15 October 2021: Guðjón Már Sigurðsson joins the NAMMCO Scientific Committee

It is with great pleasure that NAMMCO welcomes a new member to its Scientific Committee – Dr. Guðjón Már Sigurðsson from the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Iceland.

Every NAMMCO member country can appoint up to 6 scientists to the Scientific Committee. Following the recent retirement of Þorvaldur Gunnlaugsson, we are very happy to have Guðjón join us as a 4th member from Iceland.

Guðjón has been an active member of the NAMMCO By-catch working group since 2015. He is also the current Chair of the ICES working group on by-catch (WGBYC). NAMMCO welcomes the expertise he brings on this important topic to the Scientific Committee.

Guðjón has had an interesting road into working with marine mammals, which he explains below.

“My path to marine mammal science is perhaps a bit unusual, as throughout my studies I always had most interest in invertebrates. My Bachelor’s thesis from the biology department of the University of Iceland was on spiders and beetles in geothermal areas, before I completed a Masters in marine biology from the same university, where I focused on ecology of jellyfish. For my doctoral thesis, I moved to Canada, but stuck to the invertebrates where I studied patterns in American lobster recruitment at the University of New Brunswick.

I started working at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in 2015, when I was hired as a fisheries scientist, with the main task to work on stock assessment of flatfish species. I was also supposed to cover this “by-catch of marine mammal and seabird” thing that had not really been a major field of research at the institute. Long story short, by-catch quickly became my main focus due to an urgent need for more research and estimates in that field. Starting in the spring of 2021, I switched divisions and left the flatfish behind to go full time into the marine mammal world, with focus on by-catch and population estimates for marine mammals.

I look forward working with everyone in the scientific committee in the future.”

You can learn more about Guðjón’s work, on invertebrates and marine mammals, here:

OrcidID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9390-6693

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=0PuuxXAAAAAJ&hl=en

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