June 05, 2008

Fisheries-Aquaculture Center director retiring

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Leadership at the Fisheries & Illinois Aquaculture Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is changing hands.

Christopher C. Kohler, professor and director of the center for almost 10 years, will retire in October after nearly three decades with the University. Kohler became director of the center in 1999.

James E. Garvey, formerly associate director of the center, will serve as interim director. Garvey will lead the center during the coming months as officials decide how to fill the position permanently.

John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, said Kohler has been a valuable asset to the University.

“Chris Kohler has served as the director of the Fisheries & Illinois Aquaculture Center for nearly ten years and led the continued enhancement of the center in many new ways, including the initiation of new avenues for federal aquaculture research funding and the creation of the Ancillary Middle Mississippi River Research Wetland Field Station in Alexander County,” Koropchak said. “I will personally miss Chris as a director, a colleague and a friend.”

Koropchak said Garvey is an excellent choice to lead the center in the interim period.

“Jim Garvey is an accomplished scientist who has served for several years as the associate director of the center,” Koropchak said. “He has been courted by other institutions for similar positions. I am confident that he will do a great job in continuing the success of the center.”

"We will be considering options for filling the position on a permanent basis in the coming months,” Koropchak added.

Kohler was the fourth director of the center, which traces its roots back more than 50 years. It has six faculty members, including the director, and receives funding from local, state and federal agencies. Using a wide array of watercraft and state-of-the-art laboratories, the center specializes in research regarding fisheries management, ecology, toxicology, genetics and aquaculture.

Kohler currently is off campus on a research trip.