Dr. Ed Houde receives Lifetime Achievement Award from American Fisheries Society

SOLOMONS ISLAND, MD (November 28, 2011)—University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Professor Ed Houde received the American Fisheries Society’s Elbert H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work and highly productive career in studying the early life stages of fishes. The American Fisheries Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources

"Dr. Houde was an early leader in research focusing on forage fish—like bay anchovy and menhaden—that set the stage for recent developments in ecosystem-based management, an area in which he has also been influential,” said Tom Miller, Director of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, where Houde has worked for more than 30 years. “He is a internationally-respect scientist and a wonderful colleague."

Houde began a 40-year career focused on fisheries science and management, larval fish ecology, and fisheries oceanography at Cornell University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1968. He worked at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Miami before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland’s research center in 1980.

His pioneering work on the early life stages of fishes has resulted in fundamental advances in the understanding of larval physiology, swimming performance, feeding ecology, growth, mortality, and development, laying the groundwork for his current interest in fisheries management, or how to ensure the survival of those fish into adulthood.

"In addition to managing an individual species, it is important to take a broader look at the well-being of the entire ecosystem," said Houde, who recently wrote a book on the Chesapeake Bay's fisheries—from rockfish to oysters to menhaden—and how to manage them with traditional and ecosystem-based approaches. "You can't harvest these fish and shellfish sustainably without accounting for the things they eat and the things that eat them, as well as the water quality and habitat they require."

In the Chesapeake Bay region, he was co-chair of the Technical Advisory Panel that developed a Fisheries Ecosystem Plan for the Bay. He previously served as Director of the National Science Foundation's Biological Oceanography Program, and he has taken part in countless oceanographic cruises on which he has served as chief scientist. He was appointed as the U.S. Delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea in 2006.

Houde has also earned recognition for his commitment to teaching the next generation of scientists. He has mentored 36 masters and Ph.D. students and several post-doctoral scientists. Many have moved into careers as academic researchers, state and federal scientists, and fishery managers, and four of them currently work at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

“Dr. Houde’s career is exemplary among scientists investigating the early life history of fishes,” said David Secor, a professor at the University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science who was mentored by Houde early in his career. “Through seemingly boundless curiosity and energy, a keen intellect, and critical scholarship, he has informed generations of students and scientists about the subtleties and episodes of the early life stages of fishes.”

Outside of the laboratory, Houde has served on numerous committees and panels, including the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, the ICES Living Resources Committee, the National Marine Fisheries Service's Ecosystem Principles Advisory Panel, and as Chair of the National Academy of Science Committee on Marine Protected Areas.

He is also the recipient of the Beverton (Fisheries Society of the British Isles) and Sette (American Fisheries Society, Marine Fisheries Section) Awards for career achievement, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

 The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science harnesses the power of science to transform the way society understands and manages the environment. By conducting cutting-edge research into today's most pressing environmental problems, we are developing new ideas to help guide our state, nation, and world toward a more environmentally sustainable future through five research centers—the Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, the Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore, and the Maryland Sea Grant College in College Park. www.umces.edu

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