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Dr Coby Needle

Telephone: +44 131 244 3304Coby Needle

Email: needlec@marlab.ac.uk, coby.needle@gov.scot

Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, Scotland

Research Interests

I have a background in applied mathematics, and since joining the Marine Lab in 1996 I have worked on a wide range of fish stock and fishery-related research areas, including fish condition and recruitment, survey-based assessment methods, and management strategy evaluations.  My current research is focussed on three main topics: spatial extensions to fleet dynamics models, scientific applications of fisheries data from remote electronic monitoring (including VMS and CCTV), and management strategies to facilitate implementation of the EU landings obligation.  The main driver behind this work is to try and ensure sustainable use of our marine ecosystems while maintaining the viability of fishing fleets and dependent coastal communities.


I have strong collaborative links with both government and academic colleagues in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia.  I work closely with fishery biologists at the University of Aberdeen where I hold an Honorary Lectureship, and I am currently involved in projects with academic colleagues from the Universities of Strathclyde and East Anglia, as well as the EU H2020 DiscardLess project.  I am in the process of collaborating with New Zealand scientists on a management evaluation book, and I work regularly with scientists from the USA and Canada (especially Woods Hole MA, St Johns NF, and Seattle WA). 

External Committees and Responsibilities

I am an active member of several ICES working groups, particularly the WG on the Assessment of Demersal Stocks in the North Sea and Skaggerak (which I chaired from 2004-2006), and I am an alternate UK member of ACOM (the advisory committee of ICES).  I am also an active review member of the American Centre for Independent Experts.  I provide advice on fish stocks and fisheries to the Scottish and UK governments, as well as the European Commission.

Five Recent Publications

Baudron, A., Needle, C. L., Rijnsdorp, A. D. and Marshall, C. T. (2014). Warming temperatures and smaller body sizes: synchronous changes in growth of North Sea fishes, Global Change Biology 20(4): 1023-1031. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12514.

Little, A. S., Needle, C. L., Hilborn, R., Holland, D. S. and Marshall, C. T. (2014). Real-time spatial management approaches to reduce bycatch and discards: experiences from Europe and the United States, Fish and Fisheries. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12080.

Needle, C. L. (2014). Honeycomb: A spatio-temporal simulation model to evaluate management strategies and assessment methods, ICES Journal of Marine Science 72(1): 151–163. DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsu130.

Needle, C. L. (2015). Using self-testing to validate the SURBAR survey-based assessment model, Fisheries Research 171: 78–86. DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2015.03.001.

Needle, C. L., Dinsdale, R., Buch, T. B., Catarino, R. M. D., Drewery, J. and Butler, N. (2015). Scottish science applications of Remote Electronic Monitoring, ICES Journal of Marine Science. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsu225.

Full Publications List

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