Assessing the new crew!

Four new professional officers have just joined the team at ICES Secretariat. Let's meet our new colleagues and find out what they will be doing for the ICES community!
Published: 8 July 2016

​​​​​​​Arni Magnusson, Iceland 

What is your role at ICES? 
My role at ICES is to work with Colin Millar (Scotland) to design and implement a new system to run and store all the stock assessments that go through ICES. We're slightly overwhelmed with the amount of data and processes that need to be handled, but in the end it's a bit like herding sheep through the highlands of Scotland and Iceland.

Before I started at ICES this spring, I was doing stock assessment work, first in New Zealand and then in Iceland. Besides fisheries research, I've enjoyed developing statistical software and teaching courses in various parts of the world, including ICES training courses.

What are you looking forward to achieving here at ICES? 
For me, working at ICES is an opportunity to combine my interests in stock assessment and software engineering to construct an open and transparent framework, which will hopefully elevate the quality of the ICES research and advice even further. I've developed similar things in the past, but on a smaller scale. When visiting ICES, I've always felt that the atmosphere here is professional and welcoming. I'm very happy with the colleagues here, and it's a privilege to interact with all the visiting scientists.

​One fun fact about yourself!
The city of Copenhagen is an attraction in itself. It's tempting to stay at the hotel in Arni Magnussons Gade, which is within walking distance of ICES. That would look good on a business card.

Colin Millar, Scotland

What is your role at ICES? 
I am working on a system to archive and run all ICES fish stock assessments with Arni Magnusson. There is a great deal of diversity in ICES stock assessments that has developed over time and we are working to develop a system that will retain this quality.

Previously, I have worked as a statistical modeller and stock assessment scientist for the Scottish Government and the European Commission, working on both freshwater and marine fisheries data. Prior to that, I worked in data collection and collation, primarily with demersal fishieries. I saw the job here at ICES as a natural progression and an opportunity to expand my experience both professionally and culturally.​

What are you looking forward to achieving here at ICES? 
I am really enjoying meeting and working with the scientists based here and those visiting ICES.  The summer is here and I am looking forward to exploring the Danish coastline and countryside with my family.

One fun fact about yourself!
In my naïve youth, before I embraced my inner geek, I dropped mathematics for zoology because I didn't want a job stuck in front of a computer every day doing sums...little did I know that would end up being my favourite thing!​

David C. M. Miller, South Africa

What is your role at ICES?
I am a Professional Officer in the Advisory department. This involves many tasks, most of which are related to ensuring the quality of the advice being issued by ICES. I am expected to provide a link following the work through from the working groups, to the advice drafting groups and finally through the ACOM review process before publication.  Outside of advice season I will also be function as the ICES Secretariat contact for NEAFC, conducting management plan evaluations, and other tasks I am not yet aware of.

I studied in South Africa (PhD in Marine Ecology modelling the transport of sardine eggs and larvae in the Benguela upwelling ecosystem), did a post-doc in Newfoundland (MSE for NAFO Greenland halibut) that got me into fisheries work, and then spent seven years at IMARES in the Netherlands mainly working on the assessment and advice for North Sea demersal stocks and widely distributed pelagic stocks (participated in and chaired many ICES expert groups, benchmarks, management plan evaluations, etc.).​

What are you looking forward to achieving here at ICES?
Having been involved quite heavily in ICES work from the "scientist" perspective, I am looking forward to experiencing the whole process from the Secretariat side. I think this is an excellent place to be to get a broader awareness of all the fish stocks and fisheries issues across the Northeast Atlantic and, with all the meetings held here, to grow my network. My experiences should be useful in assisting ICES scientists in their work and identifying areas where the advice development process can be improved. I am hoping to spend some time evaluating the quality of past advice with an aim to identifying areas for future improvement. I am also looking forward to eating more cake.​

One fun fact about yourself!
I have been taking selfies since before they were cool (in fact, since before digital cameras were cool), and I have amassed over 3000 from all over the world.​

Rui Catarino

What is your role at ICES?
I am an Advisory Professional Officer which means that I support the ICES advisory process> This may be through assisting expert groups that are conducting assessments, benchmarks, or drafting advice. There are other tasks but having joined the team in April, right in the middle of assessment season, I haven't got to that part just yet!

I was previously at Marine Scotland Science in Aberdeen and a fair bit of my work was related to ICES. I was an assessment expert in the Celtic Sea where I've worked with haddock and cod, and also part of the VMS working group almost from its birth. There is something that I have learnt very quickly and that is the amount of work the Secretariat is involved with which I have not fully appreciated before. ​

What are you looking forward to achieving here at ICES?
I'm looking forward to learn more about areas that I haven't worked with previously. Being part of ICES and in particular the Advisory program gives me the opportunity to work with experts from all over the world and that is without a doubt something I'm really looking forward to. I'm also very keen to help streamline the advisory process making it more efficient and consistent which is something that all expert groups cry out for. 

One fun fact about yourself!
I am a keen golfer and I'm looking forward to try the lovely golf courses in and around Copenhagen. If you are curious to know how good or how bad I am you will have to come and play with me to find out (I'm always looking for someone to play with).


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Assessing the new crew!

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