Brian Murphy Becomes President of the American Fisheries Society

October 21, 2020

Contact: Beth Beard
[email protected]
Tel. 240-687-3761


BETHESDA, MD — Brian R. Murphy, Ph.D., has become the 136th President of the American Fisheries Society (AFS). He assumed office on September 22, 2020, during the Virtual Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. The conference drew more than 1,300 fisheries scientists and professionals who gathered from throughout North America and around the world to share their expertise in an online format.

“I am honored to serve as President of this prestigious society as we celebrate our 150th year,” Murphy said. “With the help of our committed volunteers and staff, we will continue to move forward on critical issues facing both fisheries resources and the fisheries profession.”

Murphy holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Detroit (1975), an M.S. in aquatic toxicology from Purdue University (1977), and a Ph.D. in fisheries science from Virginia Tech. With 40 years of teaching and research experience, he has taught 22 different courses and he also served as a Fulbright teaching scholar in Mexico. His research interests are focused on applied problems in fisheries assessment and management. He is an author of more than 150 journal articles and authored or edited two AFS books.

Murphy served as president of the Virginia Tech Chapter, the Texas Chapter, the Education Section, and the Southern Division of AFS, along with serving in many other roles in committees and units. He is a Fellow of AFS, and has received the Society’s Excellence in Education Award, the Fisheries Management Section’s Award of Excellence, and the Virginia Chapter’s Eugene W. Surber Award for lifetime achievement.

President Murphy has identified four high-priority areas of focus for his term:

  1. To increase public visibility and trust in the work of our profession and of our Society.
  2. To redouble our efforts to increase diversity and improve equity and inclusion within our profession and our Society.
  3. To help AFS members further their careers by: (a) developing or enhancing critical professional skills; and (b) enhancing the benefits of professional certification.
  4. To move forward from research to planning and action related to rebranding needs for AFS as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.

“Brian’s impressive history of service to the Society, not to mention his long-term impact on fisheries science and education, give him a great perspective on how AFS can embark on its next 150 years,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen. “I look forward to working with Brian and I would like to thank our Past President, Scott Bonar, for his outstanding leadership of the Society during this challenging year.”

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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.