UW-Madison hosts world’s largest gathering of fish physiologists

The world’s largest gathering of fish physiologists is taking place July 15–19 at Monona Terrace, as Madison welcomes the 10th International Congress on the Biology of Fish (ICBF-X) for a week of discussion.

Fish physiologists, who study how fish work at all levels of biological organization (molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, organ system, and organismic), are coming here from 39 countries to present their research. ICBF-X provides attendees with a comprehensive overview of the latest research developments in fish biology, and brings together the top names in the field. Distinguished scientists and students will present their research results in a half-day plenary session and three days of specialty symposia. A special session will be dedicated to the late Arthur Hassler, a renowned UW alumnus who discovered that salmon use their sense of smell to find their natal streams for spawning.

The local organization chair of ICBF-X is Terence Barry, a senior scientist in the UW-Madison Department of Animal Sciences and director of UW’s aquaculture research laboratory.

“Fish physiologists have made important contributions to science,” Barry says. “Research on the physiology of fish reproduction, growth, and stress, for example, has led directly to the expansion of the world aquaculture industry, where over half of the fish consumed in the world today are now farm-raised. Biomedical researchers are increasingly using fish (e.g., zebrafish) as models to conduct research on important biological concepts such as epigenetics and embryonic development.”

Barry, along with the help of the UW-Extension Conference Planning Services, put together a proposal to bring the conference to Madison. He hopes to build on the successes of past Congresses held in Barcelona, Portland, St. John’s, Manaus, Aberdeen, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Vancouver. “This is a great opportunity to not only promote the field of fish biology but to showcase many of the fine attractions our city and the surrounding area have to offer.”

For more information about this year’s event, please contact Terence Barry at 608-843-1425 or