Nigel Hussey in boat in Arctic watersBiology professor Nigel Hussey delivered the keynote address at the 2018 Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research earlier this month.

UWindsor claims national aquatic science award for second straight year

Fisheries researcher Nigel Hussey says he is honoured to have put UWindsor back in the national spotlight by winning the 2018 Stevenson Lectureship Award. He delivered the keynote address, “Telemetry, deep-water Arctic ecosystems and developing commercial fisheries,” at the 2018 Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research in Edmonton in early January.

Dr. Hussey, assistant professor in biological sciences, focuses his research program around two interrelated themes: food web ecology and fish movements. He examines species that are vitally important to Canadian ecosystems and that support commercial fisheries.

He says he was completely taken by surprise by the news of his win.

“These are my esteemed peers and the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences is one of the leading fisheries journal,” says Hussey. “It certainly means a lot, at this point in my career, to be acknowledged for my contributions.”

The Stevenson Lectureship was instituted in memory of Cam Stevenson, the long-time editor of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Each year the journal’s editorial board nominates researchers from universities across Canada, as well as from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, and the National Research Council in an effort to meet the award’s criteria for a “young, energetic and creative researcher at the cutting edge of an aquatic discipline.”

Dennis Higgs, head of the UWindsor Department of Biological Sciences, says that Hussey has not only compiled a prolific record of publication early in his career, but his research is also extremely influential in his field. Aside from his Arctic fisheries work that directly assists Inuit communities to develop fisheries while also influencing the management of established fisheries, he says Hussey really is pushing the field in new directions which fits the mould of the Stevenson Lectureship.

“He continually publishes integrative studies that make the field rethink old ways of doing things and represent true paradigm shifts; his 2014 paper in Ecology Letters completely upended the way scientists examine the structure of marine food webs and lead to new approaches in food web,” Dr. Higgs says.

“This would be an impressive track record for a more established scientist, so to see someone in a new faculty position achieve at this level is even more impressive.”

With the lectureship, Hussey is invited to submit a manuscript based on his lecture for publication in the journal. He will also delivery the same lecture as a seminar on campus later in the year.

This is the second year in a row a UWindsor researcher has taken the Stevenson Lectureship. Biology professor Trevor Pitcher was the 2017 winner, the first from the University.

Sara Elliott