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Dr. Ed Houde receives Lifetime Achievement Award from American Fisheries Society
You really have to know your stuff to have a fish named after you. That’s why Bregmaceros houdei, a previously unknown species of three-inch codlet native to the Gulf of Mexico, was named after Ed Houde.
A professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, he is an expert in the early life of fish—those crucial first 100 days that set the pattern for survival and abundance in adulthood. He was recently honored with the American Fisheries Society’s Elbert H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work and highly productive career studying the early life stages of fishes.
"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.