Australian Society For Fish Biology

John Lake Poster Award

This award is presented to encourage and support high quality poster presentations by students at the annual conference, and includes both a junior and senior category. This award commenced in 1987 in honour of the late John Lake. Lake was an Australian pioneer in breeding native inland fish. He joined NSW State Fisheries in 1949 after graduating from Sydney University. His initial work on trout was widely recognised throughout NSW, and he transferred these skills to perform pioneering research on native fish of the Murray-Darling Basin. In 1962 he was appointed biologist-in-charge at the Inland Fisheries Research Station at Narrandera, where he played a significant role in developing the research facilities to breed Murray cod, silver perch, golden perch and catfish, the major inland angling species. In late 1966 John Lake left the station to take a position as Senior Lecturer in Biology at Sydney University. He became Director of Forestry, Fisheries, Wildlife and National Parks for the Northern Territory in 1971, and later Senior Lecturer in Biology at the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education. After a distuinguished career in applied fisheries research, administration and education, John Lake died in 1977.

The award is currently sponsored by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.




Value of Award

  • Junior and Senior awards of $600 each  are presented.

Closing date for applications

  • The deadline for applications is at the deadline for abstract submission for the annual conference.


  • Work presented must deal with fish or fisheries, not necessarily exclusively in Australia.
  • A Junior Award may be made to a student for a presentation of work completed as part of a B.Sc. Honours or M.Sc. preliminary project. Other categories such as Graduate Diploma may be included at the judges' discretion.
  • For a Junior Award, work must be presented during, or within one year of completion of the degree.
  • For a Senior Award, work should be part of M.Sc. or Ph.D research, and must be presented before the degree is conferred.
  • Work presented for a Senior Award must have been completed within 7 years of completing a first degree. This condition may be varied at the discretion of the judges.
  • Any contribution by others to the work presented for the Senior Award must be made clear in the presentation and the application for the award.
  • Posters must be constrained within the international conference limits of 1 x 1.5 m.
  • Projects should be at least half completed.

Process for application

  • Download the application form.
  • Submit your poster/paper
  • Students putting forward their poster for consideration must include a declaration (see application form)
    i) The name of their supervisor(s) and university/institution ii) the degree to which the research contributed.
    iii) the dates the study for the degree started and finished (or intended completion date) and whether the degree is full or part-time.
    iv) The applicant is usually the sole author, if not, then a statement should be included specifying the contribution of the co-authors.

Judging process

  • Applications will be judged by a panel of three or more members appointed by the ASFB Executive Committee. Membership of the panel will include representation of both sexes and a variety of university and other institutions. Only part of the judging panel should be replaced in any one year.
  • Presentations will be judged on the originality and quality of both the research and the presentation.
  • The judges may take into consideration whether the student is currently completing the degree or presenting the work after the degree is completed.

Past Award Recipients

2018 (Melbourne, Victoria)

  • Senior: Louise Tossetto (Macquarie University)
  • Junior: Jenna Hounslow (Murdoch University)

2016 (Hobart, TAS)

  • Senior: Karissa Lear (Murdoch University): Correlations of metabolic rate and body acceleration in three coastal shark species under contrasting temperature regimes.
  • Junior: Hannah Ashe (Murdoch University): Ecology of marine cleaning stations used by Manta alfredi in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

2015 (Sydney, N.S.W.)

  • Senior: Mario Espinoza (James Cook U) Contrasting movements and connectivity of reef-associated sharks: implications for management.
  • Junior: Kye Adams (U Wollongong) Fiddler on the reef: movement and abundance of Fiddler rays.

2014 (Darwin, N.T)

  • Senior Award -Leanne Currey (JCU)
    Environmental drivers of depth use by an exploited reef fish.
  • Junior Award - Mae Noble (ANU)
    Can Murray crayfish be a key surrogate species for freshwater management?

2013 (Hamilton, N.Z) - Not awarded

2012 (Adelaide, SA)

  • Senior Award - Gretchen Grammer (U. Adelaide)
  • Junior Award - George Giatas (Flinders Uni)

2011 (Townsville, Qld)

  • Senior Award - Jimmy White (JCU)
    Assessing the susceptibility of Glaucostegus typus, Rhynochobatus australiaeand Anoxypristis cuspidata to commercial fishing activity.
  • Junior Award - Vinay Udyawer (JCU)
    Evacuation of a coastal bay: movement patterns of elasmobranchs in response to Tropical Cyclones Anthony and Yasi.

2010 (Melbourne, Victoria) - Jason Earl (Flinders University) 
Spatio-temporal variation in the early life-history characteristics and recruitment dynamics of green back flounder (Rhombosolea tapirina) in the Murray Mouth and Coorong, South Australia.

2009 (Fremantle, Western Australia) - Jonathan Gilson (U. NSW)

2007 (Canberra, Australia) -

  • Senior Award - Dan Johnson
  • Junior Award - Shanti Mors

2006 (Hobart, Tasmania) - Stephen Leporati (U. Tasmania)

2002 - Richard Pillains (U. Queensland) 
Physiological ecology of Bull sharks in the Brisbane River

2001 (Bunbury, Western Australia)

  • Senior Award - Not awarded
  • Junior Award - Not awarded

2000 (Albury, New South Wales)

  • Senior Award - Gavin Sarre 
    The age composition and growth rates of black bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri (Sparidae) vary among estuaries: some possible contributing factors.
  • Junior Award - Victor Hughes
    Snags....where are they and why?

1999 (Bendigo, Victoria)

  • Senior Award - Not awarded
  • Junior Award - Not awarded

1998 (Hobart, Tasmania)

  • Senior Award - Not awarded
  • Junior Award - Not awarded

1997 (Darwin, Northern Territory)

  • Senior Award - Not awarded
  • Junior Award - Not awarded

1996 (Brisbane, Queensland)

  • Senior Award - Michael Finn
    Larval Supply of Coral Reef Fish Populations
  • Junior Award - Troy Coyle
    How does the whitebait fishery affect other species?

1995 (Sydney, New South Wales)

  • Senior Award - Not awarded
  • Junior Award - Not awarded

1992 (Victor Harbour, South Australia)

  • Senior Award - M. Shepherd (Maquarie U.)
    The effect of some standard fixatives on fish gill morphology.

1991 - Augy Syahailatua
The Australian Pilchard (Sardinops neopilchardus ): Morphometric and Meristic Study.

1990 - Beatrice Ferreria
Growth and structure of the vertebrae in the school shark Galeorhinus galeus(Linneus, 1758) from southern Brazil.

1989 - Bradley C Congdon
Genetic differentiation within a catchment: the role of natural selection, gene flow, and genetic drift in population subdivision of Gambusia affinis.

1988 - Barbara Nowak
Sublethal effect of endosulfan on Australian freshwater catfish Tandanus tandanus.

1987 - Natalie Pavuk
Stock assessment of Tasmanian whitebait.