May 02, 2011

American Fisheries Society to honor Trushenski

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A faculty member at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will receive a top honor from a national organization devoted to promoting fisheries.

Jesse Trushenski, assistant professor of zoology and a researcher with the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center at SIUC, will take home the Distinguished Service Award from the American Fisheries Society during the organization’s meeting this fall in Seattle. The award recognizes outstanding contributions of time and energy for special projects or activities by AFS members.

Trushenski specializes in fish physiology and aquaculture at SIUC and currently studies nutritional and environmental influences on processes of growth, immunity and stress tolerance, as well as reproduction in aquatic species. She said the award was primarily based on her help in developing a draft policy statement for the Society titled “AFS Policy Statement Regarding the Need for an Immediate-Release Anesthetic/Sedative for Use in the Fisheries Disciplines.”

“The Policy Statement describe the challenges of the current drug approval process, which prevent fisheries professionals from having access to suitable immediate-release sedatives as well as the constraints this places on aquatic natural resources management, fisheries research, and aquaculture,” said Trushenski, who serves as president of the AFS Fish Culture Section. “The statement ultimately recommends a course of action to facilitate the timely approval of a compound that would allow fisheries professionals to sedate fish safely and effectively in the laboratory and the field.”

James E. Garvey, associate professor of zoology and director of the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center at SIUC, said the award is a well-deserved accolade for Trushenski as a dedicated fisheries and aquaculture professional.

“Jesse earned this prestigious national-level award from the world’s largest and most influential fisheries society. This is amazing in itself,” Garvey said. “But for her to do it as an assistant professor while simultaneously growing a flourishing research lab, publishing papers and earning top teaching scores here at the University is simply outstanding.

“Service is typically something pursued by professionals during the mature phase of their career. For her to be recognized so early in her career shows her strong aptitude for leading and making a difference in our discipline,” Garvey said.

Trushenski said she was completely surprised and humbled to win the award, and credited another researcher with helping complete the policy statement.

“I was completely gob-smacked,” she said. “About a dozen fisheries researchers and agency representatives contributed to the policy statement, but it wouldn’t have happened at all without one in particular -- Jim Bowker. Jim is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program and also happens to be president-elect of the AFS Fish Culture Section. The policy statement was Jim’s brainchild, and in my opinion, he carried just as much water on the project as I did. I look forward to sharing this award and honor with him, and continuing to work together to support the Fish Culture Section, the American Fisheries Society, and fisheries professionals at-large.”