Irish scientist gets international award for contributions to marine science

10 Sep 2021

Prof Dave Reid. Image: Marine Institute

Dave Reid, an ecosystem scientist at the Galway-based Marine Institute, worked on a project to find out why fishing was becoming increasingly difficult in the Irish Sea.

An Irish scientist from the Marine Institute has been recognised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) for his contributions to the field of marine science.

Prof Dave Reid is an ecosystem scientist and principal investigator at the Marine Institute’s fisheries ecosystem advisory team, where he leads multiple EU-funded projects with a team of students and researchers.

The Marine Institute, headquartered in Galway, is the State agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. It provides scientific and technical advice to the Government to inform policy and support the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resources.

The ICES Outstanding Achievement Award honours scientists who have made a notable contribution to the organisation over a long period of time. The announcement of Reid’s win was made earlier this week at its virtual Annual Science Conference 2021.

“This award recognises Prof Reid’s contribution to marine science and his longstanding commitment to ICES,” said Michael Gillooly, interim CEO of the Marine Institute. “It is a great honour for Prof Reid to be acknowledged by his colleagues at the Marine Institute and the international scientific community for his endeavours in science, research and leadership.”

Reid’s first stint with ICES was as chair of a planning group on the HAC data exchange format for six years. He has since been involved in numerous ICES groups and committees and is currently an active member in 12 of them.

Reid was a member of the WKIrish working group, an ecosystem-based approach to fishery management in the Irish Sea. A collaboration between ecosystem scientists, fish stock assessors and fishers in the industry, the project attempted aimed to find out why the Irish Sea waters were becoming bleak for fishing.

“The fishers had asked for this study, and they really engaged with it. They were with us for the whole journey, and the study had great results,” said Reid, who was one of the project’s leaders.

He added that the chance to work with young scientists at the start of their career was the most inspiring aspect of his work. “I’ve always found this incredibly stimulating – they are smart, lively, switched on and sparky people.

“Working with people like that not only keeps me semi-young, but I also get to train them, see them develop and continue on to careers in marine science and some of my ex-graduates are now working at the European Commission and governments around the world.”

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic