Current Lab Members

Emi Tucker, PhD Student

firefox During my undergraduate degree at Anderson University in Indiana, I studied the interaction between culture, ethics, and environmental stewardship. I took a few science classes just for fun during my senior year, and I quickly fell in love with scientific research and biology. After graduating with my B.A. in global studies, I did a post-baccalaureate science program at the University of Rochester before going to North Carolina State University for my master's degree in physiology. At NCSU, I studied the role of macrophages in luteolysis in the pig. It was not very "fishy," but this research gave me a solid biochemical and molecular background that I still use today. While I was getting my M.S., I volunteered with the vet school's Turtle Rescue Team, which sparked my interest and passion for aquatic animals and their habitats.

Currently, I am working on my PhD with Dr. Cory Suski (NRES) and Dr. Romana Nowak (Animal Science). My project focuses on using fish physiology and behavior to inform solutions to three human-induced problems: invasive species, climate change, and pollution. For example, I am investigating how invasive Asian carp at different points along the Illinois River differ in reproductive maturity and function using a variety of biochemical and histological techniques. I am also interested in how social interactions affect extreme environment avoidance (i.e. high CO2), and how environmental toxicants affect fish physiology and behavior.

When I am not working, I enjoy hiking with my mini dachshund, fishing, and watching documentaries that are narrated by David Attenborough.

Toniann Keiling, MS Student

firefox I majored in Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy at my undergraduate institution, Monmouth University in New Jersey. I completed an Honors thesis, which was later published, on carbon sequestration in mangrove sediments, but I knew that still wasn't my life-long field of study. However, after taking Ichthyology, I knew I wanted to study bony fish. After graduation, I interned at the American Littoral Society Marine Fish Tagging Program, which expanded my knowledge about anglers and how fishing affects communities. I was also a Flats Ecology and Conservation intern at the Cape Eleuthera Institute in The Bahamas, where I learned about the importance of bonefish in mangrove ecosystems. For a while after, I was an environmental activist at Citizens Campaign for the Environment on Long Island, New York, and later, I landed a fisheries technician job for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, where I interviewed anglers and collected data on their catch.

After all of those experiences, I ended up in Cory's lab as a Master's student in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. I am currently working on a project which explores largemouth bass vulnerability to angling based on behavior types and food availability. My specific question is, are bold or shy fish more likely to be caught in pond systems with and without the presence of forage species (fathead minnows in this case)?

Outside of the lab, I enjoy exploring prairies, reading under trees, and watching competitive cheerleading competitions.

Madison Philipp, Technician

firefox I have a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where I majored in marine biology with a certificate in science communication and leadership. My honors thesis focused on injury assessments in Pacific Sockeye Salmon as a predictor for fitness at the end of the migration. I have known since my junior year of high school that research, especially concerning the aquatic realm, was something that I wanted to pursue. I spent the fall semester of my junior year of high school at The Island School in Eleuthera, The Bahamas where I was a part of a project that looked at how reef type and Grouper density impacted the density of lionfish on the reefs. From there, I have been fortunate enough to be part of a few labs and been able to assist in a range of projects, allowing me to hone my skills and broaden my interests.

I graduated from Dalhousie University this past May, and am now currently working as a fisheries technician in Dr. Cory Suski's lab. The projects that I run and assist on pertain to the use of carbon dioxide as a non-physical barrier. We are looking into this as a way to limit/control the movement of invasive species, particularly Asian carp species, to try and keep them from entering the great lakes. We are working in conjunction with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, specifically the Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

When not working, I am an avid rock climber, hiker, and when there is enough snow, skier. I also love to bake, read, and drink beer at the local bars.

Michael Louison, PhD Student

firefox I earned my Bachelor's degree from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin in 2007 with a major in biology and a minor in educational studies. After three years of teaching high school science in Central Wisconsin I returned to graduate school and obtained my Master's degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in 2013. My M.S. work focused on habitat choice by young-of-the-year salmonids, particularly brown trout. More specifically I examined the suitability of very small first-order stream habitats for YOY trout, and what hydrological and habitat features were associated with greater or lesser densities throughout the year.

