Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Executive Director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, received the prestigious Oscar Elton Sette Award from the American Fisheries Society this weekend at the organization’s annual conference. The Sette Award was established to recognize an “Outstanding Marine Fishery Biologist” who has demonstrated sustained excellence in the areas of research, teaching, and administration.
The award committee recognized Dr. Pikitch as excelling in all three areas, as well as public outreach, with a strong focus on conservation. With this honor, Dr. Pikitch joined a list of 25 other eminent fisheries scientists who have received this annual award since 1991.
Dr. Pikitch expressed that she is honored to be considered worthy of an award named after Dr. Sette, an intellectual giant in the field. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Pikitch said, “Sette had the kind of career that we all dream about. His research shaped discoveries in two oceans, and he was a visionary who saw the importance of understanding ocean processes, and how related disciplines fit together.”
She recalled how prior recipients of the award were influential in her own career, beginning when she was hired as the first woman faculty member in the Fisheries Department at Oregon State University, to her current work at Stony Brook University.
Dr. Pikitch’s work has focused on threats to marine fish species, large and small. Her 200 publications are heavily cited and have made contributions to stock assessment, conservation, and policy. Recently, she was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists (AIFRB) in 2014 and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2015. She also received the Award for Excellence in Public Outreach from AFS in 2014.