Dr. Marsden, professor of fisheries at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School
of Environment and Natural Resources, is recognized for her distinguished work as
a scientist and extensive contributions to Great Lakes research
Detroit, Michigan, June 18, 2019 - During the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's 64th
annual meeting held recently in Detroit, Dr. Ellen Marsden was presented with the
2019 Jack Christie/Ken Loftus Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions toward
Understanding Healthy Great Lakes Ecosystems. Commissioner Dr. Bill Taylor, Distinguished
Professor in Global Fisheries Systems at Michigan State University, presented Dr.
Marsden with the award, noting Dr. Marsden's dedicated research career that has
advanced the understanding of large-lake ecology and ecosystem function.
The award is named after Jack Christie and former Commissioner Ken Loftus, two scientists
whose visions and contributions advanced the concept of ecosystem management. The
award recognizes those who adhere to the highest principles of science and have
made major scientific contributions to Great Lakes ecosystems.
In presenting the award, Commissioner Taylor said: "Dr. Marsden's work has, for
more than three decades, been on the forefront of science in both the Great Lakes
and Lake Champlain basins. Dr. Marsden is most known for her research on native
species restoration and the influences of invasive species, but her work has gone
much further than that. Her contributions have not only helped the broader research
and management communities better understand the dynamics of the changing ecological
status of large lakes, but also they determine the key aspects that regulate their
structure and function."
Taylor continued: "Dr. Marsden's contributions are, indeed, substantial and decades-long.
A dedicated partner of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Dr. Marsden is an expert
on fish life history, spawning behavior, movement, habitat use, genetics, and population
restoration. She is particularly skillful at conducting research to inform and advance
fishery management, serving as a long-standing member of the commission's science
program boards, including the Sea Lamprey Research Board and the Board of Technical
Experts. Not only does Dr. Marsden conduct state-of-the-art research, she also informs
the commission about the direction of research priorities, how research can be applied,
and which research projects should be funded.
"Some of Dr. Marsden's most notable accomplishments include unraveling the mystery
of how lake trout are able to reproduce in the wild in the face of high levels of
thiaminase in their diets," Commissioner Taylor stated. "She has also led the way
in helping us to understand the requirements for successful lake trout restoration
via the use of artificial reefs. Her innovative research on lake trout ecology and
population restoration have improved growth, reproduction, and survival of this
Taylor continued: "Dr. Marsden has modeled sea lamprey population dynamics in the
Lake Champlain basing using ground-breaking life cycle approaches, yielding important
insights for controlling this harmful invader. These insights are important to sea
lamprey control on Lake Champlain for sure, but they are also directly applicable
to the Great Lakes.
"Dr. Marsden is an incredibly productive researcher with more than 119 peer-reviewed
articles and book chapters," Taylor concluded. "She is a dedicated teacher and mentor,
having advised more than 23 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, in
addition to serving on 32 graduate student committees. Indeed, Dr. Marsden's influence
on Great Lakes fisheries sustainability is enormous and well-respected."
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is an international organization established
by the United States and Canada through the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.
The Commission has the responsibility to support fisheries research, control the
invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes, and facilitate implementation of A Joint
Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries, a provincial, state, and
tribal fisheries management agreement.
Great Lakes Fishery Commission Commissioner Dr. Bill Taylor presents Dr. Ellen Marsden
with the 2019 Jack Christie/Ken Loftus Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions
toward Understanding Healthy Great Lakes Ecosystems. The award was presented to
Dr. Marsden on May 29, 2019 during the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's 64th annual
meeting held in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: T. Lawrence, GLFC.