Published on April 3, 2024 by Diamond Nunnally  
Anthony Overton
Anthony Overton

Samford University's Howard College of Arts and Sciences Biological and Environmental Sciences chair Anthony Overton has dedicated 30 years to advancing sustainable fishing practices within the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society. His tenure included serving as president elect in 2022 and vice president in 2023, naturally positioning him to assume the presidency in 2024. 

"I was contacted by the Southern Division American Fisheries Society nominations committee asking if I would consider running for president," Overton said. "I’ve been a member since 1994."  

Given his passion and commitment to the cause, Overton accepted the call to run for president. His election by the committee in February marks the beginning of a four-year term. At the forefront of his duties is directing the many chapters and committees across the division.  

"I have a platform to advocate for the interest of fishermen and represent these interests to government bodies, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders. Our division also serves as hubs for sharing knowledge, expertise and best practices for fisheries." 

The Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society was established in 1952 and includes 18 chapters and 25 student subunits from the southern states who meet regularly to discuss the region's research findings and management applications. Since 1993 the Southern Division has held an annual meeting in the spring.  

"Our primary goal is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals," Overton said. "Part of my charge as president is to increase undergraduate student participation at our annual meetings." 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.