Jennifer Rehren

Jennifer Rehren
Thünen Institute | vTI · Marine Spatial Management



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I am a fisheries scientist/ecosystem modeler currently holding a post-doc fellowship (DFG, German Research Foundation) and a National Geographic Explorer Grant. I am collaborating with the Instituto Español de Oceanografia (Vigo) and the Institute of Marine Science (Barcelona). My research focuses on the assessment and sustainable management of data-poor, coastal fisheries systems by applying different quantitative methods ranging from stock assessment, spatio-temporal models to ecosystem models
Additional affiliations
February 2020 - present
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • Fellow
September 2018 - February 2020
Agrocampus Ouest
  • PostDoc Position
March 2013 - July 2017
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)
  • PhD Student


Publications (11)
Spatial-explicit ecosystem models, such as Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace (EwE), are useful tools for exploring ecosystem-based management strategies, as they integrate ecological processes, environmental dynamics and human activities. EwE further allows for the spatial-temporal simulation of use and conservation scenarios, helping to prioritize...
Ecosystem models, such as Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE), are useful tools for developing ecosystem-based management strategies. Model development, however, requires data for the estimation of input parameters including time series for calibration. Most small-scale fisheries lack such information, making it difficult to reliably use ecosystem models for...
Full-text available
Marine conservation areas are an important tool for the sustainable management of multispecies, small-scale fisheries. Effective spatial management requires a proper understanding of the spatial distribution of target species and the identification of its environmental drivers. Small-scale fisheries, however, often face scarcity and low-quality of...
Full-text available
Ecosystems often respond to natural or human-induced disturbances in a non-linear way leading to irreversible dramatic shifts in species composition and abundance, which is attributed to the occurrence of alternative stable states (Sheffer et al., 2001). This fact impedes the successful management of ecosystems and their resource exploitation (Folk...
Most tropical small-scale fishing communities, like those of Zanzibar (Tanzania), strongly depend on fisheries resources for income and protein supply. Although imperative, the evaluation of fisheries performance indicators for adequate management is often challenging given the data-poor nature of most of these fisheries. This study reviews the cur...
Full-text available
Distributing fishing mortality across the widest possible range of species, stocks, and sizes in proportion to their natural productivity (i.e., balanced harvest, BH) has been suggested as a new paradigm of fisheries management to minimize the effects of fishing on the ecosystem structure while maximizing overall yield. Models that have been used t...
EcoTroph (ET) is an oversimplified trophic-level-based model, based on two ideas: Ecosystem structure can be summarized using trophic spectra, i.e. the continuous distribution of the biomass, production, catch, fishing mortality, etc. across trophic levels Ecosystem functioning modeled as a flow of biomass surging up the food web, from primary prod...
East African coastal communities highly depend on marine resources for not just income but also protein supply. The multi-species, multi-gear nature of East African fisheries makes this type of fishery particularly difficult to manage, as there is a trade-off between maximizing total catch from all gears and species and minimizing overfishing of ta...
This study investigates the typical East African multispecies fishery of Chwaka Bay (Zanzibar) by assessing growth, mortality, exploitation and stock size of six key target species of the fishery. Analyses are based on monthly length–frequency data collected from January to June and September to December in 2014 from the three main landing sites su...
Small-scale fisheries are essential livelihood and protein providers for coastal communities in developing countries. On the semi-autonomous island state Zanzibar (Tanzania) and, in particular, in Chwaka Bay, located on the east coast of the island, the dependency on small-scale fisheries is very high. Perceived decreases in individual catches and...


Cited By


Project (1)
The aim of the project is to understand the spatial distribution of Chwaka Bay's fisheries and their key target species to identify suitable areas for conservation using statistical and mechanistic models as well as participatory mapping with stakeholders. Furthermore, the project aims to explore the impact of stakeholder-designed spatial management strategies on the Chwaka Bay fisheries and ecosystem using the ecosystem modelling framework Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace.