group
Joël is a senior fisheries scientist at the Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER)​ in Normandy, France. Joel is currently the scientific coordinator for both the French fisheries monitoring programme and Ifremer data preparation team in response of data calls. He is also the fisheries scientist helping the French Administration managing the bilateral agreement between Canada and France for the fishing rights given to the French islands of St-Pierre et Miquelon in the Canadian EEZ.

He has a strong background in international collaborative science both on data collection and data quality and on stock assessment in several international bodies, where he has often served as chair of expert groups. Recently, he chaired ICES Planning Group on Data Needs for Assessment and Advice​ (PGDATA), which worked in bridging the world of data collectors with the end-users and also worked on the ICES quality assurance framework.

Email; ResearchGate

Jonathan White, Fisheries Resources Steering Group
Based in Galway, west coast of Ireland, Jonathan jointly manages the Demersal Stock Assessment team, part of Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services at the Marine Institute. He undertakes an oversight of demersal fish-stock assessments and Nephrops surveys within the institute.

Jonathan's interests focus on understanding and assessing status of natural aquatic resources, with expertise in aquatic ecology, statistics, stock assessment and translation of science into objective resource management. Prior to demersal fisheries, he worked on Atlantic salmon stock assessments, marine habitat mapping, oceanography and data management, initially working on lake and river ecology.


Steven DegraerEcosystem Processes and Dynamics Steering Group
​Steven is Senior Scientist and Team Leader at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, and he is also the Belgian member in ICES Science Committee. He coordinates the work of the Marine Ecology and Management team, with an emphasis on maximising the team's scientific impact and steering its role in providing marine ecosystem management advice. His research interests include marine nature conservation and sustainable use of resources, covering rocky shore fauna and non-indigenous species, marine mammals and seabirds, and effects of underwater sound. Steven has previously worked at Ghent University in Belgium, where he now maintains a role as visiting professor.


​National members and Operational Group Chairs
​​​Anders Nielsen, Training Group Chair

Ander is Professor (mso) at Technical University of Denmark, National Institute for Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is research coordinator for the statistic group at DTU Aqua. His scientific work focuses on developing statistically rigorous tools for marine science in particular for fish stock assessment. ​Anders has previously worked at University of Hawaii developing models and software for geolocating archival-tagged marine creatures.

​Andreas Kannen, Germany

Andreas is a research scientist at Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Systems – Analysis and Modelling, Germany. He is member of the division on Human Dimensions of Coastal Areas and has conducted research related to marine use patterns, use conflicts, offshore wind farm development and maritime spatial planning. As a social scientist his interests focus on the socio-cultural and institutional perspective, looking at the role of the various human actors, institutions, policies, planning processes and governance structures that form the marine and coastal environment. Andreas holds several policy advisory positions and is engaged with ICES since 2006, including chairing of WGMPCZM from 2011 to 2016.   


​​Antonina dos Santos, Portugal

Antonina is Senior Scientist at the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) in Lisbon, Portugal. Her role is to lead plankton and oceanography research and to provide advice on ecosystem health and biodiversity for Portuguese marine areas. Her scientific work focuses on how critical connections in the complex life cycles of marine invertebrates regulate population dynamics in oceanic and coastal communities. Her research intends to advance understanding and application of ecosystem-based management. Antonina has previously worked as Director of the Department of Sea and Marine Resources at IPMA.

Email, Google Scholar, ResearchGate

Artūras Razinkovas-Baziukas, Lithuania

Artūras is a Chief Scientist and professor at the Marine Research Institute based in Klaipėda. His scientific work focuses on estuarine systems, especially lagoons covering the process based and statistical modelling of ecosystems and their ecosystem services. Outcomes of his research are intended to advance understanding and application of ecosystem-based management. Artūras has also has served as a national representative for the European Marine Board and is a former president of the Baltic Marine Biologist organization.

