B.S. (Marine Biology), Texas A&M University M.S. (Marine Science), College of William and Mary (VIMS) Ph. D. (Fisheries Ecology), University of Georgia E-mail
I am a broadly trained aquatic ecologist with a principal focus on the behavioral ecology of fishes. My recent research addresses migration strategies, search behavior, and habitat selection as mediated by chemical information. I am very active in the development of practical, scientifically-sound, and innovative management tools to control invasive species. I teach or have taught courses on Stream Ecology, Invasion Ecology, and Effective Scientific Presentation.
Courses Taught: Stream Ecology (advanced undergraduate) Principles and Perspectives in Fisheries and Wildlife (graduate) Invasion Ecology (graduate, special topics) Slideology - the visual theory of effective PowerPoint presentations in science (graduate seminar)
Dr. John Hume (post-doctoral associate)
B.Sc. (Zoology), University of Glasgow M.Sc. (Fish Development), University of Glasgow Ph. D. (Evolutionary Ecology), University of Glasgow E-mail
My research is directed towards understanding eco-evolutionary processes (e.g., ecological speciation), using lamprey species as model organisms in the United Kingdom and North America. I am also interested in the management of freshwater ecosystems, particularly the conservation of fishes.
Mikaela Hanson (M.S. student)
B.S. (Biochemistry and Biotechnology, emphasis in Chemistry), Minnesota State University Moorhead E-mail
I am investigating habituation prevention to a conspecific alarm cue (risk informing compound) in sea lamprey. I am captivated with chemical ecology and understanding the molecular mechanisms of behavior. My long-term career goal is to receive M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and to work in academia as a teacher and researcher.
Kandace Griffin (Ph.D. student)
B.S. (Biology), B.A. (Psychology), Converse College M.Sc. (Animal Behavior), University of Exeter E-mail
I am investigating how migrating sea lamprey use habitat features and chemical cues to avoid predators when moving through rivers. This information will allow us to create novel invasive species control methods based on manipulating and exploiting these movement tendencies. I am also interested in generating public interest and policy through education and outreach. I seek a career creating science-based policy and management strategies for fisheries management and species conservation.
I will be investigating natural mortality in juvenile sea lamprey as they migrate from their natal streams into the Great Lakes to commence parasitic feeding. I will examine diurnal and within-season out-migration rates and timing for newly transformed lamprey, and will test the hypotheses that survival is related to distance traveled and habitat type (rivers vs. drowned river mouth lakes). My work will make use of a new acoustic telemetry micro-transmitter designed for use in small eel-like fishes.
Emily Mensch (M.S. student, entering Fall 2019)
B.S. (Biological Sciences), Colorado State University E-mail
I want to use research to answer crucial questions associated with environmental change in aquatic environments, and help integrate research with management to allow policy-makers to find practical solutions to such problems. I will be working with chemists to identify the chemical structure of a natural repellent for the invasive sea lamprey (an alarm cue), and testing those compounds in the lab and field to discover the role of the odor in the life of this organism, and how to use it in invasive species control.
Recently left, but still working on papers ...
Gregory Byford (M.S.)
B.S. (Fisheries & Wildlife), Michigan State University Currently enrolled in the M.S. program (Fisheries & Wildlife) E-mail My research is directed towards understanding the chemical communication system used by sea lamprey within riverine environments and how it may be manipulated to alter their migratory routes to improve control strategies. I am also interested in the management of freshwater fisheries, particularly the conservation of large fishes. More on Greg here.
Katie Kierczynski (undergraduate researcher)
All the way from Gaylord, MI Currently enrolled in the M.S. program (Fisheries & Wildlife, MSU) E-mail I decided fisheries and wildlife was the major for me so I can help future generations experience the thrills I did when catching monster fish. My undergraduate research addresses larval sea lamprey detection and response to an alarm cue. When I finish my schooling, I hope to use science-based approaches to guide fisheries management.
Dr. Trevor Meckley (M.S. and Ph.D.)
Current Position: Knauss Fellow, SeaGrant, Washington D.C. E-mail
My research sought to reveal what strategies non-homing fishes (sea lamprey) use to navigate to coastlines, locate river plumes, and to assess the role conspecific odor cues play in migratory search behavior. This interdisciplinary project required a close collaboration with both hydrodynamic and animal movement modelers, and employed 3-D movement analysis via acoustic telemetry.
Dr. Thomas Luhring (post-doctoral associate)
Current Position: Post-doctoral fellow, University of Nebraska. E-mail I investigate how life-history affects the ecology and behavior of animals. While in the Wagner lab, I worked on projects to determine how sea lamprey respond to risk cues in rivers at different stages of their ontogeny (larvae, migrating semelparous spawners). Working with Mike gave me a wealth of experience in grant writing and played an important role in procuring a Population Biology Program of Excellence postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Nebraska.
Jason Bals (M.S.)
Current Position: Environmental Scientist and Project Manager, Trileaf Corporation E-mail
My research included the first comprehensive lab and field evaluation of the behavioral responses of migrating sea lamprey to a conspecific alarm cue. We discovered the cue is highly effective at altering upstream movement paths in rivers, causing migrants to switch sides of the channel to avoid a perceived predation event. The work led to two funded EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to apply this finding in sea lamprey control.
Gone, but we still Facebook ...
Carrie Kozel (undergraduate über-technician)
Carrie was instrumental in the running of our large-scale odor extraction operation (which means she handled a lot of dead lampreys) and a terrific presence in the field. She is now studying the ability of lake trout fry to replenish their thiamine levels through early feeding on Lake Champlain as a graduate student in Ellen Marsden's lab. Check her out here.
Mark Luehring (M.S. graduate)
Current Position: Inland Fisheries Biologist, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission
Mark was the first graduate student in the lab! He studied the search behavior of sexually mature female sea lampreys when seeking mates. Mark now surveys and models fish populations, and coordinates with state agencies to sustainably manage walleye fisheries of inland waters in the 1842 and 1837 ceded territories of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota for GLIFWC, a tribal fisheries and wildlife agency.
Adam Thomas (M.S. student)
Whereabouts unknown ...
Adam studied the responses of migrating and sexually-mature sea lampreys to a partial sex pheromone. In particular, Adam's work led to the discovery and testing of a novel management technique we term Reverse-Intercept Trapping.
Michigan State University Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife 480 Wilson Rd., Room 13 East Lansing, MI 48812