My current work here at the University of Illinois centers on the factors that predispose a fish to vulnerability to angling. I am currently am conducting a series of experiments aimed at determining correlates of angling vulnerability, with a focus on inter-individual differences in behavior and physiology (i.e. "personalities", which believe it or not individual fish have been shown to have!). I also am utilizing molecular and genetic methods in an effort to discover gene candidates which may predispose a fish to greater inherent catchability. The upshot of this research broadly is to determine the traits that may be under selective pressure in recreational fish species. Anglers in effect are a predator of game fish species and intense angling has the potential to evolutionarily change populations by removing fish with particular "catchable" traits. It is important that those traits are identified, since the loss of fish with those phenotypes from a population may have overall fitness consequences for that population.

In my spare time I enjoy kayaking around at a leisurely pace in small lakes and streams and dipping a line in the water. I am an avid football fan and will never miss a Green Bay Packers game, even in unfriendly territory here in Illinois.

Aaron Zolderdo, PhD Student



Lab Alumni

Name Thesis or Project Title Current Position
Dr. Caleb Hasler, Postdoc, 2017 Integrating physiology and behavior to prevent the spread of bigheaded carp. Assistant Professor, University of Winnipeg
Dr. Jennifer Jeffrey, Postdoc, 2017 Integrating physiology and behavior for conservation in aquatic ecosystems Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Winnipeg
Eric Schneider, MS, 2017 Influence of CO2 on fishes in flowing water environments: implications for a non-physical barrier to movement Researcher, Cape Eleuthera Institute, The Bahamas
Ian Bouyoucos, MS, 2016 Aerobic and anaerobic activity metabolism of an elasmobranch PhD Student, James Cook University, Australia
Kelly Hannan, MS, 2016 The physiological effects of elevated carbon dioxide, in the context of non-physical fish barriers, on Unionid mussels PhD Student, James Cook University, Australia
John Tix, MS, 2016 Impacts of carbon dioxide on freshwater fish behaviors Fisheries Biologist, United States Geological Survey, UMESC
Dr. Steve Midway, Postdoc, 2015 Impacts of carbon dioxide exposure for fishes in a flowing water environment Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University
Dr. Aaron Shultz, PhD, 2015 The responses of subtropical nearshore fishes to climate change Climage Change Biologist, GLIFWC
Dr. Michael Donaldson
Postdoc, 2014
Use of carbon dioxide as a deterrent to the movement of fishes Content Development Manager at Canadian Science Publishing
Greg King
MS, 2014
Nutritional condition and stress response of fishes along a gradient of habitat quality in the St. Lawrence River: physiological consequences of anthropogenic habitat degradation PhD Student, University of Illinois
Clark Dennis
MS, 2014
Impact of hypercarbia on juvenile fish physiology, behavior, performance and acclimation potential PhD student, University of Minnesota
Stephanie Liss
MS, 2013
Spatial and temporal influences on the physiological condition of invasive Silver Carp Researcher, Pacific Northwest National Laboatory
David Sutter
MS, 2013
Endocrine responses to reproduction and parental are in a teleost colonial breeder Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science, Humboldt University of Berlin
Zachary Zuckerman
MS, 2012
Life history tradeoffs in a parental-care prviding fish: the role of predation, and condition on brood abandonment in largemouth bass Fisheries Biologist, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Greggory Gaulke
MS, 2012
Impacts of hypoxia on Largemouth bass behavior, physiology and acclimation potential Fisheries/Aquatic Scientist, Environmental Consulting & Technology
Zachary Blevins
MS, 2012
Land use impacts on physiological properties of fishes. Sea Lamprey Research Program Associate, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Sean Landsman
MS, 2011
Improving catch-and-release strategies for muskellunge PhD Student, University of Prince Edward Island
Matthew VanLandeghem
MS, 2009
Impacts of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on largemouth bass - an integration of field and laboratory studies PhD Program, USGS Texas Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
Andrew Gingerich
MS, 2009
Influence of size and nutritional status on recovery from exercise in largemouth bass Biologist, Douglas County Public Utility District