“Tony Farrell is a graduate of Bath University, where he was fortunate to study with Peter Lutz. His fortunes grew further when he moved in 1974 to Canada and the Zoology Department at the University of British Columbia to complete his Ph.D. degree under the superb tutelage of Dave Randall. In 2004, Tony returned to UBC when he accepted an endowed research chair in Sustainable Aquaculture.

In between these positions at UBC, Tony was employed at the University of Southern California (PDF), the University of New Brunswick (sessional lecturer), Mount Allison University (first real job) and Simon Fraser University (moving through the ranks to a full professor). In addition to highly controlled laboratory experiments on fish cardiorespiratory physiology, Tony is committed to working on animals in their own environment. Therefore, his research on fish physiology has taken him on an Alpha Helix expedition to the Amazon, the University of Gothenburg and the Kristineberg Marine Research Station in Sweden, the Portobello Marine Biological Station in New Zealand, the University of Christchurch and Massey University in New Zealand, the Bamfield Marine Science Station and the Huntsman Marine Station in Canada, the University of Aarhus in Denmark, the University of Adelaide Charles and Darwin University in Australia, and to the Danish Arctic Marine Station on Disco Island in Greenland. These travels have allowed him to work and with many superb collaborators world-wide, as well as study the physiology of over 70 different species of fish.

Tony has received a number of awards for his scientific contributions: an honorary degree from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden; Awards of Excellence from the American Fisheries Society for Fish Physiology, Conservation and Management; the Fry Medal from the Canadian Society of Zoologists; and the Beverton Medal from the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.”

Research Interests

Farrell is broadly interested in the comparative and environmental physiology of fish. He and his research team are primarily interested in how cardiorespiratory systems perform under extreme conditions and the implications for our general understanding of cardiorespiratory physiology and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems. While his primary emphasis is on wild and farmed salmon species in British Columbia, he and his team also study fish found in the frigid waters of Antarctica and Canada’s Arctic.

  • Integrative and comparative animal physiology–cardiorespiratory dynamics, myocardial oxygen supply, coronary physiology and coronary pathology, blood flow regulation
  • Salmon migratory passage, exercise / handling stress and recovery, aquatic toxicology


2015 – Elected to the Royal Society of Canada
2015 – Award of Excellence, American Fisheries Society
2010 – Beverton Medal, Fisheries Society of the British Isles
2009 – Fry Medal, Canadian Society of Zoologists
2006 – Award of Excellence for Fish Physiology, American Fisheries Society
2005 – Award of Excellence in Fisheries Management, American Fisheries Society
2002 – Murray A Newman Award for Excellence in Aquatic Conservation and Pioneering Marine Research, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
2000 – Honorary Doctoral Degree, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Funding Organizations

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Freshwater Fisheries Society

Genome British Columbia

British Columbia Pacific Salmon Forum