The prestigious accolade signifies the highest level of recognition for services to ICES science, and Rijnsdorp – professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and chief scientist at its Institute for Marine Research and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES) – was honoured based on his wide-ranging contributions to ICES and his extensive and influential science in fisheries and fish biology over many decades.
A versatile fisheries scientist, Rijnsdorp has lent his in-depth knowledge to a variety of subjects from oceanography and the effects of climate change on fish populations through to the economic aspects of fisheries and the behaviour and decision-making processes of the fishers themselves. His research into flatfish fisheries and ecology saw him an early champion of the 'plaice box', a protected North Sea zone for young flatfish. Strong leadership skills have allowed him to organize many large national and EU projects.
"Adriaan has always been a pleasure to work with. He is hugely respected within the scientific community and has inspired many people all around the world," said John Pinnegar, Programme Director at the UK's CEFAS Marine Climate Change Centre and scientific peer.
"Adriaan leads projects in a quiet and very humble way; he encourages a 'bottom-up' style so that people feel truly empowered and involved. He believes that real progress can be made wherever two disciplines meet."
During the ceremony, chair of ICES Awards Committee Pierre Petitgas outlined further traits exemplified by the award winner, including his communication with the industry and fisheries stakeholders, mentoring of younger scientists, intellectual rigour in making points, and engaging personality.
"I experienced the ICES spirit," expressed Rijnsdorp as he received the reward. "To collaborate, to be open and to trust each other and to share ideas. All my collaborators and colleagues should also feel rewarded."
Over seven hundred participants from a range of organizations and industries have gathered this week for ICES Annual Science Conference in Copenhagen to discuss and engage in science for sustainable seas.
Adriaan Rijnsdorp giving his acceptance speech upon winning the Outstanding Achievement Award at ASC 2015