Australian Society For Fish Biology

Barry Jonassen Award

This award was established in 1999 and is named in memory of Barry Jonassen, a keen freshwater angler, biologist and passionate supporter of ASFB. Jonassen served as a long-term member of the NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers (formerly NSW Institute of Freshwater Anglers), from the late 1970s to early 1990s. Jonassen played a prominent role in advocating and advising on freshwater fisheries, such as providing expert advice via the NSW Fisheries Recreational Advisory Council, and via testimony to the NSW Government during amendments to the Fisheries Management Bill in 1997.

This award supports research costs incurred by an honours or post-graduate student in the field of freshwater fish biology or freshwater fisheries ("fish" includes commercially important invertebrates).

Value of Award 

The annual value of the awards will be a total of $2,000 for the Winner and $1,000 for the Runner-up. The Society reserves the right not to make an award in any year.

Closing date for applications

  • 30th April
  • A decision and notification will be made as soon as possible after the deadline, with a formal announcement made at the ASFB annual conference.


  • Applicants must be full or part time  honours or post-graduate students in the first or second year of their degree at an Australian or New Zealand university

  • Applicants must be financial student members of ASFB.
  • The same research proposal can not be submitted to both the Jonassen and Hall grant schemes in the same year 

Process for application

  • Download the application form.
  • Applications should consist of a 1000 word research proposal on the proposed or underway research, written during the student's first or second year of enrolment, plus a short curriculum vitae (2-pages) outlining the research experience, grants and awards, and publications history of the applicant
  • Within the 1000 word limit (excluded from the word limit are the Budget table including item justification, and the Reference section), the proposal should include:

    i. Title of project, Name, University, Supervisor, Degree enrolled for, Year commenced, Contact details.
    ii. Seven line summary
    iii. Aims, Background, Significance, Methods
    iv. Brief budget (with respect to the value of the award) and justification.
    v. References
    vi. Signature of applicant and supervisor. 

  • The application should show a significant contribution to science in general; a high degree of originality in choosing the research topic and methodology; the potential for significant benefits to the management of fisheries and aquaculture resources; and collaboration with other researchers.

Contact person

Award Recipients 

  • 2018 Winner - Isabella Loughland (University of Sydney)
  • 2018 Runner-up - Pavel Mikheev (University of Otago)
  • 2017 Winner:  Maud Kent (University of Sydney).  Schooling for success: sociality in an invasive species
  • 2017 Runner-up: Gabriel Cornell (University of Melbourne). Understanding how food and habitat use in a degraded stream can structure fish
  • 2016: William Coates (University of Melbourne) To leave or not to leave: The influence of social context and behavioural syndromes on the dispersal of freshwater fish.
  • 2015: Michael Bertram (Monash University) Sex in troubled waters: effects of widespread agricultural pollutants on fish.
  • 2014: Mae Noble (Australian National University) Population biology and ecology of the threatened Murray River crayfish in upland streams.
  • 2013: Alicia Burns (University of Sydney)
    The functions and mechanisms of behavioural variation: how individuality may lead to ecological invasions
  • 2012: Jonathan Murphy (Murdoch University) The molecular phylogeography of freshwater fishes in south-western Australia
  • 2011: David Sternberg (Griffifth University)
    Ecological trait diversity in Australian freshwater fish.
  • 2010: Danswell Starrs (Australian National University)
    Transgenerational labelling - dispersal/mortality in freshwater fishes.
  • 2009: Tyrie Starrs (Australian National University)
    Modelling the invasion potential of exotic freshwater fish in the ACT rivers.
  • 2008: Danswell Starrs (Australian National University) 
    Environmental impacts on swimming and migration in Macquarie perch.
  • 2007: Catriona Condon (University of Queensland)
    Consequences of thermal change on the reproductive biology of freshwater fishes.
  • 2006: Andy Hicks (Otago University)
    Exploring facultative diadromy in galaxids
  • 2002: Not Awarded
  • 2001: Bernadette Bostock (Deakin University)
    A molecular systematic study of some Australian desert fishes with respect to their evolution, Biogeography and conservation status.
  • 2000: Amy Whitehead (University of Otago) 
    Intraspecific comparisons between size classes of giant kokopu.

Publications Arising from Barry Jonassen Award

  • Bertram, MG, Saaristo, M, Baumgartner, JB, Johnstone CP, Allinson, M, Allinson, G, Wong, BBM (2015) Sex in troubled waters: Widespread agricultural contaminant disrupts reproductive behaviour in fish. Horm. Behav. 70: 85-91. [2015 winner]
  • Whitehead AL, David, BO, Closs, GP (2002) Ontogenetic shift in nocturnal microhabitat selection by giant kokopu in a New Zealand stream. J Fish Biol 61, 1373-1385 [2000 winner]
  • Hicks, AS, Closs, GP, Swearer, SE (2010) Otolith microchemistry of two amphidromous galaxiids across an experimental salinity gradient: a multi-element approach for tracking diadromous migrations. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 394, 86-97. [2006 winner]
  • Condon, CH, Chenoweth, SF, Wilson, RS (2010) Zebrafish take their cue from temperature but not photoperiod for the seasonal plasticity of thermal performance. J Exp Biol 213, 3705-3709. [2007 winner]
  • Starrs, D, Ebner, BC, Lintermans, M, Fulton, CJ (2011) Using sprint swimming performance to predict upstream passage of the endangered Macquarie perch in a highly regulated river. Fisheries Manag Ecol 18, 360-374. [2008 winner]
  • Sternberg, D, Kennard, MJ (2013) Environmental, spatial and phylogenetic determinants of fish life-history traits and functional composition of Australian rivers. Freshw Biol 58, 1767-1778. [2011 winner]
  • Sternberg, D, Kennard, MJ (2013) Phylogenetic effects on functional traits and life history strategies of Australian freshwater fish.Ecography 37, 54-64. [2011 winner]
  • Starrs, D, Davis, JTD, Schlaefer, J, Ebner, BC, Eggins, SM, Fulton, CJ (2014) Maternally transmitted isotopes and their effects on larval fish: a validation of dual isotopic marks within a meta-analysis context. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 71, 387-397. [2010 winner]
  • Starrs, D, Ebner, BC, Eggins, SM, Fulton, CJ (2014) Longevity in maternal transmission of isotopic marks in a tropical freshwater rainbowfish and the implications for offspring morphology. Mar Freshw Res 65, 400-408. [2010 winner]
  • Starrs, T, Starrs, D, Lintermans, M, Fulton, CJ (2015) Assessing upstream invasion risk in alien freshwater fishes based on intrinsic variations in swimming speed performance. Ecol Freshw Fish doi:10.1111/eff.12256 [2009 winner]
  • Noble, MM, Fulton, CJ (2016) Habitat specialization and sensitivity to change in a threatened crayfish occupying upland streams. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosys doi:10.1002/aqc.2620 [2014 winner]