Invited Speakers & Special Guests

We are expecting a number of delegates, special guests, and 6 Plenary Speakers to attend the Fish Passage 2015 conference in Groningen next year. During the course of the next couple of months we will be announcing their attendance and participation.

Among our guests, we are privileged to announce 6 very special speakers:

Henk Ovink

Special Envoy on International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Ovink was appointed by the three Ministers of Infrastructure and the Environment, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and Economic Affairs, Ovink as the first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs. As the Ambassador for Water Ovink is responsible for maintaining good relations with foreign governments, knowledge institutions, umbrella organizations, coordinating and representative bodies, the business community and civil society organizations around the world. He collaborates closely with Dutch Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Representatives and maintains direct contact with bilateral and multilateral actors such as the World Bank, the United Nations, the OECD and the EU.

Henk Ovink was Senior Advisor to both the former US Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Principal of 'Rebuild by Design’. He led the long term innovation, resilience and rebuilding efforts for the Task Force and started, developed, and led the ‘Rebuild by Design’ competition (RBD). RBD was developed to ignite innovation for a new standard of regional resilience in design and development, in building and rebuilding in the light of climate change, sea level rise and future economic, ecological and cultural demands. RBD was named #1 in CNN’s 2013 top 10 of most innovative ideas.

Before joining the Task Force Ovink was both Acting Director General of Spatial Planning and Water Affairs and Director National Spatial Planning for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He teaches at Harvard GSD, Syracuse University SoA, TU Delft and the University of Groningen. He is member of the International Advisory Board for the City of Rotterdam and member of the advisory boards for MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism, The Berlage Institute, the Eindhoven University of Technology Faculty of Architecture and of the Master City Developer Rotterdam. Henk is member of the Urban Age Program within LSE Cities, an international centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was Curator for the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2012 ‘Making City’ and curates the debate series ‘Design and Politics: the next phase’ for Aedes network Campus Berlin. Ovink initiated the research program Design and Politics, the connecting chair Design and Politics at the TU Delft and is chief editor for the series of publications with 010 Publishers, called ‘Design and Politics’.

Henk is happily married, lives on all continents and in planes, prefers cities except when he bikes or hikes with Irené, then he chooses the mountains and he really loves apple pie.

Dr. Zeb Hogan

University of Nevada-Reno

Assistant Research Professor, University of Nevada-Reno

Dr. Zeb Hogan is an assistant research professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species Councilor for Fish, and a National Geographic Society Fellow. Zeb also hosts the National Geographic Television series “Monster Fish”.

Zeb received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis in 2004. His research interests include freshwater fish ecology, fisheries management, and endangered species issues. Since 2006, Zeb has worked with the University of Nevada and the National Geographic Society to merge conservation science with education and action. Project outputs to date have included contributions to understanding the migratory patterns and population structures of focal fish species, designation of the Mekong giant catfish and other species as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and awareness-raising through international and local media. Zeb’s recent articles include “Engaging Recreational Fishers in Management and Conservation: Global Case Studies”, “Endangered River Fish: Factors Hindering Conservation and Restoration”, and “Size-biased extinction risk of the world's freshwater and marine fishes”. Zeb’s research has also been featured in Science (2007), Bioscience (2005), and American Scientist (2004). A web series on Zeb’s research won the Science Journalism Award (online category) from the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2008.

We are very proud to welcome Dr. Zeb Hogan as a Plenary Speaker to the conference.

Laura Wildman, PE

Princeton Hydro; Specialist in Dam Removal North America

Director, New England Regional Office, and Fisheries Engineer for Princeton Hydro, LLC
Phone: 860-652-8911; Cell: 860-989-7966

Ms. Wildman is a practicing fisheries engineer that established and runs the New England Regional Office for Princeton Hydro focusing on ecological restoration consulting for aquatic systems. Ms. Wildman received her bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from University of Vermont and her Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, and integrates both engineering and a deep understanding of river science into her restoration work. Her expertise and passion, centers on the restoration of rivers through the reestablishment of natural functions and aquatic connectivity. She is considered one of the foremost nation experts on barrier removal and alternative fish passage techniques, regularly lecturing, instructing, and publishing on these topics; including assisting with the instruction of courses for the University of Wisconsin and Yale University. Ms. Wildman is President for the Bioengineering Section (BES) of the American Fisheries Society (AFS), is extremely active in her field and has a very impressive CV.

We have the pleasure in presenting Ms. Wildman as a Plenary Speaker at the FP2015 conference. She will be giving a presentation about dam removal and will also be presenting a full day course on dam removal, which is scheduled just before the conference.

