BOZEMAN – Fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn will give a free presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, on how animal-based foods strain Earth’s resources. “The Environmental Cost of Dinner” will be held in the Strand Union Building ballrooms at Montana State University.

Dr. Ray Hilborn, a fisheries scientist and professor at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (Photo: MSU News Service)

Hilborn, a professor at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, studies fishery management with a focus on sustainability. He is known for his work as a fisheries scientist and marine biologist.

“He’s the real deal,” said Christopher Guy, a professor in MSU’s Department of Ecology in the College of Letters and Science and assistant leader of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit. “We’re pretty excited to have him come here.”

Hilborn will also give a seminar titled "Status of Global Fisheries: What is Working and What is Not,” on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 3:30 p.m. in Lewis Hall, Room 304. The seminar is part of the Ecology Seminar Series, which continues on Thursdays until Dec. 12. Seminars are free and open to the public.

“The Environmental Cost of Dinner” is based on a paper Hilborn published in 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment which quantifies impacts of food production in livestock, aquaculture and capture fisheries in four areas: energy use, emissions, nutrient release and creation of acids. According to the paper, all food production incurs environmental costs which vary depending on the type of protein.

“You have a lot of options for dinner,” Guy said. “If you’re interested in the environment and conservation, he will provide some insights into what will be the least impactful to the environment to help make choices at the supermarket.”

Hilborn is one of the principal investigators of the Alaska Salmon Program and an elected fellow of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the Volvo Environmental Prize, the American Fisheries Societies Award of Excellence, the Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award and the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his work. He has been cited nearly 30,000 times in scientific papers, according to ResearchGate.

The lecture is supported by MSU’s Department of Ecology and the MSU Student Subunit of the American Fisheries Society.

- From MSU News Service -