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JR Shute
JR Shute

J.R. Shute, co-founder and co-director of Conservation Fisheries Inc., has been studying endangered fish for more than twenty-five years.

He’ll be discussing the importance of protecting rare species of fish at Friday’s Science Forum at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Science Forum is a weekly brown bag lunch series that allows professors and area scientists to discuss their research and the general public to learn about science through a conversational presentation.

The weekly presentations begin at noon on Fridays in room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena. Each presentation is 40 minutes long and is followed by a question-and-answer session. It is free and open to the public.

Shute began studying rare fish as a graduate student at UT, when a professor asked him to help with a fish restoration project in Abrams Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Later, Shute helped found Conservation Fisheries, which has a hatchery to raise endangered species of fish.

He will talk about propagation of non-game and rare species of fish in East Tennessee. He will also discuss how Conservation Fisheries monitors area fish, why species become endangered, and what people can do.

Shute said that most people don’t know how many different species of fish can be found in Tennessee—around 315.

“A lot of people don’t realize. Even people who work in the area don’t realize what an amazing diversity we have here,” he said.

Future science forums will feature:

  • November 2: J.P. Dessel, Steinfeld Associate Professor of Near Eastern history and archaeology, will discuss The State of the Ancient State: New Finds in Southeastern Turkey.
  • November 9: Alison G. Boyer, research assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, will present Trouble in Paradise: Extinction and Conservation of Tropical Island Birds.
  • November 16: Rob Heller, professor of journalism and electronic media, will discuss A Brief Yet Incomplete History of Photojournalism.
  • November 30: Sue Hume, clinical associate professor of audiology and speech pathology, will present Good Vibrations—Care and Use of the Professional Voice.

The Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. For more information about the Science Forum, visit the Office of Research website.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Holly Gary (865-974-2225,