Dr. Paul V. Loiselle, an ichthyologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) New York Aquarium received the ultimate honor. After discovering a new species of freshwater fish in 2007 on the African island nation of Madagascar, a team of biologists named the new species of cichlid Ptychochromis loiselle in his honor.
Dr. Loiselle, curator of Freshwater Fishes at the New York Aquarium, Surf Avenue at West Eighth Street in Coney Island, has dedicated much of his career safeguarding Madagascar’s little known freshwater fishes. In fact, Loiselle has discovered 15 freshwater fishes during his 14 years of field work in Madagascar. He is considered one of the world’s experts on cichlids — a family of perch-like fishes comprising nearly 2,000 different species.
Loiselle joined the aquarium staff in 1988 as assistant curator. An internationally published author of numerous articles and books on the care and breeding of ornamental fishes, Dr. Loiselle did his doctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley. Over the past 20 years, Loiselle has coordinated the aquarium’s freshwater fish propagation program.
At WCS headquarters at the Bronx Zoo, visitors can see Ptychochromis loiselle at its Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit and at the zoo’s new Madagascar. exhibit. This species not only enhances the animal exhibits but serves to educate and inspire visitors about the great biodiversity of Madagascar’s wildlife, where WCS field biologists are on the ground working to save wildlife and their habitats.