Dr. Robert Hutton Bio

1921 – 1994

“…Many Society members remember Dr. Hutton as a steadfast mentor for numerous fisheries scientists…”

Dr. Robert F. Hutton was AFS’ first full-time Executive Director, serving from 1965-1972. He also served as AFS President from 1976-1977 and was awarded the first AFS Meritorious Service Award in 1986, which recognizes outstanding service to AFS and excellence in scientific accomplishments throughout a long fisheries career.

In his nearly 40 years in fisheries, Bob Hutton managed to work in academic, state, federal, and private areas of the fisheries science world. Bob Hutton was born July 18, 1921 in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, and earned both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Miami, Carol Gables in 1949 and 1951, respectively.

Bob earned his doctorate in marine biology at the University of London as a Fulbright Scholar in 1954 and spent the following year as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. He also taught at the University of Florida, where he was the director of the field station. From 1955 until 1962, he served as the head biologist and parasitologist for the Florida State Board of Conservation Marine Laboratory in St. Petersburg, Florida.

He then left Florida for colder weather in Masssachusetts, serving as the Chief Marine Biologist and Assistant Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries for the state until 1965, at which point he came on board at AFS as the first full-time paid Executive Director.

After finishing his tenure as AFS Executive Director, Bob went on to work for the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Office of Marine Resources, serving as a senior policy advisor in scientific research development and management of marine resources. He also served as Chairman of NOAA’s Task Force on deep water sports.

He eventually was named Chief of Constituent Affairs for the National Marine Fisheries Service. During his time at NOAA, he also was also elected to serve as AFS President from 1976-77. Upon Bob’s retirement in June 1986, he was honored with the first AFS Meritorious Service Award, unanimously awarded by the Governing Board of AFS.

In the July/August 1986 issue of Fisheries, Executive Director Carl Sullivan wrote,

“No one in the history of the Society has done so much to advance the cause of fisheries science and fisheries professionalism. No one has been so unselfish in giving of his time, talents, and energies. No one has been less reluctant to take on the most ambitious assignment and perform it with brilliance. No one has shown more compassion for the struggles of his colleagues and no one can match the reassuring dependability which he has offered to the AFS staff and officers. Serving as AFS president required a taxing four-year commitment and afterward most of our past presidents understandably prefer to quietly return to their private lives. Bob Hutton’s special commitment to AFS continued unabated after his five years in office. He cannot be replaced and will be greatly missed by all who have been privileged to work with him. We wish him a very long and happy retirement.”

Bob Hutton died June 15, 1994 in Charlottesville of heart complications. He is survived by his wife Wanda, four daughters, a sister, three grandsons, and one granddaughter.