EmailGoogle scholarBaltic Lagoon Network

Brian MacKenzie, Denmark

Brian is Professor of Marine Fish Population Ecology at the Technical University of Denmark, National Institute for Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) in Copenhagen, Denmark. He conducts research into dynamics of marine fish populations in response to human and natural perturbations, teaches and supervises graduate students, and provides advice to public and private organizations. His scientific work focuses on identifying and quantifying impacts of climate change/variability, fishing and eutrophication on marine populations and ecosystems. Results contribute to ecosystem-based approaches to management and stock assessment. Brian is a recent (2012-2015) co-chair of ICES-PICES Strategic Initiative on Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems (SICCME).

Email, Google Scholar

​Dariuz Fey, Poland

Dariusz is Chief Scientist at the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Gdynia, Poland. His role is to lead research on the early life history of fish and to provide advice on human impacts on the status of ecosystems. His scientific work focuses on the ecology of larval and juvenile fish and otolith microstructure analysis.  Outcomes of the research find application in the environmental impact assessment of different human activities. Dariusz has previously worked as visiting scientist at the University of Hawaii and as a National Research Council post-doc at the NOAA Beaufort Laboratory in the United States.

Email, ResearchGate

Ellen Kenchington, Canada

Ellen is a senior scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography based in Dartmouth. Her role is to provide scientific advice on issues related to benthic species and habitats both nationally and internationally. Her research focuses on the benthic ecology of the continental shelf and slopes, impacts of fishing on benthic communities, and population genetics of marine organisms. Outcomes of her research contribute to identification of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs), marine protected area selection and design, and sustainable fishing practices.

Email, ResearchGate

Evan Howell, USA
Bio coming soon.

Francis O’Beirn, Ireland

Francis is a Team Leader in the Marine Environment and Food Safety Service Area and is based at the Marine Institute headquarters in Galway. He is chiefly responsible for aquaculture advisory and monitoring services and risk assessment of licenced activities in Natura Sites. Francis is interested in habitat restoration and monitoring antropogenic impacts on marine (benthic) habitats and species. Currently he is a member of the Working Group on Marine Benthal and Renewable Energy Developments (WGMBRED).

Henrik Nygård, Finland

Henrik works as a Senior Research Scientist at the Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute. He has a background in marine ecology, with experience from the Baltic Sea, Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Currently his work includes monitoring and assessment of the marine environment, with a main focus on benthic habitats. His interests include facilitation of data- and science-based decision support in marine environmental management.

Email, Google scholar

Hrönn Egilsdottir, Iceland
Bio coming soon

Ivars Putnis, Latvia

Bio coming soon

​John Pinnegar, United Kingdom

John is a Principal Scientist and lead advisor on climate change at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Director of the Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas (CCSUS), a joint initiative between Cefas and the University of East Anglia, and also Director of the International Marine Climate Change Centre (iMC3) at Cefas. His role includes strategic planning of research goals and initiatives, as well as managing a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to provide ad-hoc advice on climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation.

John's research interests include the impacts of climate change on fish and fisheries, climate change risk assessment techniques as well as marine food-webs and fisheries modelling. John is a lead author of the UN Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment report. John was previously co-chair of the ICES/PICES Strategic Initiative on Climate Change in Marine Ecosystems (SICCME), he served as Honorary Secretary to the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) from 2013 to 2018.

Email; Google Scholar​; CEFAS bio 

Jos Schilder, The Netherlands

Jos Schilder currently holds a position as advisor with the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). In this capacity he is tasked with bridging the gap between policy makers and the scientific community. He is a delegate to OSPAR ​bodies concerned with biodiversity and ocean acidification (BDC, ICG-COBAM, ICG-OA) and the EU-Marine Strategy Framework Directive working group on good environmental status (WG-GES). He has a background in freshwater (palaeo)ecology and climate sciences, having done research on lake food web dynamics, stable isotope ecology and lacustrine greenhouse gas dynamics.


