John Farrell

John M. Farrell
Associate Professor
Assoc Professor and Director, Thousand Island Bio Station

250 Illick Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-6990/315-686-4300


SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1998. Fisheries Science and Management, Aquatic Ecology, Wetlands Restoration, Invasive Species.


  • EFB 797 Aquatic Ecology and Management (1 credit) - A graduate level seminar on various topics designed to enhance students abilities in aquatic ecology and management in their areas of interest. Seminars have been held on to the process of publishing peer-reviewed literature with consideration of approach, experimental and study designs, statistical analyses, and interpretation and presentation of findings.
  • EFB 681 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration and Enhancement (2 credits) - The guiding principles for ecological restoration of freshwater aquatic ecosystems focusing on effects of nutrient loading, sedimentation, flow alteration, and habitat loss. Factors leading to loss of aquatic resources and the effectiveness of techniques to restore habitat and fauna are analyzed. Student presentation of a case study and field excursions to perturbed areas and recent restoration projects are required.
  • EFB 388 Ecology of Adirondack Fishes (3 credits) - co-taught with Dr. Neil Ringler - An introduction to field-based fish ecology and management of the Adirondack and St. Lawrence River regions. Extensive field based experience with various sampling procedures and fisheries investigation techniques. Classroom and laboratory experience on introduction to theory, concepts leading to individual projects regarding aspects of local/regional questions. Taught at the Cranberry Lake Biological Station with field excursions to the Salmon River and the Thousand Islands Biological Station

Current Graduate Advisees

Current Graduate Advisees

Benjiman AmosBenjiman Amos

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Farrell
  • Area of Study: EFB Fish & Wildlife Biology & Mgt
  • Undergraduate Institute: Pennsylvania State University - University Park (Fishery Sciences)

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

John BatemanJohn Bateman

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Farrell
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • Undergraduate Institute: SUNY College Brockport (Environmental Science)
  • Previous Graduate Study: SUNY College Brockport (Environmental Science)

Alison HalpernAlison Halpern

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Leopold and Farrell
  • Area of Study: Ecology
  • Undergraduate Institute: Indiana University of Bloomington* (ORGANISMAL BIO)
  • Previous Graduate Study: ( )

Kelly HuffmanKelly Huffman

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Farrell and Whipps
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • 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

Stewart LaPanStewart LaPan

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Gibbs and Farrell
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Andrew MianoAndrew Miano

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Farrell
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

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

Research Interests

My interests revolve around the broad topic of aquatic ecology and management of aquatic resources. I am interested in developing biological understanding to improve management and stewardship. Much of my research is focused on fish ecology, coastal wetland ecology and their application toward addressing environmental problems facing freshwater ecosystems.

