The AFS Genetics Section provides three ongoing awards each year, including the Stevan Phelps Memorial Award, the James E. Wright Graduate Award, and the Genetics Section Early Career Award. See below for descriptions of these awards, our current awardees, and application information. You can find our past awardees (2014 to present) on our Past Award Winners page. Please also see our Hall of Excellence for instructions on nominating professionals who have made outstanding contributions to our field.

Further information on each of 2023’s awards winners can be found in The Open Reading Frame from December 2023.

Stevan Phelps Memorial Award
The Stevan Phelps Memorial Award was created in 2000 as a perpetual memorial to Steve who died prematurely from cancer in 1999. The award, honoring Steve’s strong commitment to publication of applied genetic research in fisheries, will be given annually for the best genetics paper published in an AFS journal the preceding year. Selection is typically made by the Phelps Award Committee in mid-June of each year. The award for 2023 was presented to a large, collaborative research team led by Dr. Dave Kazyak for their paper titled, “Population Genetics of Brook Trout in the Southern Appalachian Mountains,” in TAFS 151:127-149.

James E. Wright Graduate Award
The James E. Wright Graduate Award is given in the memory of Jim Wright, one of the founders of fish genetics research and education in North America. The work of Jim Wright and his students combined classical chromosome studies with allozyme inheritance and helped shape our understanding of the salmonid genome. This award is presented annually at the Genetics Section Business Meeting during the AFS Annual Meeting to recognize excellence in graduate-level work in fisheries genetics, as well as assist graduate students with travel to the national meeting. Our awardees for 2023 (listed alphabetically by last name) are Alana Luzzlo at the University of California, Davis, and William Rosenthal at the University of Wyoming.

Application instructions for the Wright Award

Genetics Section Early Career Award
The Genetics Section Early Career Award is given annually and recognizes the contribution of early-career researchers to the field of fisheries genetics. The goal of this award is to promote innovative and particularly applicable genetics research, increase interest in fisheries genetics careers, and enhance professional connections among fisheries geneticists. The award is presented at the Genetics Section meeting during the AFS Annual Meeting. A candidate’s genetics work should be applicable to the Society’s mission to “improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science”. Our awardee for 2023 is Dr. Shannon White, a Research Biologist at the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center in Kearneysville, WV, USA.

Nomination instructions for the Early Career Award