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.