Ian Bryceson was born on the 4th January 1950 in Kitale, Kenya, son of one of the first cabinet ministers of Mwalimu Nyerere’s post- independence government in Tanzania in 1961. Mr. Derek Bryceson, his father, was a veteran of World War II, who fought in the war as a pilot, later settling first in Kenya and later in Tanzania as a farmer in the 1950s. He may well have instilled into this his son a passion for study of the agro-biological sciences and research for improved yields to rural populations in developing countries, including Tanzania.
Ian went to schools in Southern Highlands School (Tanzania, 1957- 1960), Lushoto School (Tanzania, 1960-1963), Glenalmond College, Scotland, U.K., 1963-1967), Atlantic College, Wales, U.K. (1967- 1969), then to the University of Washington (U.S.A., 1969-1971) and the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, 1973-1977). He obtained a BSc in Oceanography from the University of Washington, while his PhD at the University of Dar es Salaam was in the specialisation of Marine Biology. He taught undergraduate courses in Marine Biology, rising through the ranks in the Department of Zoology and Marine Biology from Tutorial Assistant (1973-1975), Assistant Lecturer (1975-1977), Lecturer (1977-1980), to Senior Lecturer (1980-82) and he supervised postgraduate programmes within the-then Faculty of Science.
Alone or in collaboration with fellow scientists, Bryceson is credited with more than 155 publications and reports – journal articles, in conference proceedings; as well as research and consultancy reports to governments, donor institutions and university workshops. These range from evaluation of Coastal Aquaculture Developments in Tanzania in 2002, to issues in Social-ecological Changes, Livelihoods and resilience among fishing communities in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania (2015) and Temporal and spatial trends in size, biomass and abundance of groupers (Epinephelinae) in Mafia Island Marine Park in Tanzania (2015).
Currently, he teaches at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Oslo, at which the mission is “to contribute to the well- being of the planet,” and “where interdisciplinary research and study programmes generate innovations in food, health, environmental protection, climate and sustainable use of natural resources.” Within NMBU, he is based at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Noragric.
It is recalled that Ian Bryceson played a key role in the establishment of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) in 1989, for which he received an award in 2009. He serves as Chairman of its Programme Committee, a position he has held since 2008. He also has served on the Editorial Board of the association’s West Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Studies (WIOJMS). Along with this, he has served on more than twenty international bodies and committees, including Sweden’s Sida Research Council (SAREC) and the Research Council of Norway.
In the early 1980s, he moved to Norway and had employment engagements variously as a guest scientist and consultant, finally settling in Norway and taking university positions at the University of Oslo, University of Bergen and, since 1996, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences at Aas. He has since then been teaching courses and supervising research programmes involving postgraduate students from both Europe and developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition to the numerous MSc and PhD theses supervised, he has conducted researches, consultancies and evaluations on behalf of NORAD, UNESCO and other agencies such as NUFU and SIDA. Most of his research work is in fisheries, the coastal environment, aquaculture as well as in the socio-economic aspects of Tanzania and the West Indian Ocean (WIO) region in general. Ian has been involved in the planning and implementation of a number of national and regional research projects such as the five-year “Coastal fisheries of Tanzania: the challenges of globalization to resource management, livelihoods and governance” (2007-2011) funded by the Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) and focussing on
At the inauguration of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Professorial Chair in Environment and Climate Change (MJNPC-ECC) at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in 2010, Professor Bryceson made an interesting, animating and quite impactful presentation—in both English and Kiswahili—jointly with the local coastal village artisanal fishermen from Kilwa, an area that had for a long time been the target of his action-research project in the development and modernisation of coastal fisheries in Tanzania and around the world.