TIBS Research Crew


John M. Farrell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor | TIBS Director

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.

Nathan Allen Satre, M.Sc.
Senior Research Support Specialist | TIBS Lab Manager

John Paul Leblanc, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Current Graduate Students

Jessica Goretzke
M.S. Candidate

Ericka Augustyn
M.S. Candidate

Geofrey E. Eckerlin
Ph.D. Candidate

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.

Ben Amos
M.S. Candidate

Ben’s aquatic ecology career started with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from The Pennsylvania State University (2013).  His interests in the restoration and enhancement of native fishes lead him to graduate education at ESF with the opportunity to study large river ecology in the Thousand Islands. His research is focused on spawning habitat shifts in sport fish, notably northern pike, due to water level management on the St. Lawrence River.  Through trace element analysis of the otoliths (earstones) of spawning and juvenile fish, he hopes to determine how current water regulations are influencing spawning site selection.  He hopes his work will prove valuable in influencing future water regulation decisions.

Andrew Miano
M.S. Candidate

Andrew received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Connecticut College and is interested in the impacts from invasive species. His previous experience includes work as a research technician for the Marine Biological Laboratory studying Lake Trout and Arctic Grayling at the Toolik Lake Field Station, AK. At ESF his research focuses on how differences in spawning habitat influence Round Goby egg predation rates on Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike, and Muskellunge.

Mark Leopold
M.S. Candidate

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.

Kelly Huffman
M.S. Candidate (co-advised with Dr. Chris Whipps)

Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Old Dominion University.Her research is focused on the genetic and experimental study of sex ratio in the northern pike population of the upper St. Lawrence River. Her previous experience includes work with invasive plant species in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and sustainable agriculture practices in the United Kingdom and Czech Republic.

Faculty Collaborators

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)

Graduate Student Alumni

Derek Crane, PhD (completed 5/2013) Reproductive ecology of native predatory fishes and body condition responses to invasive round goby in the lower Great Lakes and connecting channels.

Christina Killourhy, MS (completed 5/2013) Predation on centrarchid nests in the St. Lawrence River following introduction of the round goby (Neostomus melanostomus).

Kat DeVilbiss, MS (completed 5/2013) Responses of esocid fishes to warming temperatures: laboratory experimentation on species metabolic rates.

Brian Henning, MS (completed 5/2012) Nearshore fish assemblage structure and habitat relationships in protected and open habitats in the upper St. Lawrence River.

Kevin L. Kapuscinski, PhD (completed 5/2011) Comparative ecology of muskellunge and nearshore fish assemblages in the Great Lakes.

Jarrod Hughes, MPS (completed 05/2009), Restoration, improvement and creation of critical life stage habitats of muskellunge, northern pike and walleye.

Katie L. Woodside, MS (completed 05/2009), 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 12/2008), Spawning habitat use by walleye (Sander vitreus) in tributaries of eastern Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River.

Brent Murry, PhD (completed 12/2006), Early life history and community structure of large river fishes.

Jason A. Toner, MS (completed 5/2006), Muskrat house abundance and cattail use in the upper St. Lawrence River: modeling the effects of water level regulation.

Tom Hughes, MPS (completed 12/2005), Managment of walleye in Eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Aaron D. Bosworth, MS (completed 8/2004), Northern pike spawning strategy in the upper St. Lawrence River: empirical evidence using microsatellite markers.

Molly Beland (Rippke), MS (completed 12/2003), 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 5/2003), Double crested cormorant predation on northern pike in the Eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River.


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