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Academy scientist honored with top fish award

PHILADELPHIAThe Academy of Natural Sciences' top fish scientist has received the Robert H. Gibbs, Jr. Memorial Award for his lifetime achievement in advancing fundamental knowledge of fish diversity.

The honor to Dr. John Lundberg, the Academy's curator and Chaplin Chair of the Ichthyology Department, was announced earlier this month in Rhode Island at the annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. The Gibbs award is given periodically to a citizen of a Western Hemisphere country for "an outstanding body of published work in systematic ichthyology."

Lundberg, of Philadelphia, is widely known in the field of the evolutionary study of fishes. He was a leader of the All Catfish Species Inventory, a five-year global survey of catfish species funded by the National Science Foundation. The project concluded in 2009, but new catfish species are still being discovered.

Lundberg has discovered and named more than 37 species and 12 genera of living and fossil fishes, mostly catfish and electric fishes from the deep channels of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in South America. His work provides crucial information for the advancement of biodiversity science, the conservation of fish species, and helps inform fisheries biologists.

Lundberg is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of many professional societies including the Society of Systematic Biology and the Association of Tropical Biologists. He is past president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

"I am thrilled and honored to have received the 2010 Robert H. Gibbs Award," said Lundberg. "All fish biologists, as all biologists in general, need a precise taxonomy and phylogeny of their study groups for effective communication and as the framework for charting species and species characteristics across ecological space and geological time."


Contact: Carolyn Belardo
The Academy of Natural Sciences

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