George Liles
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September 12, 2005

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NMFS Northeast Regional Office

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NOAA Biologist Jason Link Wins Award
for Advances in Fishery Science

Woods Hole, MA -- NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biologist Jason Link has been named the 2005 recipient of the FSBI Medal for fisheries scientists who have made exceptional advances in the study of fish biology and fisheries science. The medal was awarded by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and was announced at the September meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Anchorage, Alaska.

The FSBI Medal is awarded to scientists younger than 40. It is only awarded in years when the society deems that there is a deserving candidate.

NOAA biologist Jason Link

Link leads a scientific group called the Food Web Dynamics Program at the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Link and his colleagues maintain a database with information on the feeding habits of more than 100 species of fish found off the Northeastern U.S., based in part on the lab’s decades long program of meticulously inspecting the content of stomachs from more than half a million fish. Link’s group is responsible for designing and carrying out broad-scale feeding surveys in the waters of the Northeast United States continental shelf.

Link began his career studying the interactions between fish and zooplankton (microscopic animals that float in the water). He has continued to work on these predator-prey relationships but is now primarily working on computer models that can be used for fisheries management. His recent scientific efforts have focused on essential fisheries habitat, multi-species models, ecosystem models, and developing resource management tools and systems that have a stronger ecological basis.

In addition to conducting scientific research, Link has chaired or participated on numerous regional, national, and international working groups, review panels, editorial boards, committees, workshops, and scientific teams. His work has helped lay the groundwork for an ecosystem-based understanding of fish stocks, one of the key ideas in modern fishery management. In addition to providing practical advice for fisheries managers, Link’s research is contributing to the growth of ecological theory -- especially in the area of food web ecology.

Link graduated from Gwinn High School in Gwinn, Michigan. He received a B.S. from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Michigan Technological University. He lives in Falmouth, Mass., with his wife Julie Link and their two children. Link’s parents are Mike Link of Pine Village, Indiana and Judy Fuller of Geneva, Indiana. He is the grandson of Charlie Link of Lafayette, Indiana and Gladys Taylor of Independence, Indiana.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitats through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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