My interests revolve around the broad topic of aquatic ecology and management of aquatic resources. I am interested in understanding the structure and function of aquatic systems and applying that information to informed management applications. I have largely dedicated my research effort to investigate problems regarding the St. Lawrence River. This commitment involves important research on the effects of environmental change, both biotic and abiotic, and exploitation of fishery resources on a major north-temperate river ecosystem. My work on the St. Lawrence has focused on fish ecology and coastal wetland ecology. I have developed standardized monitoring databases of value in assessing nearshore and pelagic processes and fish population trends useful for assessing research needs and investigating change. My interest and concentration on fish and their habitats has led the program in many directions including early life history, population ecology, disease, species interactions, physiology and energetics, habitat restoration, and management.
Chris began at TIBS near the beginning of the 2010 field season. A recent transplant from central Appalachia, he has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Cornell University, with a concentration in biochemistry. After finishing his undergrad work, Chris traveled the world for a year and wound up in West Virginia where he completed an MS in biological sciences studying the intersex condition in Micropterus dolomieu of the upper Ohio River basin. Chris has also worked for the Department of Environmental Protection in West Virginia, as well as in partnership with the US EPA, USGS, and other agencies doing aquatic ecology work. His interests remain in this field, where he enjoys applying his background in biology, chemistry, molecular biology, and limnology to solving problems related to conservation and anthropogenic effects in aquatic systems. In his leisure time, Chris enjoys whitewater kayaking, hiking, SCUBA diving, and traveling, amongst other outdoor and adventure activities.
I am the project coordinator and research scientist for the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund (FEMRF) at TIBS. The goals of this project are to develop, implement, and evaluate tools necessary to enhance, maintain, and mitigate critical habitat of native fish stocks in the St. Lawrence River region with an emphasis on reproductive and rearing habitat of key sport fishes (northern pike, walleye, and muskellunge). My background in aquatic ecology began with a B.A. in Biology from Ithaca College which led to work as a technician in the Molluscan Fisheries Lab at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL. Next, and most recently I completed an M.S. in ecology from SUNY-ESF. My graduate work focused on the recovery of aquatic insects in a highly disturbed lake which stemmed from my general interest in restoration and management of aquatic communities and associated habitats. In my spare time, I enjoy SCUBA, any other activity that involves being in or around water, and playing softball.
Geofrey E. Eckerlin started working in aquatic ecology while earning an AAS at SUNY Morrisville in Aquaculture and Aquatic Science (1999). Afterward, Geof studied Natural Resources Management at Cornell University (2001) and graduated to conducting fisheries research on the Hudson River and Lake Ontario with Cornell University (United States Geological Survey Cooperative Fisheries Unit, Natural Resources and the Center for the Environment) and the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Projects Geof spearheaded include a biological impact assessment in the post-9/11 NY-Harbor and a functional assessment of the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) over the length of the Hudson River. At TIBS, Geof is focusing on the interplay of the invasive round goby -highly abundant and susceptible to the invasive viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv)- and the economically and socially important smallmouth bass population in the St. Lawrence. Smallmouth in the Great Lakes have discovered round goby as desirable food items and are thusly confronted with a tradeoff between an abundant protein source and risks incurred by high exposure to VHSv. This work is funded by New York Sea Grant and the Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration Program administered by the New York State DEC.
Derek received his Bachelor's degree from Lycoming College, PA and finished a Master's of Science at the University of Michigan. After graduating from the University of Michigan he worked as a fish biologist with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington D.C. At FERC he reviewed and evaluated fisheries related studies for federally licensed hydropower projects.
Derek’s desire to continue his education brought him to SUNY-ESF in the summer of 2009 to begin his Ph.D. His research at SUNY-ESF focuses on the restoration of critical spawning habitat for walleye, specifically how egg retention in the substrate is influenced by physical habitat features and egg adhesiveness. More specifically, he is investigating; 1) how substrate size and composition influence walleye egg retention under different flow regimes in a laboratory setting; 2) the influence of substrate embeddedness on walleye egg retention in tributaries that are subject to natural and agriculturally induced sedimentation; 3) how siltation of spawning substrates influences egg adhesiveness; 4) if constructed Newbury Riffles will increase the quality of walleye spawning habitat and egg retention rates. This research is funded by the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund.
Kat came to ESF & TIBS from Clemson University and spend summers fishing on the St. Lawrence as a kid - it in part inspired her to study fisheries. She is examining questions related to using metabolic physiology to assess habitat suitability and potential success of sympatric esocids. Four of five species in the family esocidae now reside in the upper St. Lawrence. Are there differences in oxygen consumption rates among the four species, northern pike, muskellunge, grass pickerel and the current invasion of chain pickerel? What implications do the differences bring, given climate and habitat changes? which species are best adapted to these changing conditions?
Do fish population gonadal properties (e.g sex ratio, fecundity, testis and sperm density) differ among populations with differing stressors and history of management? Mark Leopold is examining these questions by comparing gonadal demographics among four northern pike populations in Northern New York including the St. Lawrence River. Can complex reproductive feedbacks occur in response to exploitation history? All Mark's sampling occurred during pre-spawning using ice-fishing techniques; preliminary findings show marked differences in sex-ratio with female dominance occurring in some populations and a near 50:50 ratio in others.
Masters of Science student
Can habitat mediate the egg predation response for nesting centrarchids? Christina is examining the egg predation response of three sunfishes that occupy different habitat niches. Her method simulates angling by removing the guarding male off the nest and observing the predation response and collecting data on habitat and the predator community. She won the NY American Fisheries Society Best Student Paper Award and Best Student Paper Award for the Great Lakes Research Consortium in 2012 for her presentations.
|Donald J. Leopold||Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY-ESF (Wetlands)|
|Kimberly L. Schulz||Associate Professor, SUNY-ESF (Limnology)|
|Mark Teece||Associate Professor, SUNY-ESF (Chemistry)|
|James Gibbs||Associate Professor, SUNY-ESF (Conservation Biology)|
|Kevin L. Kapuscinski||Adjunct Professor, SUNY-ESF (Fish Ecology)|
|Greg Boyer||Professor of Biochemistry SUNY-ESF (Chemistry) and Director, Great Lakes Research Consortium|
|Myron Mitchell||Professor, SUNY-ESF (Biogeochemistry)|
Kevin L. Kapuscinski, PhD (completed 5/2011) Comparative ecology of muskellunge and nearshore fish assemblages in the Great Lakes.
Brian Henning, MS (completed 5/2012) Nearshore fish assemblage structure and habitat relationships in protected and open habitats in the upper St. Lawrence River.
Jarrod Hughes, MPS (completed 05/09), Restoration, improvement and creation of critical life stage habitats of muskellunge, northern pike and walleye.
Katie L. Woodside, MS (completed 05/09), Development and validation of a logistic regression model predicting young-of-the-year (YOY) muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) presence/absence on the basis of available habitat features in the upper St. Lawrence River. Resume
Brian Kelder, MS (completed 12/08), Spawning habitat use by walleye (Sander vitreus) in tributaries of eastern Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River.
Brent Murry, PhD (completed 12/06), Early life history and community structure of large river fishes.
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.
Aaron D. Bosworth, MS (completed 8/04), Northern pike spawning strategy in the upper St. Lawrence River: empirical evidence using microsatellite markers.
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.
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.