Dr. Eric Thomas started keeping fish in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when he was about 8 years old. With his older brother Bill, Eric kept and bred mouth-brooding cichlids (Geophagus and several Lake Malawi mbuna species), along with Steatocraneus casuarius… and convicts (who doesn’t start with convicts?). Eric and Bill were members of the now-defunct Tri-City Aquarium Society of Southern California. In college, Eric studied captive husbandry of vertebrates; with his mentor Professor Rudolfo Ruibal at UC Riverside, in 1978 Eric was the first person to breed the Budgett’s frog Lepidobatrachus laevis in captivity. In Dr. Ruibal’s lab, Eric learned about and began studying skin glands and their function. Eric went on to earn a Ph.D. under Dr. Paul Licht at UC Berkeley, studying reproductive endocrinology and the influence of sex hormones on frog skin glands. Currently, Eric is an associate professor of Biology, co-chair and director of graduate studies for the Biological Sciences Department at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Eric’s research is split between reproductive pheromone production in frogs and self-poisoning in Corydoras catfishes. At home, Eric’s interests are keeping and breeding catfish, primarily Corydoras and Loricariids. Between home and work, Eric runs up to 27 aquaria and currently has over 40 species of catfish. Socially, Eric operates a YouTube Channel (Bekateen) and FaceBook page (Bekateen’s FishRoom) for sharing his knowledge and experiences with fellow fish keepers; he is also the program coordinator for the Sacramento Aquarium Society and a moderator on PlanetCatfish.com.
Free and open to the public.
Meeting Time: Thursday, Month, Day 2020 at 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
La Quinta Inn & Suites
5120 Victory Dr.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46203