2015 Conference: Meryl Williams


Profitability, sustainability and risk

10-12 August 2015


Sir John Crawford Memorial Address
Conference Scholarships


Meryl WilliamsDr Meryl Williams
2015 Crawford Fund Medal Awardee

Dr Meryl Williams was a member of the Governing Board and Chair of the Nominating Committee of the Institute for Crop Research in the Semi-Arid Tropics; Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and Chair of the Australian Seafood Services Common Language Custodian Group.
Dr Williams received her JCU Bachelor of Science with Honours Class 1 in 1975 and was awarded the Dr R. Palmerston-Rundle Prize for biological sciences.

Beginning with the Queensland government in 1977 working on fisheries research and analysis, she went on to the South Pacific Commission in the mid-80s before joining the Australian Department of Primary Industries and Energy in 1986.

In 1990, Dr William became executive director of the Bureau of Rural Resources and three years later Director of AIMS. From 1994 to 2004, she was Director General of the WorldFish Centre, one of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Centres and from 2004 until 2007, she chaired the Board of Management and was President of the Policy Advisory Council of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. From 2007-2-10 she chaired the Commission for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Meryl is recognised for her achievements in science, research management and outreach in fisheries and aquaculture for food security, gender equality and social welfare, and environmental conservation. She has held a number of nonexecutive leadership positions, including Chair of the Seafood Services Australia Common Language Custodian Group, member of the Governing Board of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Vice-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Sea Research and on the Editorial Board of the Asian Fisheries Science journal.

She has established Genderaquafish.org, a key global website on gender in aquaculture and fisheries. She also leads the Asian Fisheries Society project to develop an online information system for Asia-Pacific fisheries and aquaculture, called AsiaPacificFishWatch. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Technology and Engineering in 1993 and awarded an Australian Centenary Medal in 2003. In 2004, the Asian Fisheries Society elected her as an honorary Life Member. In 2010, she was named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ of James Cook University, Australia.