Jan Mees (°1964) is the general director of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Ostend since its establishment in 1999. He is trained as a marine biologist (MSc Zoology, MSc Environmental Sanitation, PhD Biology) at Ghent University, where he is part-time professor and has been teaching courses on data analysis, statistics, coastal ecosystems and fisheries. An experienced marine ecologist and taxonomist – contributing a.o. to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) that is hosted at his institute – he is the author of more than 100 scientific publications, most in international journals with peer review. Jan Mees represents his institute and the Flemish government in several European and global oceanography and marine biodiversity networks, e.g. IOC/UNESCO, MARS and EurOcean. He is currently the Chair of the European Marine Board and member of the executive committee of POGO. Jan has served on the WoRMS Steering Committee as Vice-chair since 2013.