University of Massachusetts Professor Andy Danylchuk Receives Excellence in Fisheries Education Award

Brian Murphy and Andy Danylchuk

(Baltimore, Md.) November 8, 2021 – Andy Danylchuk, Professor of Fish Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, received the Excellence in Fisheries Education Award at the 2021 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. AFS Past President Brian Murphy presented the award at the day’s plenary session. The Excellence in Fisheries Education Award recognizes excellence in organized teaching and advising in the field of fisheries.

“Throughout his life, Dr. Danylchuk has been on a personal crusade to ensure that fish are around for future generations to enjoy, whether on the end of a fishing line, on a dinner plate, or simply to watch in wonder,” said Past President Murphy.

His passion for fish started at a young age, as did his desire to share whatever he had learned to just about anyone who would listen.  This passion helped guide his academic history, with undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Trent University, and a Ph.D. from University of Alberta.  During his Ph.D. work, he received several awards for research and teaching, including the prestigious Peter Larkin Award from the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of the American Fisheries Society.

Following graduate school, Dr. Danylchuk worked for several organizations that were founded on models of experiential education and hands-on, placed-based learning.  This allowed him to expand his teaching skills, as well as develop a deeper understanding about creative ways to enhance learning, regardless of academic level and setting.  Danylchuk is a strong believer that learning through experience, in combination with general concepts taught in traditional classroom settings, can help stimulate the acquisition of knowledge and skills via multiple senses and thus cater to a range of learning styles.

Now at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Danylchuk teaches several of the fundamental courses in the Fisheries Ecology and Conservation concentration, offering students the right tools and experiences to stimulate a sense of wonder and creative thinking when it comes to fish, aquatic ecosystems, conservation and management.  He is also a cherished mentor by his graduate students, as he provides them with opportunities to be productive, creative, and think outside the box.  Collectively, his teaching performance, and excellent rapport with his students resulted in being awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award from UMass Amherst in 2014, and it is now no surprise that we further acknowledge his passion for learning and sharing by selecting him for the Excellence in Fisheries Education Award from AFS.

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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.

AF website:

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High resolution award photo link: