We are particularly glad to have Prof. Dr. Sheila Heymans, the executive director of the European Marine Board EMB with us at ICYMARE 2019 BREMEN. Sheila will be presenting this year’s keynote lecture on Friday morning.

ICYMARE 2019Keynote Speaker

The EMB is an independent non-governmental advisory board and the prime think tank of Europe’s marine science policy. It provides a forum for marine research and technology with the aim of translating marine research foresight and state-of-the-art analyses into transparent policy recommendations for the European institutions and the European national governments. As such, the EMB represents the European marine scientific community at many events. The secretariat of the EMB is located in the Belgian city of Oostende. Recently, in March 2019, the EMB started its Young Ambassador Programme, which aims to ensure the involvement of marine early-career researchers in the marine policy discourse. Learn more about the European Marine Board here: www.marineboard.eu.

Sheila has a background in zoology, marine ecosystem modelling and environmental impacts of fisheries and ecosystem change. She obtained her degrees from the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where she worked on food-web models of South African estuaries and the northern Benguela system. In 1999 and 2000, Sheila was studying changes in the Everglades at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, USA, before moving to Canada where she studied the Newfoundland fisheries and the decline of Steller sea lions at the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia. In 2007, Sheila joined the Scottish Association for Marine Science as a Lecturer, and eventually became Head of the Science Department. Sheila is also Professor of Ecosystem Modelling at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), focusing on the social, economic and ecological impacts of fishing in the world’s ocean. Since January 2018, Sheila is the Executive Director of the EBM after being actively involved in the Working Group on Marine Ecosystem Modelling.

We are pleased that Sheila is joining ICYMARE 2019 to give a keynote lecture entitled: “Lessons from a circuitous marine science career” during the Opening Session on Friday morning, 27 September.


“In this talk I will give an overview of my career, describing the decisions I made, the mistakes I made, and how I am navigating the landscape as a female African marine scientist. I will describe some of the work I did, but mostly it will be about my decisions, giving some lessons I have learned over the past 30 year, including the importance of working with people with complimentary skills, of networking, of making difficult decisions, and of picking good students.”