COSAM News Articles 2023 August Auburn’s ichthyologist honored with award of excellence

Auburn’s ichthyologist honored with award of excellence

Published: 08/07/2023

By: Maria Gebhardt

Most people know Jonathan Armbruster as the director of Auburn University’s Museum of Natural History, which is a position he has proudly served in since 2016. He is also known for naming a previously unknown catfish species, Peckoltia greedoi, after a Rodian bounty hunter character, Greedo, from Star Wars. Now Armbruster has another accolade to add to his impressive list of achievements, the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Robert H. Gibbs Award for Excellence in Systematic Ichthyology.

But what exactly is ichthyology?

Ichthyology is the area of zoology that studies fish.

For Armbruster and the Armbruster Ichthyology Lab, he has traveled the world dedicated to identifying, describing, and organizing species of fish. As curator of AUMNH’s fish collection, he has tripled the collection and has every continent represented at the museum.

At the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in July, Armbruster was presented with the award for his published work in this area.

“I am excited to be honored with this award,” said Armbruster. “I have had the opportunity to mentor numerous graduate students who share my passion for science and are making contributions through publications. This award highlights my desire to uncover more information about species of fish and share that knowledge with other researchers to continue to advance the field.”

Armbruster graduated with his doctorate degree from the University of Illinois in 1997 and worked with the Smithsonian Institution before moving to the Plains.

He has elevated the museum and has had his work showcased in 139 regular publications and book chapters.

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