This is a prestigious lectureship instituted in memory of Cam Stevenson, the long-time Editor of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (CJFAS), published by NRC Press and is conferred upon a young, energetic and creative researcher at the cutting edge of an aquatic discipline. Each year a Lecturer is selected by the Journal's Editorial Board. In the Spring of each year a call for nominations is sent to the Chairs of Zoology and Biology departments across Canada, as well as to the research directors of the federal Departments of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada and the National Research Council. The list of nominees is then sent to the CJFAS Editorial Board, who provides recommendations and justification for their selections. The Lecturer delivers a stimulating presentation of their work as the keynote address in the opening session of the Annual CCFFR meeting. A written version of the presentation is normally published as the lead article in the January issue of CJFAS or sometime soon thereafter.

The 2009 Stevenson Lecturer is:

Dr. M. Jake Vander Zanden

Center for Limnology

University of Wisconsin - Madison




M. Jake Vander Zanden, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 680 N. Park Street, Madison, WI  53706


Historically, the study of limnology has been synonymous with examination of pelagic (open-water) production and processes. The littoral zone has sometimes been viewed as separate from the pelagic, or as a refuge from predators, but rarely as a significant source of productivity at the whole-lake level. In contrast, stable carbon isotopes indicate that benthic-fixed carbon is an important, and sometimes dominant supporter of fish production in lakes, and that fishes integrate these two habitats and production pathways. Benthic production appears to be efficiently passed up the food chain to higher consumers, and generally supports more species diversity than an equivalent amount of pelagic production. In addition, benthic insect emergence can be a substantial flux of aquatic energy and nutrients to terrestrial ecosystems. I highlight these aquatic-terrestrial linkages with examples from ongoing research at Lake Myvatn, Iceland. In summary, littoral and pelagic zones each have unique properties, though both contribute in important ways to lakes. A growing understanding of these habitats and their interconnections is leading to a more holistic, ‘dual pathway’ paradigm of lake ecosystem function.