Keep on keeping on

Dave Reid is honoured with ICES Outstanding Achievement Award at first ever virtual Annual Science Conference.
Published: 6 September 2021

​​​​​​​​"Dave Reid has been an outstanding representative of ICES scientific community which has played a crucial role in the continued development of a rational and productive role of management of our fish stocks". North Western Waters Advisory Council

This year, the Outstanding Achievement Award is given to Dave Reid, an ecosystem scientist and Principle Investigator at Marine Institute, Ireland.

Involvement with ICES

Reid became a marine biologist by accident. When not allowed to join a forrestry course, only then did he choose marine biology - which has since been the love of his life. 

His career can be traced through his ICES expert group membership, starting with a focus on gears, surveys, data and adapting surveys for ecosystem sampling, and evolving to include the ecosystem effects of fishing, ecosystems approach, integrated ecosystem assessment and the MSFD.​

Reid’s first involvement with ICES was chairing the Planning Group on the HAC Data Exchange Format, a role he held for six years and since then, his impact in ICES network has been extensive, having participated in 25 working groups, 30 workshops, 2 strategic initiatives, 4 steering groups, and the Science Committee (SCICOM). 

Beyond participation, Reid has also led, chairing 10 workshops, 8 working groups, and 2 steering groups (Steering Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, and the Steering Group on Regional Seas Programme). Currently, he is an active member of 12 of these groups. 

Wide impact

Such is Reid's impact within ICES, that his work goes before him - and the breadth of that work is inspiring. One of those who nominated him for this award comments that, ​"I knew about Dave’s work long before I got to know him, due to his many scientific contributions within my scientific field over the years. I am truly amazed by the range of scientific topics Dave contributes to; from acoustics, gear technologies, ecosystem impacts of fishing (discards, bycatch, benthic impacts), integrated ecosystem assessment, fishing practices, mixed fisheries, pelagic species, mesopelagics, multi-species, food-web and ecosystem modelling, fisher behavior, indicators, climate change impacts, trade-off analyses, cumulative pressure assessments, to ecosystem based management and ecosystem based fisheries management. While many scientists ‘migrate through’ topics over a long career, Dave seem to accumulate topics – he is still actively contributing to e.g. gear technologies, which was the focus in the start of his scientific career, while at the same time being a key driving force in the advancement of ecosystem-based management".

WKIRIS​H - Reid's legacy within ICES

Colleagues from both science and industry alike ​have praised Reid for the work he has led in ICES Workshop on an Ecosystem Based Approach to Fishery Management for the Irish Sea​ (WKIRISH) which saw collaboration between ecosystem scientists, fisheries stock assessors, and fishers - and it remains as the work he is most proud of in his career.  One nominator comments, "I have followed Dave’s work in the Working Group on Ecosystem Assessment of Western European Shelf Seas, and in the comprehensive WKIRISH process. It is my opinion that the WKIRISH process is unique in both ICES and global perspectives, with the integration across fisheries and ecosystem science, stakeholders and management. Dave has been instrumental in this process that without doubt benefited from his diverse scientific and personal skills. There is a lot to learn in the ICES community from WKIRISH, on how to tackle key scientific and advisory challenges with regards to socioecological systems and associated trade-offs."


"The most inspiring aspect of my career by far is the chance I get to work with young scientists at the start of their career."

One nominator praises Reid's mentoring abi​lities. "Dave possesses the extraordinary capability of identifying and nurturing talent in others, helping them to reach their full potential. He never fails to encourage his team to pursue their own research ideas. He operates an open-door policy, willing to discuss any potentiality and pushing us to be free-thinkers and innovators". This is echoed by another nominator, "What I remember is that even though he was a senior scientist at the time he was a willing participant, who always tested the boundaries of the techniques and was able to see the links between this method and others for ecosystem based management. I also remember that he was invaluable in understanding the ecosystems of the West Coast of Scotland, which we were using as a test case in that workshop".


Described as out of the box, charming, and unpretentious, those who have nominated Reid note that he has a u​​nique style of good humoured and encouraging management that has been noted as often easing tensions and moving proceedings in an efficient and productive direction. Another mentions that, "He has been an excellent link between stakeholders and scientists (not easy) by being able to gain the trust of both sides by deploying his understated, but huge emotional intelligence".

While he describes it the forefront of any field as a difficult place to be, coming up with ideas that are ahead of their time, getting knocked back by other parts of the system, he advises to just "keep on keeping on, and pushing the message until someone pick it up and runs with it".

From everyone in the ICES community, we say congratulations Dave and thank you for your continued work! ​


ICES Outstanding Achievement Award 

ICES Outstanding Achievement Award honours scientists who have made especially notable contributions to ICES. The award recognizes a member of ICES community who has made ongoing important contributions to our organization in the field of marine science over a sustained period of time.

​ICES Annual Science Conference 2021 is completely virtual. You can register and join the week long conference​ at any time.​

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​Dave Reid, Ireland, receives ICES Outstanding Achievement Award 2021 at ICES Annual Science Conference.

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