Joseph S. Nelson

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Joseph Schieser Nelson
Born (1937-04-12)April 12, 1937
San Francisco
Died August 9, 2011(2011-08-09) (aged 74)
Institutions Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
Alma mater University of Alberta, University of British Columbia
Doctoral advisor Dr. C.C. Lindsey
Other academic advisors Dr. J.R. Nursall
Known for Ichthyology, Fishes of the World
Notable awards Alberta Centennial Medal (2006)
Author abbrev. (zoology) Nelson
Spouse Claudine Nelson

Joseph (Joe) Schieser Nelson (1937–2011) was an ichthyologist. He is best known for the book Fishes of the World (1st edition 1976, 4th edition 2006), which is the standard reference in fish systematics and evolution.

Joe Nelson obtained his PhD from University of British Columbia in 1965.[1] He retired in 2002 from the University of Alberta where he made most of his career; he continued to hold position as a Professor Emeritus and stayed scientifically active until his final years.[2]

Outside academia, Joe Nelson was a black belt in karate.[3]


Species described by Joe Nelson:

  • Bembrops morelandi Nelson, 1978New Zealand flathead
  • Limnichthys polyactis Nelson, 1978Long-finned sand diver
  • Hemerocoetes artus Nelson, 1979
  • Hemerocoetes morelandi Nelson, 1979
  • Psychrolutes sio Nelson, 1980
  • Pteropsaron heemstrai Nelson, 1982
  • Osopsaron natalensis Nelson, 1982
  • Ebinania macquariensis Nelson, 1982
  • Ebinania malacocephala Nelson, 1985
  • Creedia alleni Nelson, 1983
  • Creedia partimsquamigera Nelson, 1983 — Half-scaled sand-diver
  • Crystallodytes pauciradiatus Nelson & Randall, 1985
  • Cottunculus nudus Nelson, 1989 — Bonyskull toadfish
  • Psychrolutes microporos Nelson, 1995 — Blobfish/fathead
  • Ambophthalmos eurystigmatephoros Jackson & Nelson, 1999
  • Neophrynichthys heterospilos Jackson & Nelson, 2000
  • Ebinania australiae Jackson & Nelson, 2006

Species named after Joe Nelson:[1]

  • Barilius nelsoni Barman, 1988
  • Bembrops nelsoni Thompson & Suttkus, 2002
  • Granulacanthus joenelsoni Hanke, Wilson, & Lindoe, 2001
  • Myopsaron nelsoni Shibukawa, 2010


  1. ^ a b "Joseph S. Nelson". University of Alberta. 07/11/2011. Retrieved 19 May 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help) (home page at the University of Alberta; includes list of publications)
  2. ^ Heiko Bleher (October 2011). "Orbituary Joseph Schieser Nelson". aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Lana Cuthbertson (August 15, 2011). "Joseph Nelson Taught the World about Fish". University of Alberta Museums. Retrieved 19 May 2012.