Deng Palomares – Senior Scientist and Project Manager


Dr. Maria Lourdes ‘Deng’ Palomares is a Senior Scientist and Project Manager of the Sea Around Us (since June 2017). She was born in Manila, Philippines, and grew up outside the old walled city of Intramuros during the difficult days of the Marcos Regime. After completing her BSc in 1981 at the University of the Philippines (UP), she ventured into computer science, completing several courses in COBOL and BASIC programming. In 1982, she joined the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) as a research assistant to Dr. John Munro and Dr. Daniel Pauly. She completed her MSc in Environmental Science in 1987 at UP and in 1989, she pursued a Ph.D. at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse with Dr. Jacques Moreau. This move added French to the list of languages she masters (fluency in English and Tagalog; reading Spanish).

In 1991, she rejoined ICLARM as a postdoctoral fellow with the FishBase Project, as a recipient of a two-year grant from the Association des Universités Partiellement ou Entièrement de Langue Française (AUPELF, Paris, France). In 1996, her language and computer skills coupled with her background in fisheries science and ecological modeling led to her appointment as Software Development and Database Scientist for the FishBase team. In September 2001, she was appointed as adjunct professor with the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna.

In 2001, she joined the Sea Around Us located at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. At the beginning, her tasks included assuring that the integration of fish-related data generated by members of the Sea Around Us and of the Institute into FishBase. She remains with the Sea Around Us, where her responsibilities have been increasing with time. From research associate she moved up to senior scientist and, as of June 2017, she became Project Manager.

Among the highlights of her most recent work are the leading of the Sea Around Us the database team, working with the Vulcan Foundation, to improve the project’s infrastructure and website. In June 2016, Deng also ventured into grant-writing and, together with Dr. Daniel Pauly, successfully raised funds from different sources to bridge the team funding to 2017.

Deng also helps with molding the scientific thrusts (e.g., in defining projects, and the work-flow associated in producing deliverables in a timely manner) of the Philippine NGO, Quantitative Aquatics (which hosts FishBase and SeaLifeBase), as its Science Director since 2017. She also serves as Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Marine Science’s section on Marine Fisheries, Aquaculture and Living Resources (since 2016).”

Deng Palomares’ curriculum vitae
Deng Palomares’ list of publications

Daniel Pauly – Principal Investigator

Born in France and raised in Switzerland, Daniel Pauly studied in Germany, where he acquired a doctorate in fisheries biology in 1979, from the University of Kiel. He did his first intercontinental travel in 1971 (from Germany to Ghana for fieldwork related to his Masters) and has since experienced a multitude of countries, cultures, and modes of exploiting aquatic ecosystems in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. This perspective allowed him to develop tools for managing data-sparse fisheries, as prevailed for example in the Philippines, where Dr. Pauly worked through the 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1994, Dr. Pauly became a Professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, and was its Director from 2003 to 2008. In 1999, Daniel Pauly founded, and since leads, a large research project devoted to identifying and quantifying global fisheries trends, funded until mid-2014 mainly by the Pew Charitable Trusts and since by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and a number of charitable organizations, and called the Sea Around Us after Rachel Carson’s 1951 bestselling book. Daniel Pauly is also co-founder of, the online encyclopedia of more than 30,000 fish species, and he has helped develop the widely-used Ecopath modeling software. He is the author or co-author of over 1000 scientific and other articles, books and book chapters on fish, fisheries and related topics. Two books, reflecting his current interests were published in 2010: “Five Easy Pieces: Reporting on the Global Impact of Fisheries” and “Gasping Fish and Panting Squids: Oxygen, Temperature and the Growth of Water-Breathing Animals”. In 2016, with Dirk Zeller, he published an article titled “Catch reconstruction reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining” (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10244) and the Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries, concluding a decade-long activity of the Sea Around Us.

Dr. Pauly is the recipient of multiple international prizes and awards, including seven honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and Canada. Since 2003, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and since 2016, he is University Killam Professor.

He also received the Award of Excellence of the American Fisheries Society (‘04); the International Cosmos Prize, Japan (‘05), the Volvo Environmental Prize, Sweden (‘06), the Excellence in Ecology Prize, Germany (‘07), the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology, Spain (‘08), the Albert Ier Grand Medal in the Science category (’16) among others. Daniel was also knighted as Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur (’17) by the French government on Bastille Day.

Daniel Pauly’s curriculum vitae
More about Daniel Pauly’s work
Full list of Daniel Pauly’s publications
Publications with PDFs