skip to main content

Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 09 

Faculty members named American Fisheries Society inaugural Fellows

September 24, 2015

Eric Hallerman and Brian Murphy
Professors Eric Hallerman, left, and Brian Murphy

Two faculty members in the College of Natural Resources and Environment have been named to the inaugural class of Fellows for the American Fisheries Society.

Eric Hallerman and Brian Murphy, both professors of fisheries in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, were among the honorees selected to become Fellows by the society, the world’s oldest and largest organization promoting the scientific management of North American aquatic resources.

“The recognition of Dr. Hallerman and Dr. Murphy’s long-term commitment to the society and to undergraduate and graduate student involvement in it is reflected in their recognition as inaugural Fellows and as past recipients of the society’s Excellence in Fisheries Education Award,” said Department Head Joel Snodgrass. “Our students truly benefit from the leadership that both Hallerman and Murphy bring to the department and the discipline.”

Hallerman is a nationally recognized expert on fisheries and aquaculture genetics and has testified on Capitol Hill on the environmental safety and regulatory oversight of genetically modified salmon. He directed Virginia Tech’s Horseshoe Crab Research Center, served as head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation from 2006 to 2013, and is an affiliate of Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Science Institute.

He currently serves as president of the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs and the Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Hallerman received the American Fisheries Society’s Excellence in Fisheries Education Award in 2007. He has served the society in many roles, including president of both the Genetics and the Introduced Fishes Sections.

Hallerman earned his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. from Auburn University.

Murphy, a Diggs Teaching Scholar and the recipient of a number of Virginia Tech teaching awards, served as head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation from 1994 to 1999. He is associate director of the Conservation Management Institute after having served as its founding director from 1999 to 2012. He is currently the Senior Faculty Fellow for Teaching and Learning for the College of Natural Resources and Environment and an adjunct professor with the Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Hydrology.

The American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists named Murphy a Fellow in 1994. He received the American Fisheries Society’s Excellence in Fisheries Education Award in 1994 and its Fisheries Management Section Award of Excellence in 2013. Murphy, a certified fisheries professional since 1985, has served as president of the society’s Southern Division, its Texas Chapter, and its Education Section.

Murphy’s research focus is on issues in fisheries management and international conservation He has worked on fisheries issues in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, and is currently working on major water development projects in China such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Great South-to-North Water Diversion.

Murphy earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit, his master’s degree from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Several alumni of Virginia Tech’s doctoral program in fisheries science are among the inaugural class of American Fisheries Society Fellows.

  • Wayne Hubert (’79), professor emeritus, University of Wyoming, current president of the American Fisheries Society.
  • Barbara Knuth (’86), professor, senior vice provost, and dean of the Graduate School, Cornell University.
  • Christopher Kohler (’80), professor emeritus, Southern Illinois University.
  • Trent Sutton (’97), professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks.