Brandon Peoples of Fort Smith, Ark., a doctoral student in fisheries and wildlife sciences, won the American Fisheries Society’s 2012 student writing contest and received an honorable mention for the society’s John E. Skinner Memorial Scholarship. Peoples’ article, “Focus on the positive: how one little fish helps to sustain aquatic biodiversity,” was published in the October 2012 issue of Fisheries, a monthly peer-reviewed journal for society members.

As summarized in the article, research conducted by Peoples and his colleagues showed positive interactions between two different types of minnows. In addition, Peoples introduced his ongoing large-scale experiment, which seeks to determine how habitat changes can affect interactions between species.

“My advisor, Emmanuel Frimpong, and I have been working on these ideas for some time now,” Peoples said. “I’m enthused about presenting our research.” Peoples hopes to continue conducting research and eventually teach at a university.

Master’s student Shannon White of Ashland, Va., received a John E. Skinner Memorial Scholarship from the American Fisheries Society. The scholarship includes a one-year society membership and covers expenses to attend next year’s annual meeting. Selection is based on academic achievement, professional service, and reasons for attending the meeting.

“To be recognized as one of the top fisheries students in the country is truly humbling, and the award motivates me to continue striving for excellence in my own work,” White said. “The end goal for me is to become a professor at a small college,” she added.