This prestigious award signifies the highest level of recognition for services to ICES science, and Wiebe, emeritus scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, was nominated for the award based on his lifelong academic contributions to zooplankton ecology and bioacoustics, and for his commitment to working within ICES.
Through his career, Wiebe has contributed extensively to increase knowledge on the ecology of zooplankton, its role in the ecosystem and how it affects fish production in the widest sense. Not surprisingly, his work within ICES has for a large part evolved around his long-standing and very active role in the Working Group on Zooplankton Ecology (WGZE). Wiebe has played a leading role in many of the major accomplishments of the group, including the planning and leadership of workshops at sea and his co-authoring and –editing of The ICES Zooplankton Methodology Manual which has greatly improved the standards for plankton studies and is still being used in many marine labs around the world.
For Wiebe it is important that the next generation of scientists are brought into the game. His mentorship and training of early career scientists is something that many of his peers mention as a trademark. They highlight his passion when discussing science and recruiting young scientists to take part in the work of ICES expert groups, and they value the way he gives unselfishly of his time and energy to support his colleagues. "He treats everyone as an equal, from technicians to undergraduate students to colleagues" says Gareth Lawson, associate scientist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
"We all wish we could exhibit 20% of Peter's enthusiasm" says Fransisco Werner, Director of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
Wiebe, true to his character, humbly accepted the award and stressed in his speech the importance of collaboration: "It is these people who have made it possible for me to do what I have done".
Over 600 participants from across the marine science world, organisations, institutes, industries have gathered this week for ICES Annual Science Conference in Riga to discuss and engage in science for sustainable seas.
Peter Wiebe (left) receives the Outstanding Achievement Award from Pierre Petitgas, the Chair of ICES Awards Committee.