OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Leading Fish Biologist to Lecture at OSU May 14

05/06/2008

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Gene Helfman, one of the nation’s leading fish biologists and conservation specialists, will present a seminar at Oregon State University on Wednesday, May 14, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

His talk, “Streams Make Lousy Melting Pots: Native Invasions and Homogenization of Fish Assemblages,” will be held in Richardson Hall Room 313. It is free and open to the public.

Helfman’s presentation will look at the negative impacts of introduced species, especially “alien predators” and “generalists” that either eat, or out-compete native species in disturbed habitats.

“The same bad actors cause these problems in different regions, causing homogenization of the world’s plant and animal communities,” Helfman said. “But homogenization can also occur on a more local scale and involve native generalist species expanding into altered habitats – with equally bad consequences.”

Helfman is a professor emeritus in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, where he has been a co-investigator for a National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research project called the Coweeta LTER. A specialist in stream ecology, he has published broadly on stream biodiversity, habitat and production, as well as invasive species.

Among his many activities, Helfman served on the Klamath Committee, and is a member of the scientific advisory board of the conservation group, American Rivers. He also is a member of the recently convened National Marine Fisheries Service panel charged with implementing recovery plans for federally listed salmon species in the Pacific Northwest.

Helfman has served as a member of the editorial board of Environmental Biology of Fishes for 28 years and his book, “Fish Conservation,” has been called the seminal book on fish conservation.

While at OSU, Helfman also will meet with faculty and students in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, which is supporting his visit.