Fisheries Society of the British Isles

Symposium 2020: Fish in a Dynamic World.

Nottingham Trent University, UK, 27-31 July 2020

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Details of the FSBI symposium 2020: Fish in a Dynamic World

Importance of the Symposium

Fish show a remarkable capacity to adapt to aquatic environments, occupying oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and even temporary pools.  Fish also show a striking radiation in modes of feeding, life history, reproduction and behaviour. The aquatic ecosystems that fish inhabit are also often subject to highly dynamic changes, over diurnal, tidal and seasonal cycles, and fish exhibit remarkable plasticity to allow them to prosper in the face of such changes.

Investigating Fishes Adaptability Under Rising threats

However, aquatic environments across the globe, and the fish that live in them, are subject to myriad threats, including the input of anthropogenic pollutants, overexploitation, species introductions, physical barriers to movement, the manipulation of flow regimes and global climate change. Fish are responding to these perturbations at all organisational levels, with consequences for gene expression, physiology and patterns of behaviour, and the impact of these changes on populations, communities and ecosystem processes is now beginning to be revealed.The symposium will explore the ways in which fish are able to occupy such a broad range of naturally dynamic environments, as well as their capacity to adapt to habitat loss and directional environmental change.

Symposium Goals

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof. Bob Wong (Monash University, Australia) - Impacts of aquatic pollutants on fish behaviour and reproduction

Bob Wong is a behavioural and evolutionary ecologist based in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University. Bob received his PhD from the Australian National University and completed postdocs at Boston University and the University of Helsinki before joining Monash. Research in Bob’s group focuses on mate choice and reproductive investment, and increasingly on how human-induced environmental change affects the behaviour of a wide range of animals including insects, humans, birds and fish.

Assistant Prof. Chelsea Wood (University of Wshington, USA)- Fish parasites and disease in a changing world

Chelsea Wood explores the ecology of infectious disease in a changing world, addressing questions of practical value to conservation and marine production, as well as for ecological theory. For example, how do human impacts on biodiversity typically impact the prevalence of fish pathogens? And if biodiversity loss has variable effects on transmission across pathogen species, what factors predict disease outcomes? Chelsea’s research spans marine and freshwater ecosystems, and she works across taxonomic boundaries and ecological – and temporal – scales to address these critical questions.

Prof. Rob Britton (Bournemouth University , UK) – Ecological impacts of fish species introductions

Rob Britton is an ecologist who studies the impacts of anthropogenic stressors – including fish species introductions, habitat loss and climate change – on aquatic ecosystems. Rob’s research often employs stable isotope analysis and aquatic telemetry to inform risk management schemes and evaluate fish eradication programmes. He works on both natural and controlled experimental systems to investigate diverse questions, including how climate change impacts cyprinid growth and distribution, how to use biocontrol to manage invasive fish populations and how invasive fish and parasites affect food webs.

Dr. Jennifer Hellman (University of Illinois, USA)- Transgenerational effects and environmental change in fish

  Jennifer Hellmann studies cichlids and sticklebacks, investigating factors promoting variation in individual phenotypes, to understand the extent to which ecological  environments influence how individuals behave and optimize their fitness. Her recent work has focused on transgenerational plasticity (TGP), which occurs when the environment experienced by parents influences the development of subsequent generations of offspring. Jenn’s talk will focus on TGP as an important mechanism in generating both adaptive and maladaptive responses to human-induced environmental change

Tim Gordon (Exeter University, UK) – Anthropogenic noise and the behavioural ecology of fish

Tim Gordon is a marine biologist studying human impacts on natural acoustics in the ocean. Many aquatic organisms communicate, navigate, and sense their environment by listening, but the natural sounds of today’s underwater ecosystems are being altered by climate change, and by human noise pollution. Tim’s research focuses on coral reef ecosystems, combining fieldwork with laboratory experiments and computational analysis, to investigate how anthropogenic activities impact underwater soundscapes, and what we can do to mitigate these effects.

Topics of the Symposium

  • Sex and reproduction, feeding and behaviour in a dynamic world
  • Evolutionary adaptations over contemporary timescales
  • Eco-evolutionary dynamics
  • Population and community consequences of a dynamic world
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Analysing dynamic worlds
  • Fish conservation, fisheries management and invasion ecology in a dynamic world
  • Predator-prey interactions
  • Parasites, pathogens and diseases
  • Impacts of anthropogenic noise and ecological stressors

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a modern city campus based in the heart of Nottingham. It has recently won many plaudits for teaching and research and has been a top 10 in the People and the Planet League since 2009, making it a perfect venue for the FSBI 2020 symposium


Conference bed-and-breakfast accommodation will be in en-suite student rooms located on the doorstep of the conference venue at the City campus.

We are delighted to welcome you to Nottingham, one of the most historic places of the UK, steeped in legends and culture.

FSBI 2020 Logo-Pink

Local Organising Committee:

Iain Barber (NTU)

Carl Smith (NTU)

Rowena Spence (NTU)

Alex Kent (NTU)

Nick Ray (NTU)

Daniele D’Agostino (University of Nottingham)

Iain Hill (University of Nottingham)

Contact Us

For all conference enquiries, please contact
Conference convenors
Carl Smith and Iain Barber (both NTU)

Scientific Advisory Committee:

Iain Barber – (NTU Co-Convenor)

Carl Smith – (NTU Co-Convenor)

Penny Watt – (Sheffield, UK)

Mark Warren – (Environment Agency, UK)

Nick Jones – (St Andrews, UK)

Martin Genner – (Bristol, UK)

Andy Nunn – (Hull, UK)

Benjamin Ciotti – (Plymouth, UK)

Ioanna Katsiadaki – (Cefas, Weymouth, UK)

Will Norton – (Leicester, UK)

Steve Simpson – (Exeter, UK)

John Pinnegar – (Cefas, Lowestoft, UK)