Dr. Marjo Vierros is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). In this capacity, she is working on developing an oceans-related programme for UNU-IAS and contributing to projects of relevance to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Previously, she worked at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity as Programme Officer responsible for all issues related to marine and coastal biological diversity. Her work at the CBD Secretariat included preparation of background documents for meetings of the SBSTTA and COP, servicing those meetings, and organizing and running a number of expert group meetings. She was also responsible for the background work undertaken for the in-depth review and updating the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity. In addition to her work on marine issues, she has also coordinated the Secretariat’s work on protected areas and the ecosystem approach. She represented the Executive Secretary of the Convention in many international meetings, ranging from diplomatic meetings to expert workshops.
Previously, Dr. Vierros has worked for research, conservation and United Nations organizations in several countries. She has extensive experience in tropical marine ecology and coastal management, and has undertaken field research in the Caribbean, Central America, Bermuda and the Pacific. In addition, she has participated in UNEP technical cooperation and capacity building projects in the Wider Caribbean Region, and has designed and implemented educational programmes at the University College of Belize, the Bermuda Biological Station and the School for Field Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands. She has authored many publications, and was one of the lead authors of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (marine fisheries systems).
She has degrees in biology, oceanography and marine biology, and has undertaken postdoctoral research at the University of California and Santa Cruz. She has also been a visiting scientist at the University of Miami and at the Bermuda Aquarium.