Co-Chairs 2021 – Present
Brian Zimmerman, wearing an open-necked shirt, with dense vegetation behind him, smiling at the Camera
Brian Zimerman, Bristol Zoological Society, UK

Brian Zimmerman is the Director of Conservation and Science of the Bristol Zoological Society (BZS), with Executive Board responsibility for BZS’s animals and curatorial and keeper teams at Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project, as well as its veterinary services, its Institute of Conservation Science and Learning (including the Higher Education and Field Conservation and Science departments). Prior to joining BZS, he was the Chief Zoological Officer at the Zoological Society of London. At ZSL, he created the Fish Net Programme, an international consortium of zoos, aquariums, research institutions and NGOs working to save threatened freshwater fish species from extinction.  He works in Greece and has also worked in Turkey, Madagascar, Brazil, Nepal and Turkmenistan on freshwater fish conservation projects.  Brian sits on the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) Conservation Committee, the EAZA Ex-situ Programme (EEP) Committee and is the Chair of the Freshwater Fish Taxonomic Advisory Group for EAZA. He is the EEP Coordinator for the family Valenciidae.  He is also a Committee member of the European Union of Aquarium Curators.

Kathy Hughes in a wetsuit, standing with her arms raised in a pool with shrubs behind her and reeds in front
Kathy Hughes, WWF

Kathy Hughes is WWF’s Freshwater Biodiversity Leader and Asia-Pacific Freshwater Biodiversity Leader. Kathy has worked for WWF for twelve years where she has focussed on the conservation of freshwater biodiversity. She is particularly interested in freshwater biodiversity monitoring, strategic programme implementation, freshwater protected area efficacy, river basin governance and inland fisheries. Prior to working for WWF, Kathy worked for the Environment Agency and Chester Zoological Gardens. Kathy holds a BSc in Zoology and an MSc in Ecology. Following on from her MSc Kathy also studied with the Tropical Biology Association in Madagascar. In 2013 she received the Emerging Professional Award from the International RiverSymposium. Kathy is also an active member of the Alliance for Freshwater Life, InFish and the Inland Fisheries Alliance and acts as an adviser to Shoal.

Previous FFSG Chairs

Dr Richard Sneider (2014 to 2021)

Professor Gordon McGregor Reid (2004 to 2014)

Freshwater Fish Specialist Group Regional Chairs

FFSG Regional coverage is split across 17 regions, each with its own Regional Chair

A man with short hair and glasses, wearing a shirt, smiling at the camera, against a plain background
Western Palearctic
Dr. Jörg Freyhof Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany
Baran Yoğurtçuoğlu Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Eastern Palearctic
Prof. Dmitry Lajus
Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia
Central Asia
Bakhtiyor Sheraliev
Southwest University, Chongqing, China. Based in Uzbekistan
Southern Asia
Dr. Rajeev Raghavan Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Kochi, India
Prof. Junxing Yang
Kunming Institute of Zoology, China
Dr Katsutoshi Watanabe
Department of Zoology
Kyoto University, Japan
Dr. Yoshinori Taniguchi
Meijo University, Japan
Mainland and Peninsular Southeast Asia
Dr. Chavalit Vidthayanon
Seun Nakhasathien Foundation (Local Conservation NGO), Thailand
Dr. Amirrudin (Amir) Ahmad
University of Malaysia-Terengganu)
Sundaland / Philippines
Dr. Heok Hui Tan
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore
Snowcapped mountains surrounding a corrie lake.  Gerry Closs standing in the foreground.
Prof. Gerry Closs
University of Otago, New Zealand
Nicolas Ling
University of Waikato, New Zealand
North America
Dr. Stephen Walsh

USGS, Gainesville, Florida, USA
Prof. Topis Contreras-MacBeath

University of Morelos, Mexico
South America
Dr. Roberto Reis

Catholic Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Northern Africa
Dr. Abebe Getahun

Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Western Africa
Prof. Philippe Laleye

University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
Eastern and Central Africa
Dr. Jos Snoeks

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren and Leuven University, Belgium
Southern Africa
Dr. Albert Chakona

South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
Dr. Ravelomanana Tsilavina Illitch

Department de Biologie Animale, Faculte des Sciences, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Dr. Paul Loiselle
Wildlife Conservation Society
Special Advisors
  • Freshwater representative to the IUCN Red List Committee
    Dr. Jörg Freyhof
    Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany
  • Biodiversity
    Michele Thieme

  • Conservation Strategy
    Mike Baltzer
  • Fisheries
    Prof. Ian Cowx
    University of Hull
  • Re-introduction and ex-situ conservation
    Tim Lyons
    New Mexico BioPark Society, USA
  • IUCN Biodiversity Unit Liaison
    Catherine Sayer
    Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, IUCN
  • Communications Adviser
    Michael Edmondstone
  • Membership Coordinator
    Monika Böhn

    Global Center for Species Survival, Indianapolis Zoological Society
  • FFSG Intern and Newsletter Lead
    Jason Motley
  • Youth Engagement Adviser
    Felix Feider
    Synchronicity Earth
FFSG Subgroup

Sustainable trade in ornamental fishes
Scott Dowd
New England Aquarium, USA

FFSG members with positions on other IUCN Commission Groups
  • SSC Freshwater Conservation Subcommittee
    Professor Topis Contreras-MacBeath, Chair
    University of Morelos, Mexico
    Dr. Ian Harrison, Co-Chair
    Conservation International
    Dr. Matthew Gollock, Chair
    Zoological Society of London, UK
  • SSC Marine Conservation Subcommittee
    Dr. Matthew Gollock, Chair
    Zoological Society of London, UK
  • SSC Salmon Specialist Group
    Dr. Pete Rand, Chair
    Prince William Sound Science center, Alaska, USA
  • SSC Sturgeon Specialist Group
    Arne Ludwig, Co-Chair
    Phaedra Doukakis, Co-Chair
  • SSC Anguillid Eel Specialist Group
    Dr. Matthew Gollock, Chair
    Zoological Society of London, UK
  • CEM Wetlands Ecosystems Thematic Group
    Dr. Claudio Baigún, Chair
    Wetlands International, Argentina
  • WCPA Freshwater Specialist Group
    Harmony Patricio, Co-Chair
    Griffith University
    Dr. Ian Harrison, co-Chair
    Conservation International
Joining the IUCN SSC Freshwater Fish Specialist Group

The FFSG welcomes applications for membership from anyone who demonstrates their commitment to FFSG’s mission and vision, and who can contribute towards the delivery of one or more of our goals. We believe that the aims of the FFSG are best met by a broad range of skills, experience and disciplines, and we welcome applications from a broad spectrum of experience, professions and skills.

How to join the FFSG:

If you believe you can make a contribution to the FFSG, please email the Membership Coordinator, Monni Böhm ([email protected]) with the following information:

• A short covering letter;

• A resume of your experience relevant to FFSG’s six key goals to include current activity and future plans, and your geography of interest;

• If available, a recommendation letter from an existing FFSG member;

• Your full contact details (including the name of your institute, your email and your address).