A Recorded Conversation with Dr. Peter B. Moyle

With John Durand

Dr. Peter Moyle was the main reason that I came to UC Davis fifteen years ago to study the confusing ecology of the San Francisco Estuary. Peter is a Distinguished Professor of Fish Biology, Emeritus, and one of the first people back in the 1970s to seriously study the diversity of California native fishes. Peter knew aquatic ecosystems from the Sierras to the sea: he was responsible for petitioning the USFWS to list the Delta Smelt under the US Endangered Species Act, disentangled the life history of the Splittail, and was an authority on cold water salmonids and their complicated life histories.

One of his many projects was a long-term study of Suisun Marsh, which I have helped continue after Peter’s retirement. My research in Suisun and the Delta feels inspired by just one small fraction of all of the interesting ideas in Peter Moyle’s brain. In fact, Peter is still active in my research group at the Center for Watershed Sciences. He often comes to meetings, bringing with him unusual ideas and topics to discuss. He writes constantly, and is the envy of more than one scientist I know for the apparent fluidity with which he does so.

I sat down to interview Peter last month for a class I was teaching at UC Davis, the Biology and Conservation of Fishes, a course he helped develop. We discussed how he became interested in fishes, how he came to California, his approach to writing, and his ideas on aquatic conservation. It’s easy to see how much fun we had chatting with each other. We hope that you find it enjoyable too. Check it out here:

Peter B. Moyle is a UC Davis Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Fish Biology and an Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences. John Durand is a Senior Research Scientist specializing in estuarine ecology and restoration at the Center for Watershed Sciences.  He is also a Lecturer in the Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology.

About Andrew Rypel

Andrew L. Rypel is a Professor and the Peter B. Moyle and California Trout Chair of coldwater fish ecology at the University of California, Davis. He is a faculty member in the Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology and Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences.
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1 Response to A Recorded Conversation with Dr. Peter B. Moyle

  1. Betsy Cawn says:

    I so enjoyed this that I bought a copy of Dr. Moyle’s original edition of “Inland Fishes of California” to add to the archive of the Essential Public Information Center (upper Lake, CA), which is a sponsor of public involvement and participation in the Lake County CLEAN WATER PROGRAM for the restoration of Clear Lake.

    I also sent the edition of the blog page to some friends whose property was the site of Dr. Alex Horne’s experimental station where he endeavored to prove that oxygenation of “stagnant” shallow lake waters would reduce the natural eutrophic conditions and prevent the abundance of nuisance species of “blue-green” algae (i.e., cyanobacteria) that repels tourists from time to time.

    Thank you, Dr. Moyle, for protecting the Putah Creek wilderness, and sharing your life’s work with all of us.

    I have spent the last 17 years (and more) participating in the public education and outreach for our stormwater management programs (among many others related to Clear Lake’s amazing biological wonderland), and enjoy the California Water Blog very much.

    Many thanks to the producers/publishers and to everyone at UC Davis’s Center for Watershed Sciences!

    Betsy Cawn

    The Essential Public Information Center

    9475-A Main Street

    Upper Lake, CA 95485


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