A Brief History and the Scientific Community

I have been asked to say something about the history of the EEEF meetings, and the background to this scientific community. Those of us who have attended previous EEEF meetings know at least something about how we came to be and how we continue to function. The EEEF meetings originated with discussions at a Midwestern Regional Meeting of the Animal Behaviour Society among several of us interested in fish behaviour. Jack Ward agreed to host the meetings, and did so for several years, at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, starting in 1977. Perhaps the only thing normal about our meetings was the name of the city. After Jack Ward’s untimely death, we began the highly successful routine of moving the meetings to different sites. Subsequently we have met in Guelph (Canada), Beaumont (Texas), Durham (New Hampshire), Flagstaff (Arizona), Seattle (Washington), Victoria (Canada), Albuquerque (New Mexico), Athens (Georgia), Quebec (Canada), Saudarkrokur (Iceland), San Diego (California) and Boston (Massachusetts).

Several things have always distinguished the EEEF meeting. We initiated the meeting because we wanted to foster the development of students, and because we wanted to bring together the full range of people with interests in behaviour, ecology and evolution of fishes. We have added conservation biology as another theme to our meetings, largely through the efforts of Gene Helfman at the meeting in Georgia. I think the record of our meetings, particularly in the publications from special symposia or entire sessions of previous meetings, speaks for our success (usually in special issues of the journal, Environmental Biology of Fishes). We have always fostered personal contacts, collaboration and creative approaches to science. Our emphasis continues to be on students, and we continue to learn from, and through, them. The EEEF meeting is always dominated by young people, and new ideas.

We have lost valued friends and colleagues over the years. Jack Ward, Gerry FitzGerald, Jan Smith and Bill Rowland are among the most prominent of those who were involved in the organization of our meetings. But we continue to gain new colleagues and so we continue to grow and develop. We are firmly rooted in the past but dedicated to the future. We try to make sure that the meeting moves around to different geographic locations, so that we enable a different group of local people to attend, to show off their research and to let us see the places where they live and carry out their science. We include both marine and freshwater fishes in our meetings, practical and applied research, academic scientists and those from a wide range of private industry, consulting and government agencies. We have no formal organization, no elected officers and no continuing budget. We meet because we are interested in each other and what we are doing. We organize special sessions on topics of current interest, to recognize lifetime contributions of some of us, but mostly to foster the development of students and young colleagues.

David L. G. Noakes, Oregon State University, February 2008, updated April 2009

Past Conference Hosts

2016 Florida State University
2014 Oregon State University
2012 University of Windsor
2010 Simon Fraser University
2008 Boston University
2006 Soka University of America
2004 Icelandic Research Institute and University
2002 Laval University
2000 University of Georgia
1998 University of Washington
1996 University of New Mexico
1994 University of Victoria
1992 University of New Hampshire
1990 Northern Arizona University
1987 Lamar University
1985 University of Guelph
1983 Illinois State University
1981 Illinois State University
1979 Illinois State University
1977 Illinois State University


Gerry Fitzgerald Award
Best poster presentation

Gerry Fitzgerald (1950-1994) earned a Doctor of Philosophy under Miles Keenleyside at the University of Western Ontario in 1976, and subsequently worked as a professor at Laval University. Gerry's research focused on evolutionary and behavioural ecology of fishes, and addressed questions related to aggression, cannibalism, kin recognition and alternative reproductive tactics.

Past recipients

2018 Jack Goldman Functional concentration of disturbance cues influence conspecific and heterospecific responses by Trinidadian guppies and convict cichlids
2016 Erin Reed Relationships between climate, growth, and fisheries production
2014 Oscar Nordahl The history of strategy variation in sympatric pike
2012 Jason Mouland Genetic restoration of aurora trout: results from captive and wild trials
2010 Ben Sutherland Understanding the varying sensitivities of salmon to Lepeophtheirus salmonis infection
2008 Camille Leblanc Egg size affects arctic charr behaviour and morphology
2006 Annapurni Narayanan Female body size on mate choice
2004 Kathryn Peiman Heritable variation in brook stickleback body form
2002 Jonathan Lee Cuckoldry by the territorial morph of male midshipman
2000 Michael Smith Risk assessment in mosquitofish
1998 Jeremy Mitchell Clutch size correlates in false clown anemonefish

The R. Jan F. Smith Conservation Award
Presented to the student whose presentation (oral or poster) best exemplified the study of fish conservation

Reginald Jan Frederick Smith (1940-1998) earned a Doctor of Philosophy under Miles Keenleyside at the University of Western Ontario in 1967, and subsequently worked as a professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Jan's best-known research contributions focused on predation and alarm pheromones in fishes.

Past recipients

2018 Xavier Bordeleau Dalhousie University
2016 Katelyn Lawson University of Florida
2014 Tim Pusack University of Hawaii
2012 Natalie Sopinka University of British Columbia
2010 Takuya Sato Kyoto University
2008 Daniella Swenton-Olson University of New Mexico
2006 Koh Hasegawa Hokkaido University
2004 Marja Jarvenpa a University of Helsinki
2002 Laura Weir Dalhousie University

The Jack Ward Memorial Prize
Given for the best student presentation

Jack Ward (1935-1982) earned a Doctor of Philosophy under George Barlow at the University of Illinois in 1965, and subsequently worked as a professor at Illinois State University. Jack Ward's research focused on the ethology and behavioral ecology of fishes, and in particular the life history and parental care behaviour of the orange chromide cichlid. Jack's interest and enthusiasm led him to organize the first EEEF meeting in 1977 at Illinois State University.

Past recipients

2018 Rose O'Dea
2016 Brian Gallagher
2014 Julia Unrein
2012 Chandra Rodgers
2010 Brendan Connors
Natlie Sopinka
2008 Naomi Gardiner
2006 Andrea Bélanger
Brad Erisman
2004 Roi Holzman
Dylan Weese
2002 Stephen Simpson
2000 David Strang
1998 Lisa Privitera
1996 Lars Pettersson
1994 Jeffery Mahon
1992 Patrick Ross
1990 Martin Jennings
1987 Peter Reinthal
1985 Larry Greenberg