In memory of Prof. N.R. Menon, India

It is with deep sorrow that Nansen Environmental Research Centre – India (NERCI) in Cochin, India and the Nansen Center in Bergen report the sad and unexpected demise of Prof. (Dr.) N.R. Menon on Sunday 18th March 2018. Prof. N.R. Menon was the Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of NERCI and Dean, Faculty of Climate Variability and Aquatic Ecosystem, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS). He was beloved mentor, guiding spirit and inspiration in science, as well as a friend to the scientists and students at the two Nansen Centers.

His scientific field of expertise was in marine biology and oceanography related to Taxonomy and Ecology of Marine Foulers; Marine Bio-deterioration; Marine Pollution and Toxicology; Biodiversity and Coastal Zone Management. He had worked in various capacities at different Indian Research institutions for more than forty years, authored over 200 scientific publications and supervised 40 PhD students. 

At NERCI Prof. Menon was during 2012-2015 the coordinator of the European Commission INDO-MARECLIM: Indo-European Research Facilities For Studies On Marine Ecosystem and Climate in India, an EU-FP7 project under the INCO-LAB program.  INDO-MARECLIM was the first EU funded project to be coordinated by and Indian research organization and facilitating the joint Indo-European scientific cooperation in marine, climate and coastal zone management. He has supervised several of the Indian doctoral students under the Nansen Fellowship Program supported by the Nansen Center and Nansen Scientific Society in Bergen, Norway.

His scientific career dates back to the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIEO) in the 1960-ties, in which he participated as a scientist.  He was the coordinator of major Indian research projects such as the "Distribution of the Toxic Algal Blooms along the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India" and "The distribution of micro and macro benthos along the EEZ of India" funded by Ministry of Earth Sciences, being responsible for planning the experiments, employment of suitable scientific personnel, analyses and interpretation of scientific data. He was the main coordinator of the Indo-Dutch marine research program implemented at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) from 1999. He was the Principal investigator and coordinator for multi-institutional Indian research projects of the Marine Living Resources Programme sponsored by the Department of Ocean Development, Govt. of India (MLR-DOD).

He had served as Member of National Research Advisory Committee for the MLR-DOD Program; Project Director, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, NUFFIC - MHO Programme, Government of Netherlands and CUSAT; and Principal Investigator, Digitized Inventory of Marine Bio Resources – National Project, Dept. of Bio-technology.  He was a member of various national organizations such as Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (2002- 2005, 2006-2009, 2009-2012, 2014-2017) and Technical committee, National Fisheries Development Board (2008- 2011).  He had served as the Member, Working Group of Experts-Revalidation of Potential Fishery Resources of Indian EEZ from 2010-2015. He also functioned in the positions such as Chairman, Research Advisory Committee, Ecology and Environment, KCSTE, Govt. of Kerala, Chairman of Research Advisory Committee, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi and Expert member Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority.

At NERCI Prof. Menon was during 2012-2015 the coordinator of the European Commission INDO-MARECLIM: Indo-European Research Facilities For Studies On Marine Ecosystem and Climate in India, an EU-FP7 project under the INCO-LAB program.  INDO-MARECLIM was the first EU funded project to be coordinated by and Indian research organization.

He was the recipient of the late Padmasree Prof. N. Balakrishnan Nair award of Environmental Excellence in 2013 and Best Fishery Educationist in 2015 by World Fisheries Congress.

Friends and colleagues at the Nansen Centers in Bergen and Cochin convey our sincere thoughts and condolences to his wife Indira, his two children Anuradha and Aravind and their families.

Peace over Prof. N.R. Menon’s memory.