Looking for a new chair to lead the Ecosystem Observation Steering Group

​​​​Ocean observation is a science priority for ICES.

We are accepting nominations for the position of Ecosystem Observation Steering Group Chair, taking over the role from 1 January 2024.

Deadline for nominations: 9 June 2023
Published: 11 May 2023

​​​​​​​​Observations are essential to support all marine science and advice. Scientists and resource managers rely on monitoring and the resulting data sets that allow us to track environmental and population changes in the ecosystems and identify resources for sustainable use and protection.

ICES has a number of expert groups that design, plan, and coordinate different types of surveys to support fish stock assessments and the development of science. The design of these surveys needs to be evaluated and optimized to meet the needs of our member countries. New technologies are identified and evaluated. The design, deployment and efficiency of sampling methods and gears are advised on. All this is carried out while developing monitoring that meets emerging data, science, and advisory needs, and is focused on integrated ecosystem assessment and ecosystem-based management. And then, how should the resulting data be used in assessments and advice?

The Ecosystem Observation Steering Group (EOSG) guides and supports these expert groups working on topics related to ecosystem observation as they meet data demands and contribute to the running and further development of effectively coordinated, integrated, quality-assured, and cost-effective monitoring in the ICES region and beyond.

Nominations open

The term of the current EOSG Chair Joël Vigneau is coming to an end and nominations are being accepted for the position - a four-year term beginning in January 2024. As Chair, you will have the opportunity to influence the direction and impact of ICES science in this area, develop an international science network, and contribute to the work of ICES Science Committee. To allow time to interact with existing steering group chairs and the current chair of the Ecosystem Observation Steering Group to support the handover of responsibilities for this group, a new Chair will be elected in 2023.


Becoming a Steering Group Chair provides an excellent career opportunity for scientists already involved in ICES network, allowing the person to influence the direction and impact of ICES science, develop an international science network, and contribute to the work of ICES and the Science Committee (SCICOM).  

While the position is unremunerated, the selected person will receive an annual travel budget to support participation at ICES meetings, engagement with expert groups, and scientific activity internationally.  

The term for the upcoming EOSG Chair is four years which begins on January 1 2024. If you have any questions regarding the role, please contact current EOSG Chair Joël Vigneau.

Some advice

As Chair, Vigneau has helped expert groups contribute to both the science objectives and advisory needs of ICES, supporting the move toward integrated ecosystem monitoring. 

He points to adapting our surveys to the evolution of the ecosystem, spatial access restrictions, new technologies for data capture, and adopting a regional approach to better match the advisory process as the key emerging issues for the incoming Chair to discuss with expert group chairs

"EOSG has a reasonable number of expert groups to work with, composed of both dedicated survey coordination working groups and transversal technical working groups. The work of conducting research surveys at sea is well documented in ICES online manuals and the participation of working groups is well established", says Vign​eau, "Your role as the EOSG chair mainly consists of creating a channel for all expert group chairs to communicate on common or specific issues and report on research developments, proposed solutions, and implementing new initiatives. The position is very enriching, you will play an important part in​ ICES organiza​tion and participate in the challenging evolution of marine science".

How to apply

If you are interested – or would like to nominate someone – then please contact your national Council delegatesScience Committee, or Advisory Committee members with the following information:

  • A short CV and an expression of interest that includes-
    • Your reasons for standing for the role of steering group chair
    • Relevant experience in science, advice, leadership and/or management
    • Your vision for the steering group
    • Any other information you wish to share with the Committees

The deadline for nominations is Friday 9 June​ 2023. Nominated candidates will make their presentation to the Science Committee and Advisory Committee on 20 June.

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​​​ICES currently has seven steering groups. Each addresses a broad area of science and advice and 'parents' a number of expert groups. Collectively, the steering groups oversee a significant proportion of the activity of ICES expert groups, as described in our  Science Plan and Advisory Plan​.

What does an ICES steering group chair do?

  • Works with expert group chairs to ensure that their work supports the science objectives and advisory needs of ICES 
  • Reviews the science being undertaken within groups, identifies science highlights, demonstrates the impact of their science
  • Provides groups with feedback on ways to improve the impact and influence of their work, provides the Science Committee with feedback on research priorities and implementation of ICES strategy
  • Identifies shortfalls in skills and knowledge needed to achieve ICES objectives, develops capability
  • Identifies gaps and overlaps in groups, proposes consolidation, rationalization or new groups
  • Facilitates  communication, collaboration, and coordination between expert groups and identifies opportunities for collaboration 
  • Represents the steering group at Science Committee and Advisory Committee meetings and at the Annual Science Conference​​
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Looking for a new chair to lead the Ecosystem Observation Steering Group

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