Dr Claude Joiris started out as a teacher at elementary school level before studying zoology at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium. After obtaining a PhD in Sciences in 1970, he became an Assistant, Chief Assistant, and later Professor at the sister Free University of Brussels (VUB).
His teaching activities concerned ecology, polar ecology, ecotoxicology and vertebrate systematics. His main research concerned ecology (mainly marine and polar) and ecotoxicology (heavy metals and organochlorines, pesticide and PCBs). He is the author of many international publications in both fields.
He was, and still is, a reviewer (referee) for more than 25 international journals, including Polar Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Serie, Polar Research, Aquatic Biology, Deep Sea Research, Australian Marine Mammals Centre, Water Resource and Environment, Advances Polar Science, the Journal of Ecology and Ecosolution, SciRev, and the Journal of Biology and Nature. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Journal of Coastal Life Medicine, and Advances in Ecological and Environmental Research, among others.
Claude is the co-founder of the European Cetacean Society (ECS). He retired at 65 years of age, as is compulsory in Belgium, but is still active in the polar marine ecology of “top predators” – seabirds and marine mammals.