Leader in global fisheries sustainability is 2012 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecturer

Ian Cowx

Download a printable flyer about Dr. Cowx's Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture

Nov. 2, 2012

Ian Cowx, an internationally renowned champion of conserving global freshwater fish communities and fisheries, will deliver the 2012 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Red Cedar Room of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the Michigan State University campus.

As a fisheries ecologist, Cowx is known for his blend of research and teaching and for being a dynamic advocate for the scientific understanding and management of the world’s freshwater fisheries.

A professor of applied fisheries science and director of Hull International Fisheries Institute at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, Cowx has trained more than 30 Ph.D. and 300 master’s students from more than 80 countries. His current research focuses on fish capture techniques, stock assessment for management purposes, rehabilitation of inland fisheries and aquatic resource management planning.

He has worked with international organizations to advance the ecology, sustainability and prosperity of freshwater ecosystems, including the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission, European Union and the World Bank.

"Dr. Cowx is a global leader and voice of conservation to sustainably manage coupled human and natural systems,” said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, MSU University Distinguished Professor of fisheries and wildlife, who holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability. He also is director of the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. "In this 50th anniversary year of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, we are particularly pleased to invite Dr. Cowx to present the 2012 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture."

Bill Taylor, University Distinguished Professor of Global Fisheries Systems and a member of CSIS, said that Cowx has helped developed effective fisheries management plans and capacity building in Lake Victoria, Zambia and Ghana as well as actions to protect freshwater fisheries from dam development and other forms of habitat degradation in Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Mekong countries, Malaysia, Sarawak, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Columbia.

“Dr. Cowx strives to make a difference and advocates for the health, production, and wellbeing of the world’s freshwater fisheries,” Taylor said.

Cowx also will receive an honorary degree while on campus.

Cowx’s lecture “Paradigm shifts in freshwater fish conservation: moving towards the ecosystem services concept” is presented by the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and supported by the National Science Foundation; the MSU offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and MSU AgBioResearch.

The lecture, which is open to the public, will be at 3:30 p.m. and be followed by a reception.

The Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Series is a platform for world’s prominent scientists and scholars to share their ideas about global challenges and opportunities with MSU students, faculty, staff and the general public. Previous speakers have included Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in economic sciences; William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University; Ruth DeFries, Denning Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University; Simon Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University; Billie Lee Turner II, Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society at Arizona State University; Emilio Moran, director of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change at Indiana University; and Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden.


Sue Nichols

517-432-0206, nichols@msu.edu