International Co-Chairs

Claudio Baigún, South America
Claudio Baigún is a fisheries biologist who earned a fisheries master's degree at Oregon State University (USA) and a PhD at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). His studies areas have covered lake ecology and fisheries, dam impacts and fish passage performances in hydroelectrical and irrigations dams in Argentina. He has extensive experience in fisheries and aquatic ecology consulting related to dams and other hydrotechnical works to predict how such activities could impact on fish communities and fisheries. Recently he has been involved in the assessment of Neotropical fisheries in large rivers oriented to develop and and apply an Ecosystem Approach.
Lee Baumgartner, Australia & Oceania
Lee Baumgartner is a Freshwater Fish Ecologist who designs, supervises and undertakes into various aspects of the biology and ecology of freshwater fish. His research has been in several broad areas, including fish passage and fish migration, dietary interactions among native fish species, the impact of human disturbance on aquatic ecosystems and, more recently, the effectiveness of native fish stocking. Lee’s work has also focused on developing innovative methods for assessment (such as the adaptation of sonar technology to for migration studies) and improving existing fish collection techniques. Much of Lee’s work has fed back into adaptive management strategies which have resulted in policy development for fishway construction in Australia. Recently, he has been involved in fish migration research and fishways development in the lower Mekong Basin since 2005. He has helped Lao and Australian researchers to design and undertake a series of experiments seeking to develop fish passage criteria for riverine and floodplain species in the Mekong River.
Guillermo Giannico, America & South America
Guillermo is the Associate Professor and Extension Fisheries Specialist in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. He carries out research and extension/outreach work on salmonid ecology and behavior, fish habitat restoration, aquatic ecology, and watershed management-related issues.
Sergio Makrakis, South America
Associate Professor and Researcher at Western Paraná State University – Unioeste, Brazil. He is an expert in assessment of impacts on fish populations, fish migration and monitoring fishways. Partnerships with ITAIPU Binacional with assessment and monitoring of the Canal da Piracema, the biggest fishway in the world. Companhia Energetica de São Paulo (CESP) and NEOENERGIA in assessing impacts on fish and monitoring fishways. Also, he realizes assessments of the impacts of boating activities on fish in the Iguaçu National Park-PNI. He has the partnership with the University of Valladolid, Department of Hydraulics and Hydrology, with which he is also participating in the Life+ Segura Riverlink project sponsored by the European Union as Advisory Board.
So Nam, East Asia
So has been working in the Lower Mekong River Basin of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam, and in two European countries of Belgium and the Netherlands for nearly 20 years (1994-2014) in research, development, education and management in aquaculture, fisheries, and aquatic environment with emphasis on aquaculture/fisheries and other sector development, including hydropower development. So has been the team leader, manager, coordinator, researcher and expert of more than twenty (20) projects over the past 17 years, which were supported by 22 donor agencies. So has been a good fund raiser, with more than US$ 20 million raised to implement the above research and development projects. So has published nearly 90 publications in English language, including more than 20 peer reviewed journal articles and nearly 50 technical reports, and many other publications in Khmer language. So has been the reviewer of several journals, including Ecology of Freshwater Fish, Biologia, Cambodia Journal of Agriculture, Cambodia Fisheries Magazine, and IFReDI Technical Paper. So is also an adjunct professor of several academic institutions, in Asia, European and North American countries. Recently So has been appointed as the Chairperson of Dam Sub Group of the Technical Working Group on Fisheries of the Cambodia Fisheries Administration. Before joining MRC Secretariat as a Programme Coordinator of the MRC Fisheries Prorgamme in June 2012, So has been the Director of Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute of Cambodia. Now So holds a Ph.D. degree in Biology from Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), a M.Sc. degree in Aquaculture from University of Ghent (Belgium), and a B.Sc. degree in Fisheries Science from Royal University of Agriculture (Cambodia). Recently, I have also conducted my post-doctoral research projects at University of Ghent (Belgium) and University of Paul Sabatier in Toulouse (France).
Gordon O’Brien, South Africa & Africa
Gordon is an established aquatic ecologist with specialisation in ecological risk assessments, freshwater and estuarine ichthyology and water resource management. His extensive scientific profile includes the development of and application of regional scale ecological risk assessments techniques, and fish behavioural monitoring techniques in particular. This has incorporated the development of and use of ecosystem and statistical modelling techniques, for water resource management in southern and central Africa. Gordon has specific experience in the characterisation of the ecological consequences of water quality, quantity and habitat state alterations associated with aquatic ecosystem use throughout southern and central Africa. Gordon is also an ichthyologist and for more than a decade has been researching aspects of fish biology and ecology and the use of fish as ecological indicators throughout Africa to manage fisheries and the ecosystem in which they occur. Gordon is the primary author responsible for the development of a regional scale ecological risk assessment tool for surface aquatic ecosystems in South Africa and collaborates with international scientists on various international projects. Theses collaborations include an international Regional Scale Risk Assessment collaboration and a fish behavioural ecology collaboration under the FISHTRAC banner which he initiated. Gordon attained his Ph.D from the University of Johannesburg in 2011 and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship study at the North West University in 2013. In 2013 he was appointed as a Principal Scientist at the Institute of Natural Resources in Pietermaritzburg and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Gordon is also an executive committee member of the South African Society of Aquatic Scientists, a European Commission expert candidature and a registered Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Practitioners.
Xiaotao Shi, China
Xiaotao is an associate professor with the China Three Gorges University. He focused on fish swimming performance quantification during upstream and downstream migration together with hydraulic analysis, aiming at adapting and developing fish passage techniques for Chinese fishes. Related research topics include fish behavior at various environment, fish passage design and methods to improve survival of fishes.