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SFS Announces 2023 Fellows

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Fellows to be Recognized at Annual Meeting in June 

MAY 4, 2023 — The Society for Freshwater Science is honored to announce its 2023 Fellows. 

“Our Career Awards recognize the best among us for their contributions to freshwater research and environmental policy,” said Steve Thomas, president of the Society. “The work conducted by our recipients has advanced freshwater science and led to policies and actions that have improved environmental conditions and justice across the globe. Our science is stronger because of these individuals and it is an honor to help announce the 2023 class of SFS Fellows.”

This is the sixth year of the Fellows program and each class of Fellows is chosen by past Fellows. The 2023 Fellows include: 

  • William Clements, professor at Colorado State University in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Clements received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University and completed his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. Leadership roles within the Society include program co-chair for the national meetings in 1995 and 2000, chairing the executive committee in 2001 and serving as an associate editor for the Society journal Freshwater Science (formerly the Journal of the North American Benthological Society) since 1997. At the national level, Clements has served on several Department of Interior Federal Advisory Committees and National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committees. He also served for several years on the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board on Ecological Effects and on a U.S. EPA Science Advisory Panel assessing effects of mountaintop mining and valley fill operations on southern Appalachian streams. 
  • David Strayer, distinguished senior scientist emeritus at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. Strayer spent his entire professional career at the Cary Institute. He published approximately 200 scientific papers and book chapters, several dozen short pieces for the general public, and six books, including “Freshwater Mussel Ecology: A Multifactor Approach to Distribution and Abundance,” and (with Kathie Weathers and Gene Likens) “Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science.” He served on several committees for the Society, and was president of the Society in 2014-2015. 
  • Bernard Sweeney, senior research scientist emeritus at the Stroud Water Research Center. He was executive director and president of the Stroud Center and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He has senior-authored publications on a plethora of freshwater science subjects. For his achievement in conservation science and education, he received the 2003 National Award of Excellence in Conservation from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Margaret Douglas National Medal from the Garden Club of America in 2006, and the 2013 Forest Champion Award from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. He is past president of the Society for Freshwater Science, received the Society’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010, and currently is co-chair of the Society’s Taxonomic Certification Program. 
  • James Thorp, professor at the University of Kansas in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and senior scientist in the Kansas Biological Survey. He has been a distinguished professor, dean of science, biology department chair, and field station director at three universities. Thorp’s field of work has been prolific with more than 150 refereed journal and book publications from macrosystem to physiological ecology. He is best known for his edited series “Thorp and Covich’s Freshwater Invertebrates” and as senior author of “The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis.” He was on the editorial boards for River Research and Applications and a former associate editor of Freshwater Science. Thorp’s additional leadership roles include being the first president of the International Society for River Science.
  • Nancy Tuchman, professor of biology and founding dean, School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago. Throughout her research career she has mentored 144 undergraduates, masters and doctoral students, and post-doctoral associates. From 2002 to 2003, she served as program officer for the National Science Foundation’s Ecosystem Studies Program. From 2009-2010, she served as president of the Society. Building sustainability at Loyola earned Tuchman the Chicago Magazine Green Award in 2013, and the Chicago EcoChampion Award in 2018. She chairs the International Association of Jesuit Universities’ (IAJU) Task Force on Environmental & Economic Justice.  She co-edits the Jesuit’s free online environmental science textbook “Healing Earth” and in 2022 she received the IAJU St. Canisius Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Fellows will be formally recognized during the Society for Freshwater Science’s annual meeting in Brisbane, Australia this June. More about the Fellows program and accolades of the 2023 class can be found at

The Society for Freshwater Science is a premier international organization for aquatic scientists, educators, managers and policy makers. For more information about the Society for Freshwater Science, visit