(Atlantic City, NJ) August 21, 2018 – Dr. William Matthews received the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award at the 2018 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. AFS President Steve L. McMullin presented the award at the meeting’s plenary session. Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award, also known as the “Sully,” is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding contributions to the conservation of fishery resources that may be political, legal, educational, scientific, or managerial in scope.

“We applaud the distinguished contributions of Dr. Matthews and thank him for his continuous efforts to further the conservation of fishery resources,” said AFS President Steve L. McMullin.

Dr. William J. Matthews’ influence on the conservation of stream fishes through dedicated research, service and mentoring of students has a span of over 40 years. Bill’s research, which has been disseminated in numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and books, has profoundly influenced many aspects of fisheries science.

Much of his research focused on stream fishes in the central U.S. that are heavily impacted by land use, fragmentation and climate change. Bill’s early work described the key factors, such as physiological tolerances, of prairie fishes that are critical for their survival in these harsh environment. This work provided a foundation from which to assess how species respond to water extraction and deterioration of water quality associated with the growing human population.

He also was a pioneer researcher on the impacts of global climate change on stream fishes. Bill’s seminal article published in 1990 in Fisheries described how fishes in the Great Plains are at risk from increasing temperature. This work paved a way for thinking about how stream fishes are influenced by a warming environment. Equally important, he established long-term records of fish communities that continue to be used to assess temporal changes in species abundance and distribution.

In summary, Bill has demonstrated a career-long commitment to the conservation of stream fishes and his legacy extends to the numerous students and professionals that impact the field of fisheries conservation. Bill also has an extensive record of service. He served as president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and was recently recognized for his service with the Joseph S. Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, his conservation impact was recognized by the Southwestern Association of Naturalist with the George M. Sutton Conservation Award.  


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Editor’s Notes:

Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The mission of AFS is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With five journals and numerous books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.


General link: fisheries.org

Link to AFS Annual Meeting: afsannualmeeting.fisheries.org