Credit: Rob Suisted

Posted on 30 June 2017

David Schiel steps down as Dynamic Seas leader

Today (30 June) is the end of Prof David Schiel’s tenure as Programme Leader, but we are pleased he remains involved in several research projects.

Prof David Schiel has been involved since the Challenge’s inception in 2013 when MBIE announced the National Science Challenges. He attended the first meeting, at NIWA and attended by 100+ people, to discuss how the Challenge might work.

This meeting established that critical elements to include were:

  • Multiple and cumulative effects and stressors
  • People being considered as part of the ecosystem, not separate to it
  • Ecosystem-based management (EBM) as a route towards sustainability

These are still central tenets today.

“It’s pretty astounding that the Challenge was so clear and focused from so early on,” said David. That’s a benefit because EBM is a “long game”.

“Lots of countries have tried EBM, but they haven’t allowed enough time to make it effective. Resource management is like a supertanker – it’s slow to change direction; you have to build up momentum,” said David.

His motivation for getting involved was the chance to make a difference: “I want science to benefit society, and saw this as a way to help it be more effective. Part of science’s value is using it to understand and manage things in the best possible way.”

Although David has decided to step down as Programme Leader, he’s still involved in several research projects and giving presentations about our research.

Director Julie Hall said: “We’ve been lucky to have David on the Science Leadership Team for so long. Not only did he help determine our research focus, he’s led the assembly of a fantastic team of biophysical scientists who are now conducting great research. I’m very glad that we’ve still got his expertise to draw on.”

We are currently recruiting a new Programme Leader.

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