Bernard Megrey

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In Memorial: Bernard Megrey

It is with sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Bernard (Bern) Megrey. Bern died on October 1, 2010 at home in Seattle after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week while returning home from the ICES Annual Science Conference in Nantes, France.

He was employed by the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA. He was a tireless worker for and within ESSAS and contributed greatly both organizationally and scientifically. Bern was the main driving force behind the formation of the ESSAS Working Group on Modeling Ecosystem Response. He, together with Kenny Rose, Shin-ichi Ito and Enrique Curchister, took a major role in development of the End-to-End model based on the NEMERO modelling system. As co-chair of this Working Group, Bern was on the ESSAS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and always added significantly to the SSC discussions. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the ESSAS aim of using the comparative approach to gain scientific insights. In this he played a major role in the ESSAS-inspired project “Marine Ecosystem Comparisons between Norway and the United States (MENU)”. He helped organize the MENU Workshop held in Bergen in 2007, led the push to get ICES to sponsor a theme session on “Comparative Marine Ecosystem Structure and Function: Descriptors and Characteristics” to help highlight the MENU work. He then co-chaired this session which was held in 2007 in Helsinki, Finland, and was the lead editor of the special volume in Progress in Oceanography which in 2009 published papers from that session, including 5 papers from the MENU work.

He continued to promote this approach and together with Jason Link of NOAA Fisheries organized a successful comparative workshop on Stock Production Modeling that took place in March 2010 at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center Woods Hole laboratory. He pushed to have abstracts, based on the meeting and planned follow-up work, submitted to several different scientific meetings. One of which he delivered at ICES meeting in Nantes. In addition, he was one of the lead co-authors of a paper in Biology Letters that summarized the outcomes from the meeting, and helped to organize a follow-up meeting next year. At the Annual Science Meeting held in Reykjavik this past summer, Bern announced that he was stepping down as co-chair of the ESSAS modeling Working Group, as he had taken a more active role within NMFS at the national level. He had completed the first part of his training for this and as such had worked for several weeks in Washington DC as part of the response team dealing with the ecological impacts of the recent Deepwater Horizon oil well blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico. Bern was also very active within PICES and ICES; he worked hard to promote cooperation between the two groups. The ICES theme session in 2007 mentioned above was co-sponsored by ICES and PICES, as was the modeling workshop held at the 2008 PICES Annual Science Meeting in Dalian, China, which was also organized by Bern.

He will be greatly missed within ESSAS and especially by those of us who worked closely with him, and also knew him as a friend. We will miss seeing him at meetings and sitting down over a beer or a meal discussing scientific matters, other mutual interests outside of science, or just sharing a laugh. The family is establishing a memorial fund to support the travel and participation of students in joint ICES/PICES activities such as the Early Career Scientists Conference to be held in Spain in spring 2012. Donations can be made through North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES; P.O. Box 6000, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, B.C., Canada, V8L 4B2). Our thoughts and condolences go out to Bern’s wife, Ronnette, and his children, Christopher, Nicholas and Sarah, at this difficult time.

Contact Us

For any questions about ESSAS or further information please contact any of the
ESSAS Co-chairs

Ken Drinkwater
Institute of Marine Research
Bergen, Norway

Franz Mueter
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alaska, USA

Sei-Ichi Saitoh
Hokkaido University
Hakodate, Japan