Recent Publications

  • M. B. Rippke, M. T. Distler, and J. M. Farrell. Post-glacial vegetation dynamics of an upper St. Lawrence River coastal wetland: Paleoecological evidence for a recent historic increase in cattail (Typha). Wetlands 30(4):805-816.
  • Marty, J.E., M. R. Twiss, J. J. Ridal, Y. de Lafontaine, and J. M. Farrell. 2010. From the Great Lakes flows a Great River: Overview of the St. Lawrence River Ecology supplement. Hydrobiologia 647:1-5.
  • Farrell, J. M., K. T. Holeck, E. L. Mills, C. E. Hoffman, and V. J. Patil. 2010. Recent Ecological Trends in Lower Trophic Levels of the International Section of the St. Lawrence River: A Comparison of the 1970s to the 2000s. Hydrobiologia 647:21–33.
  • Farrell, J. M., B. A. Murry, D. J. Leopold, A. Halpern, M. Rippke, K. S. Godwin, and S. D. Hafner. Water-level regulation and coastal wetland vegetation in the upper St. Lawrence River: inferences from historical aerial imagery, seed banks, and Typha dynamics. Hydrobiologia 647:127–144.
  • J. Toner, J. M. Farrell, and J. V. Mead. 2010. Muskrat abundance responses to water-level regulation within freshwater coastal wetlands. Wetlands 30:211-219.
  • Kelder, B.F. amd J.M. Farrell. 2009. A spatially explicit model to predict walleye spawning in an eastern Lake Ontario tributary. North American Journal of Fisheries management 29: 1686-1697.
  • Farrell, J. M., C. Skov and A. P. Nilsson. 2008. Preface to an International Pike Symposium: Merging Knowledge of Ecology, Biology, and Management for a Circumpolar Species. Hydrobiologia 601:1-3.
  • Murry, B. A., J. M. Farrell, M. K. Schulz, and M. Teece. 2008. The effect of egg size and nutrient content on larval performance: implications to protracted spawning in northern pike (Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758). Hydrobiologia 601:71-82.
  • Cooper, J.E., J.V. Mead, J. M. Farrell, and R. G. Werner. 2008. Coexistence of pike (Esox lucius) and muskellunge (E.masquinongy) during early life and the implications of habitat change. Hydrobiologia 601:41-53.
  • Nilsson, C. Skov, and J. M. Farrell. 2008. Current and future directions for pike ecology and management: a summary and synthesis. Hydrobiologia 601:137-141.
  • Farrell, J. M., R. M. Klindt, J. M. Casselman, S. R. LaPan, R. G. Werner, and A. Schiavone. 2007. Development, implementation, and evaluation of an international muskellunge management strategy for the upper St. Lawrence River. Environmental Biology of Fishes 79:111-123.
  • Murry, B. A., and J. M. Farrell. 2007. Quantification of native muskellunge nursery: influence of body size, fish community composition, and vegetation structure. Environmental Biology of Fishes 79:37-47.
  • Smith, B. V., J. M. Farrell, H. B. Underwood, and S. Smith. 2007. Year class strength of St. Lawrence River northern pike. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 27:481-491.
  • Farrell, J. M., J. V. Mead, and B. A. Murry. 2006. Protracted spawning of St. Lawrence River northern pike (Esox lucius): simulated effects on survival, growth, and production. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 15:169-179.
  • Bosworth, A., and J. M. Farrell. 2006. Genetic divergence among northern pike from spawning locations in the Upper St. Lawrence River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:676-684.
  • Murry, B. A., J. M. Farrell, P. Smyntek, and M. Teece. 2006. Effect of lipid extraction on the interpretation of fish community trophic relationships determined by stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63:2167-2172.

Post Graduate Students

  • Jarrod Hughes, MS (began 1/08), Restoration of critical reproductive habitat for walleye.
  • Alison Halpern, PhD (in progress), co-advised with Dr. Donald Leopold. Effects of hydrologic management and introduced European Frog's-Bit (Hydrocharis morsus ranae) on coastal wetland vegetation communities. (currently Executive secretary of the WA State Noxious Weed Control Board)
  • Katie Woodside, MS (completed 5/09), Development and application of models predicting young of the year muskellunge presence and abundance
  • Brian Kelder, MS (completed 5/08) Walleye spawning site selection in a Lake Ontario tributary: A predictive tool to guide management (currently a Fisheries Scientist through the Environmental Defense Fund Puleston Fellow at the Seatuck Environmental Association)
  • Brent Murry, PhD (completed 12/06), Early life history and community structure of large river fishes. (Currently Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Central Michigan University)
  • Jason A. Toner, MS (completed 5/06), Muskrat house abundance and cattail use in the upper St. Lawrence River: modeling the effects of water level regulation. (currently an Environmental Science teacher at Nottingham High in Syracuse)
  • Thomas Hughes, MPS (completed 5/06), Walleye populations in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. (currently employed as a Natural Resources Biologist with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation)
  • Aaron D. Bosworth, MS (completed 8/04), Northern pike spawning strategy in the upper St. Lawrence River: empirical evidence using microsatellite markers. (currently Regional Fisheries Manager with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
  • Molly Beland (Rippke), MS (completed 12/03), Holocene vegetation dynamics of an upper St. Lawrence River coastal wetland and surrounding uplands: effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. (currently Biologist with Michigan Department of Environmental Protection)
  • Molly A. Connerton, MS (completed 5/03), Double crested cormorant predation on northern pike in the Eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River. (Currently Biologist with the US Army Corp of Engineers)


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