Director / Associate Professor, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC. Born: Nigeria.
Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila has been the Director of the UBC Fisheries Centre since 2008, and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia since its founding in 2002. He specializes in marine ecosystem valuation, bio-economics and the analysis of the global fish trade. His work is highly regarded by policy makers at the highest levels, resulting in invitations to give talks at the United Nations, the White House, the U.S. Congress, the Canadian Parliament, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the World Trade Organization. His work has generated significant international interest, and has been cited in numerous publications.
Research areas: Economics of shared fish stocks; ecological, economic and social impacts of subsidies to the fishing sector; globalization, fish trade and marine ecosystem sustainability. He was the WF James Professor of Pure and Applied Sciences Chair at St. Francis Xavier University (2004).
Background: Joined UBC in 1995 as a Visiting Scholar; Adjunct Professor (1996-2001); Research Associate (2001-02); Assistant Professor (2002-2006) and Associate Professor since 2006; Visiting Professor, East China Normal University, Shanghai (2010–present); University of Namibia (1999-2008); University of Tromso, Norway (1999-2001); Research Fellow (1993-95), then Senior Research Fellow, Christian Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway (1995-99).
Affiliations: Including: International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade; Natural Resource Modeling Association; Ocean Management Research Network.
Other: Guest Editor on several publications, including Land Economics; Marine Resource Economics; African Journal of Marine Science; Coastal Management.
Works: Several articles in journals including: Fisheries Research; Journal of Bio-Economics; Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; Fish and Fisheries; Land Economics; Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.
Honours: Several, including the Aldo Leopold Fellowship; Pew Fellowship for Marine Conservation; Craig Darroch Award for Societal Contribution; the Zayed International Price for the Environment; the Peter Wall Centre Senior Early Career Scholar Award; inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006).
REVIEWS: Work cited in The Economist; The Boston Globe; The International Herald Tribune; Maine Sunday Telegram; Financial Times; Globe and Mail; Voice of America;, CBC News; and the Vancouver Sun.
Education: PhD (1996); Master of Science, Economics, University of Bergen, Norway (1993); Bachelor of Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria (1986).
Favourite book? Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter written by Nancy Baron. This book is a well-written manual on communicating science effectively. It challenges scientists to find and use their own voice in public debates on issues relevant to their research.
Favourite quote? “Just keep pushing.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet Underwater (scuba) diving.
What inspires you? The fact that anything can happen – like Barack Obama winning the Presidency of the United States.
Why do you do what you do? Because preserving our natural environment is central to our survival on earth. More specifically, during the filming of End of the Line, a documentary on global fisheries (see ), I witnessed a shrimp trawler working the waters of Senegal and I saw the massive amounts of otherwise delicious fish thrown overboard as discards to make room for the more valuable shrimp catch – a very disheartening experience!