Graduate Research Areas

Within the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife you will find faculty with diverse research interests. The focus areas below can serve as a guide for finding faculty with similar interests, but are not intended to be a complete list of the department's expertise. 

Research areas within the graduate program include: 


Wildlife Ecology and Management

Faculty Specializing in this area

General Description: emphasis on biological considerations in the management of upland and wetland ecosystems or wildlife species to meet a variety of human demands from biodiversity and endangered species management to management of game species

Sample Coursework:

Wildlife Biology and Management

Wildlife Nutrition

Population and Community Ecology

Population Analysis and Quantitative Methods

Examples of Research Areas:

Wildlife - habitat interactions

Population dynamics and modeling

Environmental or biological issues that affect wildlife in upland or wetland ecosystems

Wildlife biometry and population estimation and sampling

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Fisheries Ecology and Management

Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: emphasis on factors influencing the productivity and dynamics of fish populations, fish communities, and fisheries to enhance management of these resources; quantitative fisheries science, particularly stock assessment; habitat, population and community modeling; and risk assessment and adaptive management

Sample Coursework:

Fish Population Dynamics

Fish Habitat Management

Aquatic Food Web Management

Simulation Modeling

Risk Assessment and Adaptive Management

Examples of Research Areas:

Evaluations of the effectiveness of various management techniques (e.g., habitat manipulation, stocking) for protecting, rehabilitating, and enhancing fish populations and fisheries

Investigations of the relationship between the habitat needs of fish populations and their productivity

Environmental determinants of fish recruitment

Links among food web interactions, fish recruitment and fish production

Development and utilization of dynamic fish population and community models

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Aquatic Ecology and Management

 Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: fish culture research and training programs including domestic and international projects emphasizing cold, cool, and warm water fishes; academic programs are tied closely to state, regional, federal, and international partners including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, and state and federal hatchery systems

Sample Coursework:

Aquaculture and Limnology

Food Science and Nutrition





Examples of Research Areas:

Nutritional requirements and culture techniques for cool water fishes

Diet development using locally available feedstuffs

Larval rearing

Polyploidy induction techniques

Aquaculture water quality and waste control

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Landscape Limnology

Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: biological, chemical and ecological features of freshwater ecosystems, including lakes, reservoirs, streams, rivers, and wetlands; basic and applied freshwater ecology, emphasizing the intimate connection between limnology and resource management

Sample Coursework:

Limnology and Stream Ecology

Aquatic Entomology

Plankton Biology

Wetland Plants and Algae

Fisheries Ecology and Food-web Management

Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing

Examples of Research Areas:

Food-web interactions

Landscape ecology of aquatic ecosystems

Exotic species ecology and management

Water quality and biomonitoring

Non-point source land-use modeling

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Ecological Sustainability and Landscape Ecology

Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: emphasizes application of ecological and evolutionary theory and principles of fisheries and wildlife management related to the conservation of species, habitat, and genetic diversity

Sample Coursework:

Conservation Biology and Genetics

Fisheries/Wildlife Management

Population Analysis and Management

Geographic Information Systems

Population and Community Ecology

Examples of Research Areas:

Evaluation of human impacts on the diversity and viability of wild populations

Landscape-level analysis and modeling of habitat quality and quantity on fisheries and wildlife populations

Identification of management units and evolutionarily significant units of conservation concern

Evaluation of the effects of non-native species on populations and ecosystems

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Human Dimensions and Policy

 Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: human attitudes and behavior, conflict resolution among user groups, communication or education tools, economic impacts, interaction with policymakers

Sample Coursework:

Social Science Survey Research Techniques

Qualitative Research Methods

Environmental Law and Policy

Education Program Design and Evaluation

Environmental Sociology

Environmental Attitudes and Movements

Examples of Research Areas:

Outcomes of fisheries co-management policy in developing countries

Angling/hunting recruitment/retention

Effectiveness of environmental education and outreach

Analysis of public perceptions associated with emerging fisheries or wildlife issues

Investigations of the dynamics of wildlife recreational choice behaviors

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Ecological Genetics and Physiology

 Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: emphasis on theory and application of modern molecular, biochemical, and electrophysiological technologies and statistical methods of analysis to examine basic and applied issues in organismal ecology, behavior, environmental adaptability, toxicology, and evolutionary history.

Sample Coursework:

Conservation Genetics and Population Genetics

Population and Community Ecology

Molecular Biology


Environmental Physiology

Examples of Research Areas:

Chemoreception of fishes

Physiological and genetic factors in fish migratory and sexual behavior

Field and experimental approaches in behavioral ecology including defining genealogical relationships, mate selection, reproductive success, maternity and paternity

Studies of spatial population genetic structure and systematics

Molecular markers in conservation and management of vertebrate populations

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Biometry and Ecological Modeling

Faculty Specializing in this Area

General Description: emphasis on development and application of quantitative tools for estimation, hypothesis testing, and simulation, as applied to fisheries and wildlife problems. This departmental program is complimented by a strong inter-disciplinary university-wide quantitative analysis group.

Sample Coursework:

Systems Modeling

Population Analysis

Statistical Theory and Methods

Risk Assessment and Decision Analysis

GIS and Remote Sensing


Examples of Research Areas:

Simulation modeling of wildlife-habitat relationships

Fish stock assessment methods and application

Adaptive management and decision analysis theory and applications

Metapopulation analysis and simulation

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