The Department of Commerce and NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service have selected Francisco Werner, Ph.D., as the new director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, Calif., just north of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego campus.
Werner previously served as the Director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Studies at Rutgers University and spent his professional career - more than 25 years - in academia. His research includes the study of the structure and function of marine ecosystems, ocean circulation physics, and the development and implementation of ocean and coastal observing and forecasting systems.
"I am thrilled that Dr. Francisco Werner will be the next director of NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center," said Scripps Professor of Oceanography Dave Checkley. "Dr. Werner will head a center renowned for its progressive role in management of fisheries and protected species and its long-term ties to Scripps Oceanography, including graduate student education and collaborative research. His skills in oceanography and ecosystem modeling will be of great value."
Werner will also oversee the completion of construction on the new NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center building, which will replace the previous facility that was partially vacated in 2008 due to bluff erosion. This new building will foster collaborations on fisheries management issues and will be a focal point for surveys and assessments of species, the development and application of ecosystem-based approaches to management, research on the impacts of environmental variability and climate change on marine ecosystems and fisheries, and conservation socio-economics.
"Dr. Werner arrives at a particularly important time as NOAA embarks on ecosystem-based management in the face of climate change. On behalf of the Cooperative Institute on Marine Ecosystems and Climate, including CalCOFI, we look forward to future interactions with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center with Dr. Werner at its helm," said Checkley.
Werner is from Maracaibo, Venezuela, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1984. He started his new position on Jan. 3, 2011.