Current Lab Members

Dr. Jennifer Jeffrey, Post-Doctoral Research Associate


I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences and earned my Doctorate in Biology from the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada. My broad research interests surround the physiological responses of organisms to stressors. I am interested in assessing how responses to stressors are impacted by behaviour, life-history stages, as well as environmental changes, at the whole-animal, cellular, and molecular level.

The focus of my Ph.D. work was to evaluate how social status, maternal stress, and parental care affect modulation of the stress axis in fish. During my Ph.D. work I used both behavioural and molecular techniques to evaluate regulation of the stress axis. My work provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with other labs at Carleton University, the University of Waterloo, and travel as far as Paisley Scotland to the University of the West of Scotland.

I joined the Suski lab in 2014 after completing my doctorate and my research thus far has focused on evaluating the non-target impacts of a carbon dioxide barrier on freshwater mussels. More specifically, my research focuses on evaluating the physiological responses of both juvenile and adult mussels to elevated carbon dioxide, coupled with other environmental stressors (e.g., temperature).

Eric Schneider, MS Student

firefox I graduated from Gettysburg College in 2012 with a BS in biology. Following undergrad, I worked at a field station in The Bahamas (Cape Eleuthera Institute) where I was involved with several aquaculture/aquaponics projects and conducted research on climate change and its effects on near-shore fish performance. I joined Dr. Suski's lab in July 2015 to begin my thesis research.

In Illinois, my research investigates the behavioral and performance responses that freshwater fish exhibit when exposed to elevated CO2 in flowing water. We are assessing the use of carbon dioxide as a barrier to fish movement, specifically as it applies to preventing Asian carp from moving from the Illinois River into Lake Michigan.

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.

Dr. Caleb Hasler, Post-Doctoral Research Associate

firefox I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Geographic Information Management Studies and a Master of Science degree in Biology from Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. I earned my Doctorate in Biology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. My Ph.D. focused on understanding Pacific salmon migration through a small regulated river using a variety of tools including telemetry, modelling, and physiological sampling. Prior to joining the Suski Lab, I worked as a research scientist/biologist for a national consulting company where I completed scientific studies, environmental impact studies, and reviews; and was a Sessional Lecturer at Carleton University where I taught an upper year course on Aquatic Conservation.

At the University of Illinois my research focuses on understanding the effects of elevated carbon dioxide in freshwater systems on fish and mussels. The research aims to understand behavioural and physiological changes that may occur because of the use of non-physical barriers to deter fish movement (namely Silver and Bighead Carp). In addition, my research will also be used to understand potential biological effects of projected rises in freshwater carbons dioxide caused by climate change.

Broadly, my research interests are animal movement and specifically using telemetry as a tool and, ecological physiology. I tend to focus on understanding the impacts of altered habits (e.g., land development, hydropower, renewable energy, climate change) on animal biology. I have worked on fish, bats, and turtles; and am proficient in GIS as a tool for ecological research. For a complete list of my publications see:

Lab Alumni

Name Thesis or Project Title Current Position
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