DTU Aqua - National Institute of Aquatic Resources


The Technical University of Denmark is a modern self-governed university that operates at a high international level in a wide array of research areas within science and technology, and is ranked in the top 20 technical institutes internationally. 

The National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua), formerly known as the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, performs fisheries research in order to advise the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, public authorities, international organisations, the industry and trade of fisheries and other organisations.

DTU Aqua has extensive experience in multispecies modelling, having operational multispecies models of both the North Sea and Baltic Sea already within the institute. The institute has experience in hydrographic drift modelling and collaborates with the Danish Meterological Institute to obtain state of the art hydrographical fields. The modelling of ecosystem effects of fishing has a long tradition within the institute as has the determination of genetic diversity.   

The research vessel Dana
The research vessel Dana.

Contribution to the project

Besides the project co-ordination and management (WP6), DTU-AQUA will contribute to all work packages, with the main body of its work focusing on the development of improved multispecies models (WP1), larval survival and growth in relation to hydrographical drift (WP2), population structure and contribution of mixed stocks of cod and herring in the North Sea (WP2), population dynamics of non-target fish species (WP3) and the delivery of production model to be used in economic models (WP4). They will lead WP5 on synthesis and dissemination.

The scientific team

Dr Anna Rindorf, project coordinator, has more than 10 years experience with predator-prey interactions, spatial distribution and growth of commercially exploited fish stocks in the North Sea. She has primarily worked with sandeel, cod and whiting, three species which represent an important prey, a fish predator and a species which is both prey and predator, respectively. She is the author of 12 peer-reviewed publications, reviewer for major fisheries and marine ecology related journals and an active member of the ICES WG on Multispecies Assessment Methods. She was the national coordinator of the EU project ELIFONTS, coordinated the North Sea contribution of DTU-AQUA to the EU project BECAUSE and is currently coordinating the Danish nationally funded project SUNFISH (total budget app. 3.5 mill. euro).

Prof. Henrik Gislason has 30 years of research experience in multispecies fisheries modelling. He co-authored the first paper on Multispecies VPA in 1979 and over the next 20 years he played an important role in the development of multispecies fish stock assessment methods. In 1990 he became the first chair of the ICES WG on Ecosystem Effects of fishing, and subsequently started working on developing size based indicators of marine fish communities. He has co-convened several symposia and theme sessions and been invited key-note speaker at several occasions. Recently he has used life history models to study coexistence in marine fish communities and explored the fitness implications of demersal and pelagic growth and mortality strategies. Currently he is working on life history strategies of marine fish and the link between life history and biodiversity. He has published 36 papers or book chapters since 1996.

Morten Vinther is senior advisory scientist and head of the section for scientific fisheries advice. He has a considerably knowledge of the North-East Atlantic fisheries and fisheries management acquired through his work with ICES fish stock assessments and, as member of ICES Advisory Committee and as scientific advisor for the Danish Ministry of Fisheries. In various ICES and STCEF groups considering stock recovery plans, he has focused on developing methods and software to handle technical and biological interactions, and evaluation of management plans. His experience in developing Multispecies models goes back to the MSVPA-MSFOR models previously used by the ICES Multispecies working group.  This group is presently using the SMS (Stochastic Multi-species Model) software which has been developed by Morten Vinther and colleagues at DTU-AQUA. 

Dr Peter Lewy is a senior researcher focusing on  developing stochastic multispecies models, ecosystem modelling of the effects of fishing, predation, spatial movements and climate changes and to dynamic size spectra models. He has participated in several ICES methodological working groups (Long-term management measures WG, Comprehensive fishery evaluation WG, Workshop on MSVPA in the North Sea, several WG on methods on Fish Stock Assessments, the Study Group on Age-length Structured Assessment Models) and for many years in the stock assessment WG’s on Assessment of demersal stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak and Industrial fisheries. 

Dr Clara Ulrich Rescan, Senior Scientist at the Section For Fisheries Advice, with MSc in Agronomy and Ph.D (2000) at the fishery laboratory of ENSAR (Rennes, France). She has been involved in several projects relative to management strategies evaluation, mixed-fisheries, fleets dynamics and fish stock assessment. She has participated in several large EU-funded projects and as international work package coordinator in a number of them (EU FP6: TECTAC, EFIMAS, COMMIT, AFRAME, and EU FP7 JAKFISH). She is member of several ICES and STECF working groups, and is chair of the ICES Workshop on Mixed-Fisheries Advice for the North Sea (WKMIXFISH) from 2009 on. She is also appointed on the reserve list of experts for the STECF members.

Asbjørn Christensen is a research scientist with a background in computational materials physics and scientific computing. He has worked with hydrodynamic individual-based modelling of sandeel populations in the North Sea, spatial population dynamics, optimal life strategy modelling and otolith shape formation modelling. He is involved in several starting and ongoing EU project, like RECLAIM, AFISA, MEECE, MyOcean, UNCOVER, MESMA as well as several Danish national projects.

Dr Mark Payne has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on understanding the processes driving recruitment, through the application of individual-based hydrographic drift models, with particular reference to North Sea herring and Blue Whiting.

Lotte Worsøe Clausen has more than 8 years experience within herring life history biology and is an internationally renowned expert in herring otoliths, specifically the interpretation of the otolith microstructure and morphology and its application in separation of spawning stocks.

Dr Einar Eg Nielsen, Senior Research Scientist, has worked for more than a decade on the population genetics and management of marine fishes. He is among the very first to exploit the revolution in molecular biology to study the demography of natural populations, including the temporal dimension, exploiting DNA information from historical collections. Current research focuses on identifying population structure at various geographical scales and its underlying causes in marine fishes. This includes adaptive genetic variation on spatial and temporal scales in marine fishes using cutting-edge genomic tools. He has published more than 45 scientific papers since 1996.

Dr Dorte Bekkevold, Senior Research Scientist, has ten years of research experience in genetics and ecology of marine fish populations, and was e.g. the first to use genetic methods to determine population compositions in mixed herring stocks. Currently, her research also includes developing state-of-the-art population genomic methods for tracing origin of herring and herring products and the application of genomic data in ‘landscape genetics’ analyses to identify spatio-temporal patterns of local adaptations and their environmental drivers in marine fishes.

27 JANUARY 2022