​​​Lena Bergström, Sweden

Lena is associate professor at the Department of Aquatic Resources at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU Aqua), and is based at the Institute for Coastal Research, Öregrund.  Her key role is to lead research on marine ecosystem analyses to develop management advice in support of the ecosystem approach.  

Her scientific work covers fish and aquatic food webs, the development of indicators and assessment methods, cumulative impact assessment, off shore wind farms, ecosystem services and assessment of ecological-socioeconomic interactions. One of her central roles is advisor in relation to the Marine Strategy Framework and the Baltic Sea Action Plan. Lena has previously worked as a researcher at Stockholm University, the Swedish Board of Fisheries and as project coordinator at HELCOM. She has previously co-chaired ICES/HELCOM Working Group on Integrated Assessments of the Baltic Sea (WGIAB).

Email, Website, ResearchGate

Lidia Yebra, ​Spain

Lidia is Senior Scientist at the Oceanographic Centre of Málaga (IEO-CSIC) in Fuengirola, Spain. She leads zooplankton research and provides advice on pelagic ecosystem status for Spanish Mediterranean marine areas. Her research focuses on the effect of eutrophication on coastal plankton production and the energy transfer within the pelagic trophic web (from primary producers to fish larvae). Outcomes of her research advance our understanding of the links between plankton dynamics and fisheries. 

Currently Lidia is co-chair of the Working Group of Zooplankton Ecology (WGZE)​ and member of the Working Group of Integrated Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT).

Email; Google Scholar; ResearchGate; OceanExpert profile; Blog

Mehis Rohtla​, Estonia

Mehis is an associate professor at Estonian Marine Institute, and is based in Tartu. His main role is to provide scientific advice on issues related to fish migration and recruitment but also on the potential effects of offshore wind farms on fish.

Mehis' scientific work focuses on fish migratory ecology and recruitment studies by using different otolith microchemistry and biotelemetry methods. He is also involved with various environmental impact assessments and fish surveys conducted in the Estonian coastal sea. Outcomes of his research are mainly intended to provide advice to national governmental and public organizations on fish management and conservation.

​Mette Skern-Mauritzen, Norway
Bio coming soon

Nils Olav Handegard, Science Impact and Publication Group Chair

Nils Olav is a Principal Scientist at the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway. His role is to conduct and lead research and data infrastructure projects to assess uncertainty and increase transparency in advisory processes at IMR. His main research interests focus on how various acoustic sensors can be used to observe marine organisms including data processing and large scale observation systems. Nils Olav has previously worked at Princeton University, the University of Washington and the Alaska Fisheries Science Centre in the United States. Nils Olav is Chair of the Science Impact and Publication Group

Email, Profile, Researcher ID

Pierre Petitgas, France

Pierre is Director of the research unit "Ecology and models for fisheries" at the L'Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) laboratory in Nantes.  He is a specialist of mapping spatial distributions of fish populations and their spatial relationships with abiotic and biotic environments. This research includes developing spatially explicit models coupling fish bioenergetics, demographics and distribution with physical and lower trophic models, as well as other tools needed to develop spatially explicit ocean management plans to address multiple objectives at regional scales. Pierre is also the French Delegate on ICES Council. 

Email, Profile

Sjur Ringheim Lid, Data and Information Group Chair

​Sjur is the head of Digital Development at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway. His role is to lead software development processes to facilitate marine science. His main interests focus on efficient and automated data collection, data availability and development of digital systems that makes the scientific work easier.


Print this pagePrint it Request newsletterSend to Post to Facebook Post to Twitter Post to LinkedIn Share it
c FollowFollow Focus on ContentFocus on Content
HelpGive Feedback


International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
ICES Secretariat · H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46, DK 1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark · Tel: +45 3338 6700 · Fax: +45 3393 4215 ·
Disclaimer Privacy policy · © ICES - All Rights Reserved