Northwest Fisheries Science Center

James T. Thorson - Staff Profile

Federal, NOAA Fisheries
Job Title:
Operations Research Analyst


James Thorson received a Master’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from the NMFS RTR program (at that time at Virginia Tech) with Jim Berkson, prior to receiving a Ph.D. in Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences from André Punt at University of Washington. James was also an NRC Post-Doc and employee at the CSIRO in Australia prior to his current position at the NWFSC's Fisheries Resource Analysis and Montoring Division.


Current Research

James conducts research regarding state-of-the-art analytic approaches to theoretical and applied questions in marine population ecology.  James also participates in stock assessments as a member of the FRAM division, while conducting cooperative research with other divisions at the NWFSC.  Current projects can be seen at his website (, and include 1) a semi-parametric model for surplus production; 2) meta-analyses of rockfish natural mortality, recruitment for West Coast groundfishes, and weight-at-length parameters globally; and 3) alternative approaches to assessing the status of species using only catch data.