Cefas scientific advisor made CBE during Buckingham Palace visit

Dr Carl O'Brien has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Photo: Joaquina

Dr Carl O'Brien has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Photo: Joaquina Pires-O'Brien. - Credit: Archant

A scientific advisor has been recognised for his years of hard work and dedication by being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Dr Carl O'Brien, of Mutford, received the honour for services to the management of internationally-shared fisheries.

Following on from his mention in the Queen's birthday honours list last year, Dr O'Brien was presented the CBE insignia by The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on February 1.

Dr O'Brien said: 'Obviously it was a wonderful day.

'I was just so amazed and surprised I received the award.

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'When you are trained as a scientist this sort of recognition isn't something you think about.'

The applied statistician, who is also the chairman of Mutford Parish Council, joined The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft in 1995.

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Dr O'Brien applies his modelling and data analytic skills to problems of fish stock assessment, management and advice.

He is currently the Defra chief fisheries science advisor and has recently been made a vice president of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Dr O'Brien said: 'I'm very proud to receive it.

'It was great to have my wife and father come along – they were amazed at the palace and also very proud.

He added: 'It was just a fun day out.

'The palace is an impressive building, both inside and out.

'Staff at the palace were so friendly, they put everyone at ease.

'I understand these are very formal events but they managed to make it feel informal.'

The scientist was also full of praise for Prince Charles.

He said: 'He's amazing, there were 78 of us on the day receiving honours and he spoke to each of us and asked questions.'

Looking to the year ahead, Dr O'Brien said he was looking forward to taking a more active role internationally.

He said: 'We want to open more doors and put Lowestoft fisheries and the science we do here on the map.'

Cefas recently received a £1.4m grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help the £16m redevelopment of its Lowestoft base.

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