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Alexandre Aires-da-Silva

Position: Coordinator of Scientific Research; Head of Scientific Research Division - La Jolla Headquarters

858 665-4916




The main responsibilities of the Coordinator of Scientific Research, as established in Article 4 of the Antigua Convention, are to assist the Director and the Commission in the following:


  • Academic Degrees:
    • PhD, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, USA, 2008 (Alex’s story at SAFS-UW).
    • Licenciatura (B.Sc.) in Marine Biology and Fisheries, Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal, 1996.
  • Certifications:
    • The Inner MBA certificate program, New York University (MindfulNYU), USA, Aug. 2021.
    • Advanced Specialized Certificate in Intercultural Management, University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business, USA, Nov. 2014-Jan. 2015.
    • Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership, University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business, USA, Jul.-Oct. 2014.


Dr. Alexandre Aires-da-Silva is originally from Portugal, where he grew up close to the ocean. A keen early interest in large pelagic fishes, particularly sharks, led to a career in fisheries science, specializing in stock assessment but characterized by a great diversity of activities and interests. In 1996, on completing his undergraduate studies in marine biology and fisheries at the University of Algarve, Alex began his professional career as a Principal Science Technician at the University of the Azores, an ideal location and opportunity for broadening his experience in fisheries science research, working on fisheries biology and stock assessment of sharks and demersal fishes and on bycatch issues, as well as hands-on fieldwork as a fisheries observer and as a team leader on several research cruises. In 2000, Alex began his PhD as a Fulbright scholar at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences of the University of Washington in Seattle, USA; he graduated in 2008, earning the Faculty Merit Award. He completed advanced studies in modern quantitative methods of fisheries stock assessment, and in his doctoral thesis expanded his previous work in the Azores into an investigation of the population dynamics of blue sharks over the entire North Atlantic Ocean. 

Alex joined the IATTC staff in 2007, with the then called Tuna-Billfish Program under the leadership of Dr. Rick Deriso, with his principal responsibility of the stock assessment of bigeye tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean. He worked in close collaboration with Dr. Mark Maunder on this and many other assessments, and represented the staff in the Pacific Bluefin Tuna and Albacore Working Groups of the International Scientific Committee (ISC) for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean and at meetings and joint working groups of various fisheries-related international bodies. His responsibilities gradually expanded into leadership and coordination activities, especially those involving direct cooperative work with regional scientists; for example, during 2014-2016 he coordinated a collaborative regional effort to develop the first stock assessment of dorado in the EPO, and led the continuing  efforts to improve data collection for shark fisheries, in Central America prior to 2021, and now expanding to other IATTC members. Alex is particularly interested in building scientific research capacity in developing member nations of the IATTC through teaching and collaborative research activities, and was lead instructor for several courses taught in Latin America.

In October 2017, Alex succeeded Dr. Deriso as Coordinator of Scientific Research (CSR), the post he now holds. His main duties are to assist the Director in the planning and coordination of the staff’s scientific activities and in communicating the results to the Commission. In this regard, Alex greatly values the multicultural and multidisciplinary diversity of the IATTC staff, and believes that cultivating an atmosphere of horizontally structured teamwork is essential to maximizing the staff’s talents, and thus its value to the Commission.