Interview with Professor Villy Christensen
Professor Villy Christensen is considered a world leader in ecosystem-based fisheries management, and has served as advisor for numerous international initiatives. He has (co)-authored around 250 scientific publications, and since 1990 been project leader and a driving force for the development of the Ecopath ecosystem modeling approach and software.
Recent Research Papers
Christensen, V., J. Steenbeek, P. Failler. 2011. A combined ecosystem modeling and value chain approach. Ecological Modelling 222:857-864.
Christensen, V. 2010. MEY = MSY. Fish and Fisheries 11(1):105-110
Christensen, V., Z. Ferdaña, J. Steenbeek. 2009. Spatial optimization of protected area placement incorporating ecological, social and economical criteria. Ecological Modelling 220:2583-2593
Christensen, V., Walters, C.J., Ahrens, R., Alder, J., Buszowski, J., Christensen, L.B., Cheung, W.W.L., Dunne, J., Froese, R., Karpouzi, V., Kastner, K., Kearney, K., Lai, S., Lam, V., Palomares, M.L.D., Peters-Mason, A., Piroddi, C., Sarmiento, J.L., Steenbeek, J., Sumaila, R., Watson, R., Zeller, D. and Pauly, D., 2009. Database-driven models of the world’s large marine ecosystems. Ecological Modelling, 220:1984-1996. (doi/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.04.041)
About Professor Villy Christensen
Villy Christensen is considered a world leader in ecosystem-based fisheries management, and has served as advisor for numerous international initiatives. He has (co)-authored around 250 scientific publications, and since 1990 been project leader and a driving force for the development of the Ecopath ecosystem modeling approach and software. This software is the most widely used approach for ecosystem-based management of the oceans, and was recognized by NOAA as one of the ten biggest scientific breakthroughs in the organizations 200-year history. The software is in its latest iteration coupled to a 3-D gaming engine for visualization, design of decision-support systems, single-player educational games and animated documentaries.
Professor Christensen has recently been appointed as Nippon Foundation Chair at the University of British Columbia and Program Director for the nine year, CAN $13 million Nereus – Predicting the Future Ocean program, an international collaboration involving also Princeton University, Duke University, UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The Nereus program will bring together international experts in fisheries, climate change, environmental policy, geospatial modeling, marine ecology and socio-economics for research collaborations, capacity building and increasing public awareness about fish stock depletion. There is presently very little capacity for global ocean modeling focused on developing scenarios for under the ocean, and the Nereus program is designed to change this situation by developing an international research network of young researchers that can analyze how life in the oceans will react to climate change and human fishing efforts.
He has recently developed a methodology for database-driven ecosystem model generation, and applied it for a global modeling complex in connection with the Large Marine Ecosystem initiative of the Global Environment Facility. By combining the 3-D visualization tool with these models, researchers will for the first time be able to develop global modeling capability describing and visualize how fish populations have changed in recent time and how they may develop in the future.