A Radio Debut: Three Fish, Three Sounds

MELISSA BLOCK, host: We’re going under water for today’s installment of our SoundClips Series. This one was sent to us from a woman in the Fisheries Department at Auburn University in Alabama. [Read more...]

Fish Feed & Nutrition Workshop to be held at Auburn University May 16-18

The objective of the Fish Feed & Fish Nutirtion Workshops is to bring together university and industry researchers as well as students to exchange and share their experiences, ideas and research results, and to discuss the challenged in the everyday changing field of nutrition.

To register for this conference please go to the conference site.

Dr. Steve Szedlmayer takes on the Gulf in the Research Vessel (RV) Mary Lou

Dr. Steve Szedlmayer takes on the Gulf in the Research Vessel (RV)
Mary Lou


Dr. Steve Szedlmayer is a rare faculty member at Auburn. He is one of very few who do not have an office on campus. Steve is a professor focusing his research on marine fish ecology. He also has an extension responsibility in marine fisheries working with fish identification, regulations and stock assessment. Steve is located at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope where he occupies an old house for his labs and offices. He also has a fish wet lab there and docking facilities on Dauphin Island for his 3 boats…two aged Coast Guard fire boats and the brand new 44-foot RV Mary Lou, named in honor of Mary Lou Smith who has kept all of us straight for so many years.

[Read more...]

Mary Lou Smith-she keeps us swimming

When you need to know about the money in one of your accounts, where to get your departmental vehicle serviced or how to order furniture, Mary Lou Smith is the person to ask. She has been the rock solid administrative assistant who helps squeeze so much out of our taxpayer dollars that she is more like a magician. Mary Lou takes great care in getting the job done and getting it done right. She cares about every person who needs help and treats all with great care and respect. Although the job at times was more than one person should handle she got everything accomplished in an extraordinarily competent way. Today she has more help to do the accounting and administrative work for the department but for about 25 years she took a lot of work home with her to keep the rest of us swimming. [Read more...]

North Auburn Fisheries facilities renamed for long-time leader

AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn University Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture’s 1,600-acre North Auburn Upper Fisheries Research Station has been renamed the E.W. Shell Fisheries Center in honor of a long-time department head who was highly instrumental in building AU fisheries into a world-class program.

The center was formally dedicated during ceremonies held on-site earlier this month.

  A Butler County native, Shell earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fisheries from AU in 1952 and 1954, respectively. After graduating with a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1959, Shell joined the Auburn faculty as an assistant fisheries professor and began to work closely with Homer S. Swingle, then head of the university’s young fisheries program, to move the department to a level of international recognition.

When Shell took the reins as department head from Swingle in 1973, he recognized that field facilities with specialized laboratories and ponds would be needed to support a top-notch program. During the 21 years of his administration, Shell secured funding for and built most of the labs and facilities at the North Auburn Fisheries campus, including:

  • A fish hatchery and field classroom in 1977;
  • Fish nutrition and fish processing labs in 1978;
  • A fish market building for consumer research and teaching in 1985;
  • A fish disease laboratory and a building to house faculty and students in fisheries management and ecology in 1989;
  • A fish genetics lab, office building and greenhouse complex between 1990 and 1991;
  • 70 new ponds ranging in size from 0.05 acre to 10 acres and 13 rebuilt or renovated ponds between 1973 and 1994.

Expansion of the North Auburn campus allowed the department to serve its burgeoning graduate education program, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg, current department head David Rouse says.

In addition to being a hands-on teaching lab for our graduate and undergraduate students, these facilities are used as a research arena by faculty and students; as a teaching site for fish farmers, recreational pond owners, processors, marketers and citizen groups interested in protecting the environment; and as an educational component for public school students and scout and service groups throughout the region,” Rouse says.

The E.W. Shell Fisheries Center is the premier facility of its kind in the world. At least 13 U.S. universities and government agencies have patterned facilities after it, and similar facilities can also be found in more than foreign 31 countries.

Shell retired from AU in 1994. He and his wife, Jean, live in Auburn.
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News from:


Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station
Auburn University College of Agriculture
334-844-4877 (PHONE)  334-844-5892 (FAX)

Jamie Creamer, 334-844-2783 (jcreamer@auburn.edu)



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