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NOAA Names Link New Senior Scientist for Ecosystem Management

Dr. Jason Link. 

Dr. Link's Areas of Research & Expertise

  • Comparative Ecosystem Analysis
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Fisheries and Ecosystem Management
  • Large Aquatic/Marine Ecosystems
  • Fish Feeding Ecology
  • Pelagic Communities
  • Planktivore-Zooplankton Interactions


Selected Publications

Link, J.S., T.F. Ihde, C.J. Harvey, S.K. Gaichas, J.C. Field, J.K.T. Brodziak, H.M. Townsend, R.M. Peterman. 2012.  Dealing with Uncertainty in Ecosystem Models: The Paradox of Use for Living Marine Resource Management. Prog. Oceanogr. 102:102-114.

Link, J.S., S. Gaichas, T.J. Miller, T. Essington, A. Bundy, J. Boldt, K.F. Drinkwater, E. Moksness. 2012.  Synthesizing Lessons Learned from Comparing Fisheries Production in 13 Northern Hemisphere Ecosystems: Emergent Fundamental Features. Marine Ecology Progress Series 459:293-302.

Link, J.S. and Bundy, A.  2012. Ecosystem Modeling in the Gulf of Maine Region: Towards an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.  AFS Gulf of Maine Symposium Proceedings: Advancing an Ecosystem Approach in the Gulf of Maine.  AFS Symp. 79:281-310.

Link, J.S., Nye, J.A. and J.A. Hare. 2011. Guidelines for incorporating fish distribution shifts into a stock assessment context.  Fish and Fisheries   12:461-469.

See full publications list here.


Example Committees & Working Groups

  • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Working Group on Multi-species Stock Assessment models, co-chair
  • Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council's  Science and Statistical Committee; Ecosystem Sub-Committee, chair
  • ICES Working Group on Northwest Atlantic Regional Seas
  • Marine Resources and Educational Partnership (MREP)
  • Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystems (CAMEO) Surplus Production Modeling Workshops, chair
  • National Ecosystem Modeling Workshops, co-chair
  • Northeast US Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, co-lead
  • Energy Modeling and Analysis Exercise, chair


December 3, 2012

NOAA has named Jason Link, PhD, as its first-ever Senior Scientist for Ecosystem Management. In this new role, Dr. Link will be the agency’s senior-most authority on ecosystem science, conducting research and coordinating activities of NOAA Fisheries’ science support for effective ecosystem-based management. His priorities will be to lead approaches and models to support development of ecosystem-based management plans throughout the agency. A key element of Jason’s work will be the development of the tools and approaches that will allow us to deal with the impacts of climate change on our marine trust species.

“Ecosystem-based management is a NOAA priority and having Jason serve as our lead research scientist on that issue will help us achieve NOAA and National Ocean Policy goals. During his time with NOAA Fisheries, Jason has been one of our “go-to” experts on ecological modeling and related topics in the context of managing marine resources and ecosystems. I look forward to him leading the agency in developing cutting-edge support tools,” said Dr. Richard Merrick, NOAA Fisheries Chief Science Advisor. 

During his 15-year career with NOAA Fisheries, Dr. Link’s work has revolved around the scientific underpinnings for ecosystem-based marine resource management. His expertise in food web dynamics and his exemplary work with the Ecosystem Assessment Program at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole has led to his and NOAA’s acknowledgement around the world, resulting in comparable programs in other countries. While pelagic communities and predator-prey ecology remain important, Dr. Link’s work has moved more towards applied ecological modeling and practical fisheries science for management. Recent efforts have focused on essential fish habitat, multi-species models, ecosystem models, and developing resource management tools and systems with a strong ecological basis.

“I am excited and honored to be selected as the first NOAA Science Advisor for Ecosystem Management," said Link. Dr. Link’s educational background includes a Bachelors of Science major in biology and minor in chemistry with honors at Central Michigan University and a Doctorate in Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Link has chaired or participated on numerous regional, national, and international working groups, review panels, editorial boards, committees, workshops, and scientific teams.

Highlights from Dr. Link's Career

Spotlight on Honors and Awards