By Liz Boatman
Each year, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne G. Clough recognizes up to 10 scholars throughout the institution “for exemplary scholarship and outstanding contribution towards the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Among this year’s recipients is Dave Johnson, Curator of Fishes in the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at the National Museum of Natural History.
Dave was recognized in the category of article or book chapter for his 2011 publication, entitled “A ‘living fossil’ eel (Anguilliformes: Protanguillidae, fam. nov.) from an undersea cave in Palau” (full paper here). The article presented not only the discovery of a new species of eel (video)—representing an entirely new family and genus—but also an in-depth, carefully crafted argument demonstrating the primitive nature of this species.