Colloquium 2021 – Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Ángel Borja – Head of Projects
AZTI · Marine Research Division, Spain

Angel Borja, PhD Marine Ecology (1984); Doctor in Sciences (Honoris Causa) (Hull University, 2015). Principal Investigator at AZTI (Spain, 1985) and Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia, 2020). His main work is making marine ecology research useful for policy-makers and managers, studying the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems, the recovery of marine systems after impact, monitoring and assessment of marine status, under European directives (i.e. Water Framework Directive; Marine Strategy Framework Directive; Maritime Spatial Planning Directive), as well as integrative methods under the ecosystem-approach. He was member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (2013-2020). Author of >275 papers (Hindex: 68), Highly Cited Researcher 2018 and 2020 (Web of Science). He is Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Marine Ecosystem Ecology, Associated Editor of Continental Shelf Research and Journal of Sea Research, and member of the Editorial Board of Ecological Indicators, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health and Heliyon. Referee in more than 100 international journals (after Publons Peer Review Awards 2016-2019, is one of the top 1% of peer reviewers in Environment/Ecology) and project evaluation agencies. He is member of different scientific associations (ASLO, CERF, ECSA, ESP, SIBECOL), serving as chair/organizer of >50 international conferences and scientific session, and key-note speaker in >100 international conferences. He has participated in more than 120 European and international projects, being the coordinator of the EU 7th FP project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status). He has been characterized by the continuous dissemination of science and organizer of the AZTI’s successful marine summer school since 2004. He was awarded with the European SETAC Environment Education Award (2017), and the Life-Time Achievement Award, by the International Conference on Benthos (Cochin, India, 2019).

LEARN MORE – Researchgate

Drew Carey, CEO Inspire Environmental, United States

  • Drew Carey is a marine benthic ecologist who leads a group of scientists engaged in assessment of marine ecosystems affected by human uses. Their work includes studies of offshore energy development, seafood waste, dredged material disposal and contaminated sediments. His primary focus is on the dynamics of biological and physical processes at marine interfaces. The group is developing novel optical and acoustic methods to assess dynamics of seafloor sediments, hard substrata and mobile fauna over time and space.
  • He has more than 30 years of experience addressing issues in marine science, environmental monitoring, and marine policy. Drew takes pride in INSPIRE’s culture of innovation, quality, and compassion and INSPIRE’s commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion.
  • Drew is a member of the ICES Working Group on Marine Benthal Renewable Energy Devices and active in efforts to develop collaboration between European and North American scientists working on marine renewable energy.
  • Carey earned a Ph.D. degree in Geology and Marine Ecology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


Learn More

Learn More – Researchgate

Dr. Helen Ding – Senior Environmental Economist
World Resources Institute, United States

  • Dr. Helen Ding is a Senior Environmental Economist at the World Resources Institute, where she serves as a leading expert on landscape restoration economics and natural capital valuation. Additionally, she is also a part of the knowledge generation team within the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), a community of organisations and individuals committed to the urgent need to transform the way the world produces food and use our land for people, nature and climate. She has over a decade of professional experience in natural resource economics and policy-oriented economic analyses, with project experience spanning a wide range of geographies, including Africa, Central & South America, Europe, Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia.
  • Her field of expertise includes the valuation and accounting of natural capital and ecosystem services, the economic assessment of climate change impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity, the economics of land tenure security, the economics and public finance of agriculture and forest landscape restoration, and the cost-benefits of nature-based solutions to climate mitigation and adaptation. Among others, she contributed to the cost-benefit analysis in Global Commission on Adaptation’s 2019 flagship report on “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience”, and co-authored the first global economic report for the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy on “A Sustainable Ocean Economy for 2050: Approximating Its Benefits and Costs”, which assessed the important benefits of critical transforms in ocean-based sectors and ecosystems in response to climate change.
  • Prior to WRI, Helen worked as a senior economist with Deloitte Sustainability Service in France. She was the deputy leader of Deloitte’s Natural Capital Community of Practice for Europe and Asia, representing Deloitte at the Expert Review Panel for the Natural Capital Protocol. Prior to that, she gained considerable research experience in several leading environmental economics research institutes in Europe, and participated and led policy-oriented consulting projects commissioned by the European Commission, European Environmental Agency, European Investment Bank, etc.
  • Helen earned a Ph.D. degree in Science and Management of Climate Change from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in Italy and an MSc in Environmental Sciences with a specialization in Environmental Economics and Natural Resources from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.


Marjorie A.M. Friederichs – Research Professor
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, United States

  • My interdisciplinary research program focuses on quantifying the historical and future impacts of climate and land-use changes, as well as population growth, urbanization, and local management efforts, on hypoxia, acidification, and biogeochemistry in coastal and estuarine systems. Research in the BioCOM lab focuses on combining mathematical computer models with biological, physical and chemical observations. I am currently looking for additional graduate students to assist in these modeling efforts. Specifically I am looking for prospective students who have a strong interdisciplinary background, including college-level physics, chemistry and math coursework. Experience with computer programming and mathematical modeling is not required, but would be a helpful additional asset. Post-doctoral positions in my lab are also available.


Prof. Dr. Karline Soetaert
NIOZ, The Netherlands


  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Sediment-water interactions
  • Environmental modelling
  • Scientific computing
  • Open source software (R)


Professor Martin Solan – Professor in Marine Ecology
Southampton University, United Kingdom

  • Professor Martin Solan is Professor in Marine Ecology within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.


Dr Rashid Sumaila – Professor and Canada Research Chair
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, Canada

  • His research focuses on bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, marine protected areas, illegal fishing, climate change, marine plastic pollution, and oil spills. Sumaila has experience working in fisheries and natural resource projects in Norway, Canada and the North Atlantic region, Namibia and the Southern African region, Ghana and the West African region and Hong Kong and the South China Sea. Dr. Sumaila received his Ph.D. (Economics) from the University of Bergen and his B.Sc. (Quantity Surveying) from the Ahmadu Bello University. Sumaila is widely published and cited. He won the 2017 Volvo Environment Prize and was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2019. His interest in the environment started early in life when his grandfather used to say people should “walk as if the ground feels pain” – this is sophisticated environmentalism! His specific interest in ocean and fisheries was picked in Norway. Sumaila enjoys exploring novel ideas and mentoring future thinkers. He loves waking up each day thinking of how best to contribute to ensuring that we bequeath a healthy ocean to our children and grandchildren so they too can have the option to do the same.


Dr Vanessa Stelzenmüller
Thünen Institut, Germany

  • Ecosystem based fisheries and marine management with emphasis on marine spatial planning and conflicts between fisheries and other uses and the marine ecosystems of the North Sea
  • Development of integrated modelling approaches and decision support tools to both assess spatial management options and to support the implementation of an ecosystem based fisheries and marine management
  • Development of spatial distribution models of marine resources and fisheries activities among others with the help of geostatistical methods and GIS
  • Evaluation of marine spatial planning scenarios concerning fisheries and marine living resources