In memoriam - Georgs Kornilovs

We are deeply saddened to inform about the passing of our colleague and good friend Georgs Kornilovs
Published: 31 October 2018

​Georgs passed away in Apoka, Uganda, on 21 September, aged 64. He represented Latvia as Delegate at ICES from 2010 to 2016 and was member of the Science Committee from 2008 to 2017, contributing to our organization in various way for over 27 years. In September 2016, Georgs organized the ICES Annual Science Conference in Riga, the capital of his home country.

During his career Georgs authored many research articles, mainly related to Baltic herring stocks, trophic interactions, zooplankton dynamic and climate change effects. He acted as supervisor for several PhD theses and trained a series of young scientists in his institute. For his students and for his colleagues in Latvia, around the Baltic and in the ICES community, Georgs will be remembered as calm, kind, thoughtful, tolerant and caring person – a man of reason.

Georgs was born on 16 March 1954 in Norilsk, Russia, a mining city well north of the Polar circle, to which his father was deported after the Second World War. In 1956, the family returned to Latvia, where Georgs graduated as biologist from the Latvian University in 1977. Since childhood he had a keen interest in bird watching egg collection, and bird photography. It was as indeed on a bird watching trip in Uganda where he suffered from a fatal heart failure.

Georgs was a fisheries scientist, familiar with the whole working process, from aging fish to final advice and management decisions. This broad ability made him able to successfully combine science, data collection and advisory work. He started his career at the Baltic Fisheries Research Institute in Riga (BALTNIIRH) in 1981. His main tasks were collecting fishery data and aging herring. For more than 20 years Georgs was the assessor for the Gulf of Riga herring stock

After Latvian independence in 1991, Georgs became the Head of Pelagic Fish Sector at the Latvian Fisheries Research Institute (LATFRI). His duties included working on Baltic herring stock assessment and coordinating a long-term zooplankton database. He first joined ICES in the same year, participating in the Working Group on Assessment of Pelagic Stocks in the Baltic.

Despite more managerial tasks, Georgs continued to contribute to stock assessments as both a member and chair of several ICES expert groups.

In 1994, Georgs successfully defended his PhD thesis at the University of Latvia. Later in his career, he got increasingly engaged in communicating advice on fisheries management to stakeholders, national fishermen organizations, fisheries managers and the general public. His knowledge of the fisheries, and his calm character and thoughtful thinking were an advantage in this work. Georgs did not get carried away in debates, he did not try to “win” or dominate discussions, he simply focused on facts.

After reorganization of the institute into the Latvian Fish Resources Agency (LATFRA), Georgs became its Deputy Director in 2004 and also took on the role of national correspondent for the EU Data Collection Framework. In 2010, when the agency was integrated into the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment (BIOR), he continued as the Head of the Fish Resources Research Department.

In 2017, Georgs laid down his managerial tasks and became the chief scientist at the institute. With more time, he became involved in a number of multidisciplinary ecosystem oriented Baltic Sea projects and pursued his interest for ornithology in Latvia.

Georgs leaves behind his wife Elita, daughter Kity, and son Nils. He will be missed both for his scientific contributions to the ICES community, but also for his kind and reflective personality. We send our deep condolences to his family.

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​Geor​gs Kornilovs 1954 - 2018

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In memoriam - Georgs Kornilovs

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