Medal Winners 2019

The Beverton Medal

The Beverton Medal is awarded to a distinguished scientist for a lifelong contribution to all aspects of the study of fish biology and/or fisheries science, with a focus on ground-breaking research.

Professor Metcalfe

We are delighted to award the 2019 Beverton Medal to Professor Neil B. Metcalfe of the University of Glasgow, UK.

Professor Metcalfe has made a truly impressive contribution to fish biology, primarily through his ground breaking research linking behaviour and physiology in salmonid fish to their ecology. To date, he has published over 250 scientific papers, many in the highest-ranking scientific journals in the field. His work is consistently very highly cited, with a current h index of 79 and a total citation count of over 23,000. Professor Metcalfe also features in the list of 50 most cited researchers in fish and fisheries. The extensive funding from highly competitive sources that supports Professor Metcalfe’s research (total ca £5 million), his wide network of research collaborators and frequent invitations to speak at international meetings all bear evidence of the exceptionally high esteem in which his work is held by his national and international peers.

In addition to this remarkable research output, Professor Metcalfe has also played a key role in developing the careers of a large number of early career scientists, and is an exceptional teacher and trainer of younger fish biologists. For example, he has successfully trained and mentored more than 90 early career researchers at graduate, postdoctoral and fellowship levels, the majority of whom are now active researchers in fish biology. Professor Metcalfe has also performed significant and effective administrative roles for his Institute and University, and for numerous international organisations, including learned societies, scientific journals and funding agencies.

We consider Professor Metcalfe to be most deserving of the Beverton Medal, which is our most senior award, and we congratulate him on his outstanding career achievements.

The Le Cren Medal

The Le Cren medal is awarded to one or more individuals who have made a lifelong contribution to all aspects of the study of fish biology and/or fisheries science, with a focus on conservation, training or public understanding of the discipline.


We are delighted to award the 2019 Le Cren Medal to Professor Isabelle M. Côté of Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Over the course of her career, Professor Côté has made significant contributions to the study of fish biology, with a strong focus on both species conservation and the conservation of fish habitats, and her 169 publications in the highest-ranking general science, fisheries and animal behaviour journals – which have been cited over 15,000 times, with a current h-index of 57 – are testament to this productivity. She has used a broad spectrum of approaches, including direct observations of fish behaviour, acoustic tracking, DNA barcoding, stable isotope analyses, morphological assays and meta-analyses, to tackle a wide array of questions relating to species and habitat sustainability. Her research projects always have an applied angle, and have included the effects of climate change on coral reefs and their inhabitants, the impacts of diving tourism on marine fish and corals, the ecology of invasive fish and invertebrates and the efficacy of bycatch reduction devices.

Throughout her career, Professor Côté has always placed an enormous importance on training the next generation of fish and fisheries biologists, leading them by example to be both rigorous scientists and well-adjusted field-workers. She gives generously of her own free time to train student divers in both diving and underwater scientific techniques, and shows an infectious enthusiasm for all marine life that inspires students and the wider community. Professor Côté is committed to the public understanding of science, working with her students to create podcasts and blogs that highlight the scientific findings of their research without overwhelming a general audience. Professor Côté has in many ways led the field in terms of using technology and social media to increase public understanding of current conservation issues.

We are extremely proud to be able to honour Professor Côté’s unique and significant contribution to the development of the field of fish and fisheries conservation biology, by awarding her our Le Cren Medal.

The FSBI medal

The FSBI medal is awarded to early career scientists who are deemed to have made exceptional advances in the study of fish biology and/or fisheries science in recognition of their achievements.


We are delighted to announce Dr Shaun Killen, senior research fellow at the University of Glasgow, UK, as the 2019 recipient of our FSBI Medal.

Dr Killen has rapidly established himself as a research leader working across three related research themes in fish biology and fisheries science. The first theme focuses on intraspecific variation and relationships among behavioural and physiological traits, generating new ways of understanding how environmental stressors modulate direct and correlated selection on physiological and behavioural traits. The second theme explores how social forces modulate trait variation in animal groups, including socially-facilitated foraging and predator-avoidance, dominance hierarchies, and group locomotion. This work has changed perspectives on how physiology influences group dynamics and trade-offs associated with social group membership. Findings in these areas have led directly into the third and most recent research theme: the first examination of how physiological variation within fish species may make certain individuals more vulnerable to capture by commercial fishing gears, causing fisheries-induced evolutionary change. This work involves lab-based simulations and selection lines and field-based work with acoustic telemetry.

As well as the considerable scientific impact of the work (71 papers cited 2760 times, with a current h-index of 26), Dr Killen’s research has also translated into broader societal impact, with some of his papers on catch and release angling leading to permanent changes in live-release angling tournament practices. His research on fisheries-induced evolution has also led to involvement in the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) working group on Fishing Gear Design, whereas recommendations from a recent ERC-funded project have been disseminated directly to commercial fishing gear designers and fisheries policy-makers in the EU, to inform fishing practices & minimise selection within species.

With numerous competitively-awarded and prestigious research awards from national and international funding agencies, and many invitations to present his work at international conferences and research institutes, it is clear that Dr Killen’s research career and profile is on a steep upward trajectory. We regard Dr Killen as a most worthy recipient of our FSBI medal, and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge his achievements in this way.