Nothing fishy here. Left to right: A warm welcome to Randy Singer, new collection manager, Division of Fishes; Hernán López-Fernández, associate professor, associate curator; William Fink, professor emeritus, curator emeritus; Doug Nelson, former UMMZ collection manager; Gerald Smith, professor emeritus, curator emeritus. Images: Diarmaid Ó Foighil

Congratulations to Doug Nelson, who retired April 30, 2019, after serving as the collection manager in the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology Fish Division for over 35 years.

Being in charge of one of the world’s six most diverse fish collections, EEB Professor Emeritus and Curator Emeritus Gerald Smith said that Nelson took advantage of the opportunity to learn as many species as possible. “Consequently, he knew as many or more species than most curators anywhere. More important, he was always organized, constructive and a joy to work with.”

The fish pictured on the cake, a boarfish (Antigonia capros), is from a painting, part of a collection of watercolor paintings of fish from Japanese waters donated to the UMMZ Fish Division.

A celebration of Nelson’s illustrious career was held at the Research Museums Center, organized by EEB Professor and Curator Priscilla Tucker, acting associate chair for museum collections, EEB Professor and Chair Diarmaid Ó Foighil and Professor and Curator Hernán López-Fernández. In Nelson’s later U-M career, when the Fish Division was without a curator, he essentially assumed that role. “Doug made sure the UMMZ Fish Division maintained best museum practices throughout this time,” added Tucker, “no small feat given he managed one of the largest fish collections, with over 3.4 million fishes,  in North America.”

Nelson joined the UMMZ Fish Division in December 1983. Prior to that, he was collection manager for the Fish Division at the College of Fisheries, University of Washington for five years during graduate school. We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.

And – the warmest of EEB welcomes to Randy Singer, new collection manager, Division of Fishes, who began April 1, 2019.