University of Malta
 

Dr Leyla Knittweis
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Leyla Knittweis-Mifsud holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology (Swansea, UK), a Masters in Science in Coastal Management (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) and a PhD in Biology from Bremen University (Germany). Her MSc thesis in coastal management was written at Anna University in Chennai (India). As part of her PhD, which focussed on the population dynamics of a coral species exploited by the aquarium trade and natural resource management, Dr Knittweis-Mifsud spent two and a half years working as a researcher at Hasanuddin University in Makassar (Indonesia). After completing her PhD, Dr. Knittweis-Mifsud held a fulltime postdoc research post at the Centre for Marine Ecology in Bremen. She then acted as fisheries advisor for Government of Malta between 2008-2013, before becoming affiliated with the University of Malta. 

Her research interests include fish biology, population dynamics, resource management and fisheries science, and she has participated in numerous international research projects. More recently these include the projects CREAM (ecosystem approach to fisheries management), GAP II (bridging the gap between scientists and fisheries stakeholders), MESMA (marine spatial planning), MAREA-MEDISEH (Mediterranean sensitive habitats), LIFE BaĦAR for N2K (benthic habitat research for marine Natura 2000 site designation), MANTIS (Marine Protected Area networks towards sustainable fisheries in the central Mediterranean), and IDEM (implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to the deep Mediterranean Sea).

Dr. Knittweis-Mifsud has worked as scientific consultant for numerous clients including the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. She has also worked for certification bodies assessing fisheries against the Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standards, including most recently demersal fisheries in Iceland and small pelagic fisheries in the Adriatic Sea. 

Dr. Knittweis-Mifsud has been a regular participant at the meetings of the European Commission’s Scientific Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) since 2009, contributing to expert working groups addressing topics including fisheries data collection, Mediterranean stock assessments, bio-economic approaches to fisheries modelling, review of scientific advice, the development of an ecosystem approach to fisheries, the use of technical measures in fisheries management, and the implementation of the landing obligation (discard ban). She chaired the STECF expert working group assessing balance between fishing capacity and opportunities for the EU fishing fleet in 2014-2016, and is a permanent STECF Committee member since April 2016.


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Last Updated: 22 August 2017

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