Honored for Saving Salmon

Jacques Rinchard working with salmon eggs in the fish lab.
Professor uncovers what was preventing California Pacific Salmon from reproducing, earning an award from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Jacques Rinchard, Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology, among multiple colleagues won the US Fish and Wildlife Rachel Carson Award for “exemplary scientific accomplishment in recognition to their research on thiamine deficiency affecting California Pacific Salmon,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Their research solved the mystery of why Pacific Salmon had high mortality rates in production programs.

“The team’s achievements are especially important to the critically endangered winter run Chinook salmon, were not for the swift diagnosis and development of thiamine treatments, the winter run Chinook salmon population would have suffered a potentially catastrophic loss,” the US Fish and Wildlife said. Their research identified that the Pacific Salon had a never before seen thiamine deficiency and developed a course of treatment for the fish hatcheries.

At SUNY Brockport, Rinchard is an expert in the effects of thiamine deficiency in aquatic organisms. He has also led multiple students in research and was awarded multiple grants to continue research related to thiamine status in fish and other wildlife. His research group is currently evaluating how salmonines from the Great Lakes region and California are being impacted by this phenomenon. This work is essential as a deficit in thiamine has been linked to lower reproduction, decreased viability of early life stages, neurological disorders, and ultimately declines of fish and other wildlife populations.

“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award with my collaborators. All were so determined, dedicated, and committed” Rinchard said.

US Fish and Wildlife Rachel Carson Award was earned by: Kevin Kwak. Scott Foott, Scott Freund, Robert Null, Ronald Stone, Marc Provencher, Jeff Freund, Travis Webster, William Hopkins, William Ardren, Dan Castleberry, Brandt Becnel, Emily Van Seeters, Taylor Lipscombe, Kaitlin Dunham, Rachel Johnson, Dale Honeyfield, Donald Tillitt, Esteban Soto, and Jacques Rinchard.

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Jacques Rinchard: jrinchar@brockport.edu

Posted: March 21, 2022