IUCN Freshwater Fish Specialist Group

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Dr Ian Harrison assists the Global Chair from December 2013

At the request of the new Global Chair of FFSG, Dr Richard Sneider, Dr Ian Harrison joined the FFSG Secretariat to assist him with his duties. Ian has already been a very important member of FFSG; he has acted as Steering Committee Member and as Special Advisor of Fundraising.

Ian obtained his Ph.D. in systematic ichthyology at the University of Bristol, UK, has conducted postdoctoral research on marine and freshwater fishes in universities and museums in France, Italy, Belgium, and the USA. He has conducted fieldwork in Europe, Central and South America, West and Western Central Africa, the Philippines, and the Central Pacific. He has assisted IUCN’s Global Species Programme, coordinating activities for the Global Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment (GFBA), a joint program run by IUCN, Conservation International and NatureServe. The objective of the GFBA is to compile data on the distribution and conservation status of freshwater species in order to expand the taxonomic and geographic coverage of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Ian currently works for CI’s Center for Environment and Peace, assisting in the planning and implementation of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA; www.alliance4water.org), developing activities to promote CI’s Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (www.ramsar.org), and planning a Freshwater Health Index in collaboration with Wetlands International. He also works with the University of Minnesota on an international collaborative project, funded by the Belmont Forum, on DELTAS: Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems with an integrated modeling framework for risk assessment  (www.delta.umn.edu).  Ian is a member of the IUCN SSC Freshwater Conservation Sub-Committee, co-leader of the Freshwater Ecosystem Change Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), co-chair of the Freshwater Task Force of the World Commission on Protected Areas, and part of the World Water Forum’s ‘Target and Solutions Group’ for Ecosystem Valuation. Ian is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Fish Biology, an Adjunct Research Scientist for the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University; and Research Associate in the Department of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

He has published over 50 scientific papers and book/report chapters on the systematics, biogeography, and conservation of coastal and freshwater fishes and has lead several workshops at international conferences, presenting the work of Conservation International and IUCN (eg., IUCN’s World Conservation Congresses, Stockholm World Water Week, and the 2012 Planet under Pressure conference). Ian lives in Flagstaff, Arizona and enjoys hiking around the southwest USA whenever possible.