Oral Presentation Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2017

Nurturing fisheries researchers: larvae and juveniles (#5)

John D Koehn 1
  1. Arthur Rylah Institute, Heidelberg, VIC, Australia

Learning from the experience of others (both good and bad things) is a valuable thing to do. It has served me well. It can teach you some of the things that you need to survive but are unlikely to learn at Uni. I have been around the block a few times and you can’t survive without some tricks- so am happy to try to pass some survival tips on- either through this presentation and panel- or over a drink. Why would I be bothered?- Well, simply to give something back and lend a helping hand to assist you in a new fisheries career. My career in freshwater fishes is now over 35 years, mostly as a researcher but also with many iterations imparting knowledge into policy, and as a manager of up to 50 staff. Within a government department and institute we have been sliced, diced and on the verge of corporatisation and relocation several times. Any career in this field is a marathon not a sprint. It requires persistence, tenacity, patience and an ability to keep your eye on the ball. I have ten principles for my group: teamwork; excellence; work-life balance; focus; communications; time management; being fair and reasonable; being positive and proactive; improving yourself; and having fun. Other essential non-technical skills include: project, budget. personnel, organisation, time and stress management; negotiation skills, the ability to form collaborations, write project bids, have political nous and the ability to smell money. Finding good mentors and colleagues, not taking the whole show too seriously (don’t blow up!) and drinking all help.