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Fish and Wildlife Biology & Management
M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

Introduction

Study in this area provides students with advanced preparation in biological concepts of fish and wildlife populations as they relate to resource management. Increasing concern for these wild animal resources has been matched by strong student interest in educational programs that prepare them for careers in the fish and wildlife professions; ESF graduates are employed worldwide.

Graduate education is rapidly becoming a universal prerequisite to employment as a professional fisheries or wildlife biologist. A major strength is the diversity of cooperators including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Areas of research include population habitat relationships, predator ecology, fish behavior, wildlife in Adirondack ecosystems, urban wildlife relationships, endangered species studies, feeding ecology of fishes, stream ecology, Great Lakes fisheries, ecology of larval fishes and estuarine properties of Great Lakes wetlands.

ESF is a specialized unit within the SUNY system focused to natural resources and the environment. Perhaps nowhere in the world is there a larger grouping of ecologists dedicated to solving environmental problems through research, teaching and service. With a total enrollment of about 1,000 undergraduates and 600 graduate students, ESF's size creates an intimate College community. The low student/faculty ratio also allows for an active advisory system that provides personal attention and assistance for students. The proximity of the adjacent Syracuse University gives students the added resources of a large, comprehensive institution of higher education, including an array of courses, computer and library facilities, and sports and health services.

ESF's field stations are unmatched, and include the 6,000-hectare Huntington Forest and associated Adirondack Ecological Center, the Cranberry Lake Biological Station in the Adirondack Mountains and the Heiberg Forest south of Syracuse. Other field facilities are available on the St. Lawrence River, including the Thousand Islands Biological Station. These properties form a strong foundation for much of the coursework taken by undergraduate students and field research for graduate students. Undergraduates in Fish and Wildlife Science spend a summer taking classes at Cranberry Lake. Qualified undergraduates are encouraged to intern as field assistants with graduate students to gain direct experience with wildlife research.

Fish and wildlife programs at ESF date back to early studies of Adirondack fishes and work in the Yellowstone National Park. These efforts quickly expanded to include formation of the Roosevelt Wild Life Station in 1919. The Roosevelt Wildlife Museum also was established, and currently houses over 20,000 specimens of vertebrates that are an integral part of today's teaching and research programs. Today, the faculty in fish and wildlife supervise more than $3 million in sponsored research and about 60 graduate students. While much of the research occurs in New York State, international opportunities are available and recent studies have been conducted in Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Madagascar. Studies range from restoration of species, to adaptive management of wildlife in forest ecosystems and urban areas. Technology is often central to this research including extensive use of computer modeling, use of satellite imagery to evaluate habitat, and radio and GPS telemetry to study animal behavior and population dynamics.

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Certification

Graduates can receive certification from either The Wildlife Society or The American Fisheries Society. Information on the coursework required for certification can be found by following the links below.

