The Ontario Chapter of the American Fisheries Society has dedicated the Best Student Oral Presentation Award at our Annual Meeting in remembrance of Dr. Edwin J. (Ed) Crossman. At the time of his passing, Dr. Crossman was Curator Emeritus of Ichthyology at the Royal Ontario Museum Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology and Professor Emeritus, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, a world-renowned leader in ichthyology, and an active and honoured member of the American Fisheries Society. Dr. Crossman coauthored the award-winning Freshwater Fishes of Canada with his colleague Dr. W.B. (Bev) Scott. This comprehensive book is one of North America’s most important and informative works on freshwater fishes. A video entitled Scott and Crossman: The Freshwater Fishes of Canada is available for viewing on the science.gc.ca website. His obituary, written by Dr. John Casselman, was printed in Fisheries Vol. 30 No. 1 (page 27, January 2005).
The E.J. Crossman Award is presented to the graduate or undergraduate student enrolled in a university or college, whose oral presentation is deemed best by a panel of distinguished judges at the Annual Meeting of the Ontario Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. In 2008, the chapter hosted the AFS Annual Meeting and the Award was presented at a special E.J. Crossman Award Symposium. The award includes financial ($250) travel support to attend a scientific meeting, a one-year student membership to AFS and the Ontario Chapter, and a copy of Freshwater Fishes of Canada. The intention of the award is to encourage participation at an American Fisheries Society function.
The criteria for the award will include: 1) scientific approach; 2) organization and presentation; 3) communication skills; and 4) effectiveness of visual aids. Additional criteria includes that the recipient must be a student in good standing at a university or college.
To honour Dr. Crossman, special consideration will be given to projects that emphasize his research interests including (in no particular order): a) research highlighting Esocids; b) the relationships, evolution, distribution and biology of freshwater fishes; c) the biodiversity of the fishes of the Great Lakes; and d) research on the impacts of introduced fishes and organisms.
The 2017 winner was Tej Heer from the University of Toronto. Tej (far right), pictured with Erling Holm (far left) and Award runner-up Dmitri Perlov (2nd from left), received his award from Ontario Chapter President Jessica Wright (2nd from right). Tej’s presentation was titled “Preliminary Assessment of Asian Carp Spawning Potential in Tributaries to the Canadian Lake Ontario Basin” and his abstract is available in the 2017 Annual Meeting Program.
The 2016 winner was Zachery Wells, from Concordia University. Zachery (right) received his award from Ontario Chapter President Lee Gutowsky (left). Zach’s presentation was titled “Investigating the effects of population size, divergence, and stress on outbreeding in fragmented populations of Salvelinus fontinalis” and his abstract is available in the 2016 Annual Meeting Program.