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 ScholarResearch Gate

Chairs of Steering Groups

​​Michael Rust, Aquaculture Steering Group
Michael is the Science Advisor for NOAA's Office of Aquaculture in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA but he is based in Seattle, USA. His role is to bring science to NOAA's policy and management decisions, and to provide strategic guidance to NOAA's aquaculture science portfolio. His scientific work has focused on nutrition, reproduction and development of marine fish.  More recently he is interested in issues of seafood security and resilience of food production in the face of a changing environment. Michael has previously worked as the Marine Aquaculture Program Manager at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

Email; Bio

Sven Kupschus, Ecosystem Observation Steering Group
Sven is a senior stock assessment scientist at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in Lowestoft, UK. His scientific interests focus on the assessment and drivers of ecosystem states, and analysing and modelling ecosystem and stock assessment data. The outcomes of this work support management and provide the evidence to improve future monitoring programs. 

As Chair of the Ecosystem Observation Steering Group Sven is helping Expert Groups to develop and bring forward the science relevant for stock and ecosystem assessment. Sven has previously worked on monitoring and stock assessment in estuarine and coastal systems in Florida.


Silvana Birchenough​Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics Steering Group
Silvana is a researcher and advisor on issues related to ecology and human activities and Manager of the Ecology Group at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in Lowestoft, UK. 

She works on long-term benthic changes resulting from climate change and ocean acidification, and assessing the potential impacts of multiple-stressors (e.g. temperature, pH changes and metals). Her work is also associated with in situ observations for studying processes and functions of benthic infauna and for improving seabed integrity studies (e.g. Sediment Profile Imagery camera-SPI). Silvana is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Travel Foundation for her research on benthic ecosystems.

EmailGoogle scholar, Research Gate

Sarah Bailey, Human Activities, Pressures and Impacts Steering Group
Sarah is a research scientist with the Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Science, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Her scientific work focuses on the ecology of aquatic invasive species and the management of commercial shipping vectors (ballast water and biofouling). Her research feeds directly into the development of science-based regulations and guidelines to reduce the transfer of aquatic species through shipping activities within Canada and internationally via the International Maritime Organization. Sarah previously chaired ICES/IMO/IOC Working Group on Ballast and Other Shipping Vectors​.

Email, Research Gate  

Mette Skern-Mauritzen, Integrated Ecosystem Assessments Steering Group 
Mette is Head of Research at the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway where she leads the Ecosystem Processes Research Group, focusing on ecosystem research and providing advice on ecosystem management. She is also the national member of SCICOM for Norway.

Her scientific work focuses on trophic interactions, ecosystem structure and function, and climate change impact on marine ecosystems. Outcomes of her research have advanced understanding and application of ecosystem-based management, Mette has previously worked as a marine mammal researcher at Institute of Marine Research. 

EmailResearch Gate

Patrick Lynch, Fisheries Resources Steering Group
Patrick is the National Stock Assessment Program Leader for NOAA Fisheries Office of Science & Technology in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. He provides national representation and strategic direction for stock assessments in NOAA. Patrick focuses on scientific solutions to achieving sustainable fisheries, and he is currently working toward implementing NOAA's Next Generation Stock Assessment Enterprise.

As Chair of the Fisheries Resources Steering Group, Patrick is responsible for guiding and supporting expert groups on advisory-related and science topics contributing to the management of wild-capture fisheries. Previously, Patrick worked as a researcher, studying the inclusion of environmental information in stock assessments and the effects of climate change on fish populations.


National members and Operational Group Chairs

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 scholar, Baltic Lagoon Network

​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, Research Gate

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, Research Gate

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, Research Gate

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).

