Dr Pablo Escobar-Flores

Fisheries Scientist


Doctor of philosophy, Marine Science

Master of Science, Marine Science

Bachelor of Science, Honours (Marine Biology)

Science Centre

Contact Details


Originally from Chile (Santa Barbara), I moved to New Zealand in 2010 to undertake post-graduate studies at the University of Auckland as an off-campous student based at NIWA in Wellington.

I have a solid understanding of active acoustics techniques and their use for abundance estimates of marine fish stocks. I am experienced in the calibration of scientific echosounders and collection, processing and analysis of acoustic data for qualitative and quantitative studies and monitoring fish stocks. I have worked with large datasets of acoustic data collected in difference regions and ecosystems by dedicated research vessels following systematic survey designs as well as opportunistic data collected by commercial vessels. Because of my work in the field of opportunistic data for scientific purposes I was invited to participate in the SONA (Southern Ocean Network of Acoustics) workshop on “Acoustic processing methods and future directions, a SONA perspective” held in Vigo, Spain in 2016. My contribution to the workshop consistent of two presentations from my doctorate research: The use of acoustics to characterise mid-trophic levels of the Southern Ocean pelagic ecosystem, i) Methodology for processing opportunistic acoustic data, and ii) General scope of the research. I have a solid background in ecology, biology and marine ecosystems, which I have gained in studies using primarily acoustic data for studying mid-trophic level (MTL) organisms in open-ocean pelagic marine ecosystems. I also have experience in the use of descriptive tools to monitor and observe marine organism distribution, their temporal and spatial patterns, and the development of ecological models using satellite-derived environmental variables. I have significant sea-going and practical fisheries experience both in New Zealand and overseas, including a Sub-Antarctic voyage in the Indian Ocean and two Antarctic voyages. The biological and oceanographic sampling as well as acoustic data collection and processing carried out in research voyages have provided me with a strong set of field work skills and experience.

I have attended training courses in fisheries acoustic techniques and post-processing software (Echoview and Large-scale survey system - LSSS). I also participated in a two-week masters’ course at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, on fisheries acoustics and surveys, where concepts of survey design and fishing gear were presented and discussed. I have also attended several international conferences and workshops presenting outputs from my previous research.

My current research focusses on the ecology and abundance of mesopelagic fish using active acoustic techniques, role of the mid-trophic level organisms in the open ocean pelagic ecosystem, and direct estimates of abundance of marine fish stocks.