2-5-19 CCE Dean

College of the coast and environment dean Christopher D’Elia, named a fellow by the Aquatic Science Association, stands in the Energy Coast and Environment Building on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

LSU College of the Coast and Environment Dean Chris D’Elia was named a sustaining fellow by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO). 

ASLO is a leading professional organization that advances the research, education and public awareness of the aquatic sciences. ASLO initiated the ASLO Fellows program in 2015 to honor members who have made significant contributions to the organization during their membership.

There are several criteria for becoming an ASLO Fellow, including years of service, participation and leadership in meetings and committees, and number of publications and reviews for ASLO publications. D’Elia was named an ASLO Sustaining Fellow, which also recognizes members’ sustained involvement with the organization.

D’Elia became an ASLO member while he was a graduate student in 1971. He completed a two-month expedition in the Marshall Islands, where he studied coral reefs with 25 other scientists. The year after, D’Elia’s team held a symposium about its research and then attended a nearby ASLO meeting at Florida State University. 

“It’s nice to be with a group of very fine people who are dedicated to that society,” D’Elia said. “That’s an honor in itself — to be in that crowd.”

Since then, D’Elia has been an active member of ASLO and has participated in many capacities. He served on the editorial board for Limnology and Oceanography, one of the most well-known scientific journals in the field. He also peer-reviewed and published many papers of his own in the journal, including his thesis.

D’Elia also chaired several committees, including the Public Affairs Committee, which advocated for science funding and even submitted testimony to Congress, and the Future of ASLO Committee, which was created to determine what directions the organization would go in the future.

When D’Elia was a postdoctoral researcher, he spoke to former ASLO President Gene Likens and suggested the organization publish a newsletter with job postings. Likens appointed him as the chair of a committee to research the idea.

“I was very interested in getting out more information about what the society was doing,” D’Elia said. “We recommended favorably, but the board didn’t act favorably, and it didn’t happen until some later time. I at least got the idea discussed and now there’s very good information coming in.”

D’Elia is not the only recently named ASLO Fellow from LSU. College of the Coast and Environment Professor Nancy Rabalais was named a Sustaining Fellow in 2017 for her almost 40 years of service and contributions to the organization. D’Elia and the other 2018 ASLO Fellows will be honored at a reception during the 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting on Feb. 25.

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