Guðmundur J. Óskarsson, Iceland

Guðmundur is currently head of the Pelagic section at Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Iceland. His section deals with research on pelagic fish stocks, marine mammals, zooplankton, phytoplankton and physical- and chemical oceanography.  His main scientific work includes stock assessment, reproductive biology, tropic interaction and general ecology of pelagic fish stocks in the northeast Atlantic. Guðmundur previously chaired ICES Working Group on Widely Distributed Stocks and co-chaired the Working Group on the Integrated Assessments of the Norwegian Sea. Guðmundur completed his PhD in Fisheries Oceanography at Dalhousie University in 2005.

EmailGoogle scholarResearchgate

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

​Jan Jaap Poos, Chair of ICES Training Group

​Jan Jaap is senior researcher at Wageningen Marine Research, and is based in Ijmuiden, The Netherlands. His research focuses on spatial aspects of the interactions between fish and fisheries. He works on population ecology of marine species and adaptation of fisheries to a changing ecological and economic environment. As such, he has a keen interest in progress on the human dimension of marine resource management within SCICOM. He is currently also editor for ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Email, Google Scholar, Profile

Jens Rasmussen, Chair of Data and Information Group

Jens Rasmussen 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.


Jonne Kotta, Estonia

Jonne Kotta works as a reserach professor and acts as a Vice Director at the Estonian Marine Institute, the University of Tartu. Jonne has over 25 years experience as a field and an experimental ecologist. He has broad expertise in a number of fields of marine science  and strong knowledge in different types of habitats and organisms. He is conducting research, among other topics, on trophic networks, benthic-pelagic coupling and scale-dependent relationships between environmental forcing and biotic patterns. He has also strong theoretical and practical knowledge of different types of (spatial) modelling techniques to link theoretical science with different management practices. Such knowledge is needed for the current management plans but likely to produce clearer vision and strategies for the future.

Email​, Research Gate​

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.


​Kevin Friedland, United States

Kevin is a Marine Scientist in the Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He conducts fisheries oceanography research to support assessment advice and to describe the influence of environmental change for management bodies. His research focuses on change in lower trophic level productivity and its impact on the recruitment and distribution of resources species. Remote sensing data play a large role in this research.

Email, Research

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, Research Gate

Rafael González-Quirós, ​Spain


Email, Research Gate, Google ​Scholar​

Maris Plikshs, Latvia

Maris is Chief Scientist at the Fish Resources Research Department in the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment (BIOR), in Riga, Latvia. His role is to lead research on Eastern Baltic cod ecology, stock assessment, and to provide advice to national governmental and public organizations on fisheries and ecosystem.

His recent scientific activities focus on the demersal fish and other top-predator roles in the Baltic ecosystem, reproduction ecology of Eastern Baltic cod, seal and fisheries interactions, as well as fish ecology and trophic relations in the coastal zone. Results contribute to ecosystem-based approaches to management and fish stock assessment. Maris has also been working as the quest researcher in Kiel University and as a lecturer in Latvian University.


Nils Olav Handegard, Norway

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

Peter Wright, United Kingdom

Peter leads the ecology and conservation group at the Marine Laboratory, Marine Scotland Science and is based in Aberdeen. His roles are to lead research to underpin fish stock management and habitat protection, and to provide advice on fisheries and marine protected areas. His scientific work focuses on connectivity, demography and predator-prey interactions.  Outcomes of his research have influenced the way some fish stocks are managed and the introduction of spatial management measures. Peter completed his PhD at the University of Glasgow in 1990.

Email, Google Scholar

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

Svetlana Kasatkina, Russian Federation

Svetlana is Head of the Laboratory of Electronic Equipment for Marine Research at the Atlantic Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (AtlantNIRO) and is based in Kaliningrad. Her roles are to develop and evaluate methods and data processing to support ecosystem-based management advice. Her scientific work focuses on improving ship surveys to meet the parameterization needs of stock assessment methods and integrated analysis of ecosystem data and fishery indices with focus on linking long term-trends to climate variability. Outcomes of her research are intended to support ecosystem-based management. Svetlana has previously worked as a fisheries acoustic scientist at AtlantNIRO.


Steven Degraer, Belgium

Steven is Senior Scientist and Team Leader at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels. 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.


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