Meet the MISSION ATLANTIC Scientists: Guillem Chust, Lead on Pelagic Mapping: ecosystem, resources and pressures (WP3)

Where you are from and where you are currently based?

I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, grew up in Barcelona, Spain, and I am currently based in the Basque Country.

Academic background and research areas:

I am a Biologist with a PhD from the University of Paul Sabatier in France. My research focuses on climate change impacts on marine biodiversity and macroecology. Currently, I am head of climate change on oceans and coasts at AZTI.

Current role and work within MISSION ATLANTIC:

I’m co-leading WP3 on pelagic mapping. We’ve found important evidence showing how the vertical structure of the water column influences the horizontal distribution of fish communities across the Atlantic. From this knowledge, we are working on modelling fish stock distribution fully in 3D!

Do you have any advice or a favourite quote you would like to share?

I like the concept of the “macroscope” (Odum, 1971) as the antithesis of the microscope. In ocean research, we need conceptual and methodological overviews to look at ecological systems and society in a new way. Let’s place the “oceans under the macroscope” (Belgrano & Brown 2002).

Favourite ocean fact:

The oceans hold less species richness compared to land, but the estimated number of undescribed and cryptic marine species is much larger!

What is your highlight from the project so far?

The nice and rich experience of collaborating with researchers across the Atlantic studying 1) different aspects of biogeography in the pelagic and deep waters, 2) compiling relevant information on ecosystem pressures such as fishing, shipping, seabed mining, and plastics, 3) monitoring the ocean using new marine technology such as wave-gliders, and 4) becoming more aware of vulnerable small and isolated Atlantic islands such as Ascension.

We have so much to discover!

Contact details:


Twitter: @GuillemChust