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Faculty

  • John M. Farrell; jmfarrell@esf.edu
    riverine fish ecology, freshwater coastal wetlands, great lakes, fisheries science & management, aquatic ecology, wetlands restoration, st. lawrence river studies, invasive species, zooplankton ecology
  • Jacqueline Frair; jfrair@esf.edu
    wildlife ecology and management, ecology of large herbivores and predators, animal movements, resource selection, population demography, quantitative methods in conservation, landscape ecology
  • James Gibbs; jpgibbs@esf.edu
    herpetology, vertebrate conservation biology, genetics and ecology in birds, reptiles and amphibians, songbirds, giant tortoise, statistics, wildlife population monitoring, galapagos islands, conservation biology, ecological monitoring, population genetics, applied demography, undergraduate conservation education
  • Karin E. Limburg; klimburg@esf.edu
    riverine fish and estuarine ecology, fisheries ecology, watershed ecology, systems ecology, ecological economics, fisheries and ecosystem science, coupled human-natural systems, biogeochemistry, fisheries ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemical tracers, modeling
  • Mark V. Lomolino; island@esf.edu
    conservation biology, wildlife, ecology, evolution and biogeography
  • Stacy A. McNulty; smcnulty@esf.edu
    forest ecology, landscape ecology, long-term monitoring, and applied geographic information systems. focused on exploring long-term changes, biodiversity conservation in the northern forest, and impacts of recreation, development, and forest management in the adirondack mountains and northern forest, phenology, amphibians, beaver, songbirds, white-tailed deer, animal movements and habitat use, wildlife management
  • Neil H. Ringler; neilringler@esf.edu
    fish ecology and behavior, foraging behavior of fishes, salmon reproduction, vertebrate anatomy, aquatic insect ecology, stream ecology and management, aquatic and fisheries restoration, aquatic entomology
  • Sadie J. Ryan; sjryan@esf.edu
    disease and landscape ecology, wildlife conservation biology, public health, climate change
  • Kimberly L. Schulz; kschulz@syr.edu
    nutrient and exotic species effects on aquatic ecosystems, ecological stoichiometry, aquatic community and ecosystem ecology, bioenergetics, nutrient cycling, lower food web studies, great lakes, finger lakes, plankton, limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, invasive species
  • Donald Stewart; djstewart@esf.edu
    ecology and systematics, lake systems ecology, aquatic ecology, fish conservation, ecology and population biology in tropical and temperate systems, fish ecology and fisheries management, ecological energetics, modeling predation and production processes, Great Lakes ecosystems, Amazonian ecosystems, ecology and systematics of neotropical freshwater fishes
  • Brian Underwood; hbunderw@syr.edu
    wildlife ecology, deer, small mammals, songbirds, quantitative ecology and biostatistics, population surveys, ecological modeling and simulation, national park management, applied population analysis, life-history evolution, trophic dynamics, large mammal management
  • Christopher Whipps; cwhipps@esf.edu
    fish parasites and diseases, wildlife diseases, parasitology, microbiology, taxonomy, molecular systematics, diagnostics, parasites as biological tags and ecological indicators, epidemiology and control of pathogens of ecological and veterinary importance, evolution and biology of disease causing organisms in animal populations using molecular systematics

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Current Graduate Students in Fish and Wildlife Biology & Management

Current Students

Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Melissa AlthouseMelissa Althouse
maalthou@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Cohen

Benjiman AmosBenjiman Amos
bjamos@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Farrell
Undergraduate Institute: Pennsylvania State University - University Park

Graduate Research Topic
Spatial Scale and Natal Influence on Spawning Site Fidelity in Northern Pike: Investigation Using Microsatellite and Otolith Microchemistry Analysis

Favorite Quote
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” - The Lorax

Michelle AvisMichelle Avis
mlavis@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Cohen
Undergraduate Institute: Marietta College (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Flight Behavior of Breeding Piping Plovers: Implications for Risk of Collision with Turbines and Other Human Structures

John BatemanJohn Bateman
jabatema@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Farrell

Andrew BrainardAndrew Brainard
abrainar@syr.edu

EFB Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Schulz

Previous Graduate Study: West Chester University PA (Biology )

Elaina BurnsElaina Burns
ekburns@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Underwood
Undergraduate Institute: Nazareth College of Rochester (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Habitat selection and non-invasive abundance sampling of North American river otter in the Finger Lakes.

Carolyn ChangCarolyn Chang
ctchang@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Whipps

Amanda CheesemanAmanda Cheeseman
acheesem@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Cohen

Michael ConnertonMichael Connerton
mjconner@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Ringler

Previous Graduate Study: ( )

Graduate Research Topic
Wild reproduction of Chinook salmon in Lake Ontario and its tributaries.

Lindsay DenhoffLindsay Denhoff
ladenhof@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Shields and

Justin DiRadoJustin DiRado
jadirado@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Ringler

Maureen DurkinMaureen Durkin
mmdurkin@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Cohen
Undergraduate Institute: Connecticut College (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Effects of human-caused disturbance on Snowy Plover behavior, habitat selection, and reproductive success in the Florida Panhandle.

Thomas EvansThomas Evans
tevans03@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Limburg
Undergraduate Institute: Juniata College (Biology)

Previous Graduate Study: Ohio State University of Columbus (Ecology )

Joseph FoltaJoseph Folta
jefolta@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Underwood
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF (Wildlife Management)

Previous Graduate Study: North Car State University of Raleigh (Wildlife Management )

Rebecca FudaRebecca Fuda
rkfuda@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Ryan and Frair
Undergraduate Institute: Boston University

Personal Statement
My research interests lie at the human-wildlife interface in African landscapes. In particular, I am interested in investigating the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on wildlife populations as well as factors contributing to human-wildlife conflict and potential strategies for mitigation.

