Hall of Excellence

The Hall of Excellence recognizes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of management or conservation of aquatic species and ecosystems through the application of genetics tools, techniques, or theory. Up to four inductees are entered into the Hall of Excellence per year, and presentation(s) are made at the AFS Annual Meeting. Please click on the inductee name below to view the photo and inscription as it appears on their plaque and take a tour of our Virtual Hall of Excellence to see plaques for those inducted since the award program began in 2014.

2021 Inductee: Dr. Eric Hallerman
Dr. Eric Hallerman received his Ph.D. in 1984 from Auburn University, studying dynamics of genetic markers in selected strains of channel catfish. Eric has been a Professor of Fisheries Science at Virginia Tech since 1989, where he served as Department Head from 2007 to 2013, taught eight different university courses, advised or co-advised dozens of graduate and undergraduate students, and mentored many other students in his genetics laboratory. Hundreds of students have learned about fisheries genetics through one or more of his four genetics-oriented courses, which range from principles of genetics to aquaculture genetics to applied conservation genetics. Eric edited a textbook that AFS published in 2003 entitled, “Population Genetics: Principles and Applications for Fisheries Scientists.” This book brought together the scientific knowledge of the time in an accessible format for students and is still AFS’s standard population genetic text. In addition to his work as an educator, Eric and his students have made important scientific contributions to genetic improvement of aquaculture species such as tilapia, Rainbow Trout, oysters, and numerous finfish and shellfish species, genetically informed management of sport and commercial species, including Walleye, Brook Trout, and Horseshoe Crabs, and conservation genetics and phylogenetics of imperiled freshwater fishes and mussels. His research on fishes and mussels has fundamentally shaped our understanding of southeastern aquatic species, helping agency biologists delineate appropriate taxonomic and management units, design appropriate propagation programs, and prioritize populations for restoration activities. For decades, Eric has served as a technical expert and international ambassador on fish biotechnology, guiding policy on genetic improvement of aquaculture organisms and the assessment and management of risks from the genetic engineering of such organisms.
Nomination procedure: Nominations should identify individuals (past or present) that have made a significant contribution(s) to genetics of aquatic organisms, conservation or management-oriented fisheries/aquatic research, or the promotion of genetic applications for fisheries and aquatic resource conservation, protection, and management. Nominee membership in AFS and the Genetics Section are not pre-requisites, but service to AFS and the Genetics Section will be considered in the award process. Nominations for the Hall of Excellence can be provided by any Genetics Section member and are due each year to the Genetics Section President-Elect.

Nomination package: Download a Word version of the nomination form here: AFS-Genetics-Section-HOE-Nom-Form-2021. Nomination packages for nominees not inducted can be updated by the nominator and rolled over for consideration for up to two years.

  1. Name of the nominee
  2. Short biography and curriculum vitae
  3. Explanation of his or her contribution to the field, as well as to AFS, if applicable
  4. Contact information (current address, phone, and email), date of birth, and date of death, if applicable

Selection procedure: The Hall of Excellence Award Committee is composed of four members, including the Genetics Section President-Elect (Chair), the two previous past presidents, and a member-at-large. Terms of committee members are served following the Genetics Section two-year election cycle. The member-at-large will be from the section membership and voted upon during section elections. The nominations are reviewed by the Award Committee, and recommendations are made by the Chair to the Genetics Section President. Candidates selected for induction need to provide a photo (head and shoulders) for display on the website and a plaque.

Deadline for nomination: 30 July 2021

Send all application materials via email to: President-Elect Garrett McKinney (Garrett.McKinney@dfw.wa.gov)