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UW-Madison global fishery expert wins prestigious fellowship

October 17, 2011 By David Tenenbaum

Peter McIntyre, an assistant professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has won an $850,000, five-year Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

McIntyre, an expert on freshwater fish and a scientist at the campus Center for Limnology, was co-leader of a 2010 report on the state of the world’s rivers. That report documented a crisis in rivers due to pollution, dam building, agricultural runoff, the conversion of wetlands and the introduction of exotic species.

Rivers are both an outstanding source of protein and a critical habitat for maintaining global biodiversity, McIntyre says.

“I am honored to receive this award and look forward to participating in the annual meetings of the Packard Fellows group,” says McIntyre. “I plan to use this funding to support the efforts of my research group at UW–Madison to understand global patterns of the spectacular diversity of freshwater fishes. We are working toward merging analyses of fundamental evolutionary processes, the consequences of fish diversity for fishery productivity, and how best to conserve species around the world. These analyses will illuminate natural and human controls on aquatic biodiversity while furthering efforts to ensure food security for human populations.”