Ships and equations. Graphic design: Shutterstock and Marie-Christine Rufener

PhD defence about integrating data from commercial fisheries and scientific survey

Monday 09 Nov 20


Marie-Christine Rufener
Research Assistant
DTU Aqua


Francois Bastardie
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 33 98

Time & Place

The defence takes place on Wednesday 18 November 2020 at 14:00 (CEST) via Zoom.

Please register for the Zoom meeting no later than 17 November at 14:00 by e-mail to Karin Stubgaard,

On 18 November 2020, Marie-Christine Rufener will defend her PhD thesis. The defence can be watched online.

The ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management poses new challenges for fisheries scientists and managers, given its complex nature to safeguard the marine ecosystems while simultaneously attending the societal and human needs for food and economic benefits.

These challenges call for the development of innovative and robust quantitative methods that can integrate and evaluate the huge amount and very detailed and diverse data that are used in the evaluation of fish stocks. PhD Student Marie-Christine Rufener, DTU Aqua, has addressed these challenges in her PhD project with the aim of developing state-of-the-art statistical and bio-economic tools to model both fish and fishery dynamics.

Marie-Christine Rufener and her colleagues have focused on developing a model that simultaneously integrates data collected together with the commercial fisheries and data collected through scientific-based surveys. Until now, the integration of these two types of datasets—fishery-dependent and independent data—has been hampered by their distinct levels of bias sources in the abundance estimator. 

Besides providing additional insights into the spatio-temporal abundance dynamics, the new model has shown to increase considerably the precision of the abundance estimates of fish stocks and is therefore eligible to support fish stock assessments, Marie-Christine Rufener concludes in her thesis. Furthermore, the model contributes to applications related to sampling optimization, identification of essential fish habitats, and calibration of fisheries bio-economic models.

About the defence

Marie-Christine Rufener will defend her PhD thesis "Integrating commercial fisheries and scientific survey data: Advances, new tools and applications to model the fish and fishery dynamics” on Wednesday 18 November 2020 at 14:00 (CEST) via Zoom.

  • Principal Supervisor: Senior Researcher Francois Bastardie, DTU Aqua
  • Co-supervisor: Professor J. Rasmus Nielsen, DTU Aqua
  • Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher Kasper Kristensen, DTU Aqua
  • Professor Anders Nielsen, DTU Aqua
  • Director Pierre Petitgas, IFREMER, France
  • Senior Research Scientist Paul Jean Marchal, IFREMER, France

Chairperson of defence

  • Stefan Neuenfeldt, DTU Aqua

Please register for the Zoom meeting no later than 17 November at 14:00 by e-mail to Karin Stubgaard, You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom the day before the defence.

Learn more

Download  popular science summery of the thesis

A copy of the thesis is available on e-mail. Please contact Karin Stubgaard,