Keynote speakers

World Recreational Fishing Conference 9

28 June – 2 July 2020 – Rotterdam, the Netherlands

The keynote speakers are

Josep Alos (Spain)

Dr Josep Alós is a marine ecologist at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Mallorca Island, Spain). His main interests are fundamental and applied questions of life-history evolution and behavioral ecology in marine recreational fisheries viewed as complex systems. His broad analytical approach aims to shed light on major social-ecological questions by developing robust quantitative tools, applying new tracking technologies, developing novel artificial intelligence and individual-based algorithms, and recently, by applying state-of-the-art genomics.

Despite his relatively young research career, he has published over eighty SCI-articles, some of them in prestigious international multidisciplinary journals and he participated in over thirty national and international projects on fundamental and applied questions on marine recreational fisheries resilience.

He is deeply involved in several outreach plans transferring his research knowledge to citizens and anglers by being the main focus of many articles in newspapers, interviews in radio, participated in outreach TV shows, and lead many outreach activities involving the recreational fisheries community into his research including national-based mark-and-recapture programs with anglers.

Josep Alos
Judy Mann-Lang (South Africa)

Judy Mann-Lang (South Africa)

Dr. Judy Mann is passionate about marine conservation and has focused her career on helping people to care for the oceans. She has worked for the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) in Durban since 1992. She was a research scientist in SAAMBR’s Oceanographic Research Institute, where she worked with recreational fishermen and fisheries managers. She led the Sea World Education Department for 10 years. She was the first woman Chief Executive Officer of SAAMBR. She is currently the Conservation Strategist of the Association.

With the realization that without a better understanding of people we are unlikely to solve our conservation challenges, she has shifted her research focus from fish to people. Her research now seeks to understand the role of communication in supporting conservation behavior. More specifically, how we can communicate more effectively to achieve the behavior change needed to address environmental problems.

Judy has presented at many national and international conferences and has published widely. She also runs workshops locally and internationally on conservation learning, social science research, and conservation and science communication. She consults widely both in South Africa and abroad on issues pertaining to conservation communication and social aspects of marine science.

Meaghan Guckian (USA)

Meaghan Guckian is core faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England and is the director of the Conservation Psychology Institute. She specializes in communication, behavior and decision-making and teaches graduate courses in related subjects, including science communication, environmental decision-making, conservation psychology and social science research design.

Meaghan’s research broadly seeks to examine how underlying psychological, social and contextual factors influence individual and collective environmental decision-making. In the context of recreational angling, Meaghan’s research explores how social motivations and interactions can buttress and/or inhibit positive engagement with evidence-based catch-and-release best practices. Some of her collaborative research, for example, has examined anglers’ personal and normative perceptions of handling practices as well as the use of social media to depict angling-related events and experiences. To explore these and related issues, Meaghan uses a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches.


Johan Attby (Sweden)

Johan Attby is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building game changing businesses. He founded the software company Tific which he grew in Silicon Valley with an international customers base including Microsoft and Symantec and in 2011 the company was acquired by PlumChoice, Inc. He is now founder and CEO of Fishbrain which is a platform and a community for the world’s largest hobby – sport fishing. Fishbrain has raised more than $40M in venture capital and have over 9 million registered users.

He is also investor in, advisor to and board member at early stage hi-tech companies and a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship and startup topics. He was awarded “Founder of the year” in Sweden by Nordic Startup Awards in 2015.

Johan Attby holds a Master in Engineering Physics from Chalmers University of Technology and was doing a Ph.D in AI before turning entrepreneur.

Gretchen Hansen (USA)

Dr. Gretchen Hansen is an assistant professor in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Department at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on largescale drivers of change in freshwater ecosystems, including climate, land use, and invasive species. She is especially interested in how local management and lake characteristics influence the resilience of fish populations and communities to regional and global change. Gretchen previously worked as a research scientist for state fisheries management agencies, and is committing to conducting actionable science via collaboration with stakeholders and managers. To answer complex questions she employs multiple approaches including statistical analyses of historical data, observational field studies, simulation modeling, and large-scale experimentation.


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