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.

Qihong Dai, PhD Student

firefox I spent a lot of time fishing around Lake Taihu in China with my dad when I was a child, which inspired me with interests in aquatic organisms and the environment. In 2016, I completed my undergraduate degree with honors from Nanjing Agricultural University, China, with a major in Aquatic Culture. Then I entered University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as a Masters student, with a major in Conservation Ecology. During my Masters, I worked in the USGS Great Lakes Science Center for my project, which focused on prey fish species in the Great Lakes, specifically, energy content of rainbow smelt in Lakes Huron and Erie. After field sampling on research vessels and processing over 2000 rainbow smelt in the lab, I was able to tell the sex of rainbow smelt simply by touching their belly.

After finishing my Masters program in 2018, I came to Dr. Cory Suski's lab to work on my PhD degree in PEEC. My research interests lie in how environment changes by anthropogenic activities can influence population and performance of fishes. For example, how water temperature and landcover changes through agriculture activities can reconstruct the population and distribution of common fish species.

During my spare time, I enjoy bass, catfish and carp fishing and always desire to create my new personal best record. I also like basketball and watch basketball almost every day during basketball season, including NBA, NCAA and other FIBA matches.

Aaron Zolderdo, PhD Student

Lab Alumni

Name Thesis or Project Title Current Position
Dr. Michael Louison, PhD, 2018 Physiological and behavioral drivers of angling vulnerability in a freshwater sportfish. Assistant Professor, McKendree University
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 Manitoba
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, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
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