After obtaining a PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland (1991), Jeffrey Hutchings worked at the University of Edinburgh and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (St. John’s) before accepting a position in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University (1995), where he is the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Chair in Fish, Fisheries and Oceans. His work on fish ecology, evolution, and population dynamics has been published in more than 220 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He has served on the editorial boards of eight scientific journals and multiple expert review panels in Canada, Sweden, and the United States. Co-founder and Past-President of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, he was awarded the 2017 Huntsman Medal in recognition of international research excellence and outstanding contributions to marine sciences.
In addition to undertaking research, Prof. Hutchings has been heavily involved in the provision of science advice to decision-makers. He chaired Canada’s national science advisory body on species at risk (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada; 2006 to 2010), a committee with statutory responsibilities to the federal government. He has been invited to appear before 12 parliamentary standing committees and is currently chief science advisor to Loblaw Companies Ltd ― Canada’s largest food retailer ― on its sustainable seafood policies. He has been External Audit Advisor to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
Prof. Hutchings has served the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in multiple advisory capacities. He was a member of the RSC Expert Panel (1999 to 2001) on the regulation of food biotechnology in Canada, a panel struck in response to a request from the federal Minister of Health. He chaired the RSC’s Expert Panel on the effects of climate change, fisheries, and aquaculture on Canadian marine biodiversity (2012). In addition to authoring the RSC’s 2015 Position Paper on the provision of science advice to government, he served on the society’s Science Advisory Committee on Expert Panels from 2009 to 2016. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Science) in 2015.
Internationally, Prof. Hutchings holds or has held academic positions at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway and at three Fenno-Scandian universities: University of Oslo (Norway); University of Agder (Norway); and University of Jyväskylä (Finland). He has served on an expert panel for the Swedish Research Council (2014) and a marine advisory board for the University of Gothenburg (2016 to 2018). In 2018, he was inducted as a Foreign Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.