Graduate Research Topic
Response of large carnivores to human disturbance in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Home Page
beckyfuda.weebly.com

Matthew GundersonMatthew Gunderson
magunder@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kapuscinski
Undergraduate Institute: University of Wisc Stevens Point (Fishery Sciences)

Graduate Research Topic
Habitat preferences and seasonal succession of aquatic vegetation in the upper Niagara River

Theodore HermannTheodore Hermann
thermann@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Stewart
Undergraduate Institute: Cornell University (Earth Systems)

Personal Statement
Before coming to ESF, I worked in several laboratories at Cornell. The focus of the work was broad in scope, including ichthyology, limnology, stable isotope analysis and microbiology. My graduate work focuses on the catfish of the family Pimelodidae, particularly the giants of the genus Brachyplatystoma, which undertake spawning migrations of thousands of kilometers in the Amazon River. Using microelemental analysis of otoliths, I aim to determine phylogenetic patterns of migration within the family.

Graduate Research Topic
Determining patterns of migration within the Amazonian catfish family, Pimelodidae, using otolith microelemental data.

Robin HolevinskiRobin Holevinski
raholevi@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Frair

Previous Graduate Study: Cornell University (Natural Resources )

Graduate Research Topic
Dissertation title: “Foraging ecology of coyotes in NY State”

Kelly HuffmanKelly Huffman
khuffman@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Farrell and Whipps
Undergraduate Institute: Old Dominion University (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Northern pike: genetic and experimental study of sex ratio imbalance in the upper St. Lawrence River.

Favorite Quote
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --Mark Twain

Danielle HurleyDanielle Hurley
dmhurley@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Ringler

Alison KocekAlison Kocek
arkocek@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Cohen
Undergraduate Institute: University of Arizona (Ecology)


Web Link

Graduate Research Topic
Avian demographic response to salt marsh restoration, with emphasis on salt marsh breeding sparrows in coastal New York state.

Stewart LaPanStewart LaPan
sjlapan@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Gibbs and Farrell

Wendy LeuenbergerWendy Leuenberger
wleuenbe@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Parry

Andrew MacDuffAndrew MacDuff
ajmacduf@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Frair

Graduate Research Topic
Thesis title: “A non-harvest based assessment of river otter populations in NY State”

Joie MatillanoJoie Matillano
jdmatill@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Stewart
Undergraduate Institute: Western Phillippines Univ (Aquatic Biology)

Personal Statement
I am a Ph. D. student majoring in Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management at SUNY ESF in Syracuse, NY. I also worked with Dr. Donald Stewart’s lab for my MS Degree but before I came to ESF, I was a faculty member of the Aquatic Biology Program of Western Philippines University in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. My MS research focused on taxonomy and conservation of the minnow genus Puntius in northern Palawan, Philippines. Currently, my graduate research in ESF deals with fish community patterns in riverine and coastal ecosystems of Honda Bay Basin. My research aims to compare the species composition of fishes from rivers, estuaries, and coral reef areas in Honda Bay area in Palawan, Philippines. The main goal is to assess the connectivity of these ecosystems in terms of supporting the different life history stages of several commercially important species in Honda Bay. I hope that through the results of my study, sound management programs will be formulated and implemented to effectively delineate marine protected areas that will provide umbrella protection to the different ecosystems that support the Honda Bay area fish communities.

Graduate Research Topic
Riverine and Coastal Fish Community Patterns in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines

Homepage
Web Link

Andrew MianoAndrew Miano
ajmiano@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Farrell

Graduate Research Topic
How differences in spawning habitat influence Round Goby egg predation rates on Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike, and Muskellunge.

Favorite Quote
"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." - John Buchan

Sarah MountSarah Mount
sjmount@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Limburg

Christopher NackChristopher Nack
ccnack@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Limburg
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF (EFB)

Previous Graduate Study: SUNY-ESF (Fisheries Sci )

Harold NugentHarold Nugent
hjnugent@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Ringler

Amanda PachomskiAmanda Pachomski
alpachom@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): McNulty
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY Binghamton (Environmental Science)

Graduate Research Topic
Foraging ecology of rusty blackbirds in northern New Hampshire

Christopher PowersChristopher Powers
cdpowers@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Ringler

Terra RentzTerra Rentz
tarentz@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Frair

Errol ScheidErrol Scheid
ejscheid@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s):
Undergraduate Institute: Cornell University (Natural Sciences — O)

Graduate Research Topic
Lake sturgeon summer habitat use in the Erie Canal System

Ryan SmithRyan Smith
rgsmit05@syr.edu

Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Ringler

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