Dr Stephen Nicol is the world’s most eminent krill scientist. He is the Program Leader of the Southern Ocean Ecosystem Change program at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

Dr Nicol has transformed the world’s understanding of the biology, conservation and management of Antarctic krill. His research highlights their central role in feeding other Southern Ocean animals.

Dr Nicol has published extensively (with over 100 peer-reviewed publications). He has applied his research to achieve outcomes for krill conservation and management. This also supports the broader Antarctic marine ecosystem. Dr Nicol has dedicated himself to ensuring the results of his work protect and better manage marine living resources. He has done this by working with international institutions.

Dr Nicol has worked with the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). His work has provided the foundation for precautionary catch limits for the Antarctic krill fishery. Dr Nicol participated in every CCAMLR Scientific Committee between 1987 and 2010. He is best known for his work on improving CCAMLR’s knowledge of what drives the krill fishery. He also predicted (well before anyone else) that the krill fishery was likely to expand.

Dr Nicol was instrumental in establishing the AMLR (Antarctic Marine Living Resources) program in the AAD. The AMLR program conducts strategic research into issues including:

  • stock assessment of fish and krill populations
  • incidental mortality of seabirds in long-line fisheries
  • ecosystem monitoring
  • development of novel techniques to examine ecosystem interactions
  • ecosystem modelling
  • research into the life history parameters of harvested and dependent species

Today, the AMLR program is recognised as a model of applied research on conservation and management of Antarctic marine living resources. It has been replicated by other countries involved in CCAMLR scientific research.

Dr Nicol played a major role in the AAD taking an effective science leadership role in the International Whaling Commission and the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels.