Dr Éva Plagányi: leading model research for marine management
Dr Éva Plagányi leads research on the development of models to support the sustainable management of marine systems.
24 March 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011
Dr Éva Plagányi, a senior scientist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, is based at the Brisbane Ecosciences Precinct in Queensland, Australia.
She maintains an international reputation in stock assessment modelling, ecosystem modelling and management strategy evaluation (MSE).
Dr Plagányi leads CSIRO research on the Torres Strait tropical rock lobster, including integrating biological, social, cultural and economic factors in an integrated MSE.
She also leads research to develop Models of Intermediate Complexity for Ecosystem assessments (MICE).
Other activities include:
- assessing the adequacy of fisheries management tools under changing climate
- developing a spatial MSE for beche de mer stocks as part of a project on Reducing Uncertainty in Stock Status (RUSS)
- helping to estimate total allowable catches for the Northern Prawn Fishery major prawn species, specifically red-legged banana prawns.
Dr Plagányi is an invited member of the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force [external link], which is directed by Dr Ellen Pikitch and managed by StonyBrook University, USA. This role involves researching management recommendations for forage fish.
Dr Plagányi joined CSIRO in 2009. Before moving to Australia, she lectured at the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she is an Honorary Research Associate.
Her research focuses on the biological modelling of marine and other renewable biological resources, and the application of stock assessment and ecosystem modelling approaches to fisheries management.
Dr Plagányi has a keen interest in scientific education and outreach.
This work applies both mathematics and zoology to extend single-species approaches in population assessments to more complex models of multi-species interactions in marine ecosystems.
Dr Plagányi has served on scientific working groups relating to abalone, pelagic and demersal fisheries, the ecosystem approach to fisheries, and most recently the Torres Strait rock lobster fishery.
She has collaborated in research for several international organisations, including the:
- Food and Agriculture Organisation (to author a technical report on ecosystem approaches to fisheries management)
- Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
- North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission.
Dr Plagányi participated for several years in research for CCAMLR to develop models that investigate the impact of fishing on other dependent species in the ecosystem, and specifically worked on krill-predator-fishery dynamics in the Scotia Sea. She has participated in a two-month voyage to Antarctica on board the SA Agulhas.
She has written about 33 peer-reviewed publications, more than 200 technical reports, and dozens of articles for the popular press.
In addition, Dr Plagányi has a keen interest in scientific education and outreach, and was a South African Women in Science and Engineering committee member and Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee.
She has given more than 900 undergraduate lectures and has supervised several postgraduate students.
Dr Plagányi has completed a:
- Bachelor of Science with triple majors (applied mathematics, zoology and botany) at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1990
- Master of Science (zoology) with distinction at the University of Cape Town in 1995
- Doctor of Philosophy (applied mathematics) with the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2004 (this work centred on moving from single-species to ecosystem models for fisheries management).
Dr Plagányi has received:
- a prestigious South African National Research Foundation (NRF) President's Award, 2006–10
- the University of Cape Town Merit Award, 2001
- the SA Association for the Advancement of Science S2A3 Bronze Medal for the South African Masters' thesis judged to be the most outstanding in the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Medicine, 1996
- the Junior Captain Scott medal for the best MSc thesis from a South African University in the fields of Zoology and Botany, 1996.
Read more about marine modelling by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research at: Integrated marine and coastal assessment and management.