Dr. Claudio Baigún

Wetland International; Dealing with fish passage in South America

Program Coordinator at Wetland International and Researcher at Technological Institute of Chascomus (CONICET)

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). Currently he has a research position at the Technological Institute of Chascomus (CONICET) leading the Laboratory of Fisheries Ecology and holds also the position of Program Coordinator of Fish and Fisheries Program at Wetlands International (Latin America and the Caribbean Office) His study areas have covered lake ecology and fisheries, dam impacts and fish passage performances in hydroelectrical and irrigations dams in Argentina and assessment of Neotropical fisheries in large rivers oriented to develop and Ecosystem Approach. During Dr. Baigún’s career he has also put effort in educating fishers and managers about good fishing practices and the need to envisage artisanal fisheries management within a participatory governance framework. Dr. Baigún has an exceptional CV, with publications in over 50 peer-reviewed journals, contributions to over 20 book chapters and presentations at hundreds of conferences worldwide. To see more about Dr. Baigún, please click here.

We are very proud to welcome Dr Baigún as a Plenary Speaker at the conference and look forward to a presentation whereby Dr Baigún will be giving us an exclusive insight into dealing with fish passage in South America.

Dr. Martin Mallen-Cooper

Fishway Consulting Services

Principal Consultant, Fishway Consulting Services
Phone: 61 (2) 9449-9638; Cell: 0417-692267

Dr. Mallen-Cooper has been a specialist fishway biologist for 30 years and has designed over 200 fishways in Australia and overseas, from fish locks and fish lifts on large dams to low-level pool-type and nature-like fishways.

His approach to projects is to clarify ecological function, develop migration models and integrate fish behaviour into all aspects of dam, weir and fishway design. A key aspect of this is integrating biology, hydrology and hydraulics, which has led to new approaches and applications in fishway design and improved ecological function.

In the last 10 years Dr. Mallen-Cooper has had a significant focus on broader linkages for fish passage and fish migration within catchments and between rivers and floodplains; and maximising benefits for fish from environmental flows.

Southern Hemisphere fish passage is different although the principles are the same. Coping with small and large fish; upstream, downstream and lateral migrations; highly variable and often very low seasonal flows; present challenges that all need to be addressed. Lessons from this experience would also assist a more holistic approach to fish passage in the tropics and Northern Hemisphere.

To see more about Dr. Mallen-Cooper, please click here.

We are very proud to welcome Dr. Mallen-Cooper as a Plenary Speaker to the conference.

Dr. Beate Adam

Freelanced Consultant

Freelanced consultant, publicity appointed and sworn expert for fisheries affair
Phone: 0049 (0) 6692 6044
Cell: 0049 (0) 151 12488910

Dr Beate Adams graduated 1992 in Biology. Her dissertation investigated the damage of loach (Barbatula barbatula) tasting buds as a quick indicator for river pollution. She is founder of the Institute of Applied Ecology (Institut für angewandte Ökologie) and works in inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation with German Universities and hydraulic engineers to define the demands for efficient fish passes, fish protection systems and downstream migration facilities. The methodology comprises fish ecological field studies as well as ethohydraulic laboratory experiments. International engineering guidelines benefited from her experience and her consultative work influenced the construction of Europe biggest double slot fish pass at the river Elbe at Geesthacht with its unique monitoring device. Based on the knowledge of the behavioural pattern of downstream migration silver eel she invented the early warning system “Migromat” which is a prerequisite to drive an episodic eel protecting operation mode of hydropower plants in rivers. With respect to the European animal welfare act Dr. Adam gives lessons for a proper and gentle handling of aquatic species in the context of ecological surveys.

To see more about Dr. Beate Adam, go to or

We are very proud to welcome Dr. Beate Adam as a Plenary Speaker to the conference.

Prof. Dmitrii S. Pavlov, Victor Mikheev, and Vasilii Kostin

Down-stream migration of fish in regulated rivers: patterns and mechanism, Presented by Victor Mikheev on behalf of Dmitrii Pavlov

Prof. Dmitrii Pavlov
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology & Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
Director of the Institute and Head of Laboratory of Fish Behavior.

Dmitrii Pavlov graduated from the Moscow State University, Dept. of Ichthyology, in 1960. Currently he is a Head of the Department. His main study area covers fish behavior and ecology, first of all, behavior of fishes including orientation, locomotion, and migrations in the water flow. He has been studying patterns and mechanisms of downstream migrations in the field and laboratory experiments since 1962. Field studies with the main focus on down-stream migration through the dams were carried out in many rivers of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Field programs were complemented with experimental studies on behavior, morphology, physiology, and biochemical traits of migrants. Dmitrii Pavlov has written several books and many papers on down-stream migration of young fish, control of their behavior in the water flow, protection of migrating fish in regulated rivers. Dmitrii Pavlov is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Drs. Victor Mikheev and Vasilii Kostin, co-authors of the plenary talk for the FP2015, have been working together with Dmitrii Pavlov in the field of fish behavior and ecology since 1981.

We are proud to welcome Prof. Dmitrii Pavlov (photo above) and the presenting author Dr. Victor Mikheev (photo to the right) as Keynote Speakers to Fish Passage 2015 and Dr. Vasilii Kostin as a co-author to the plenary talk.