Alex Maguffee

Alex Maguffee

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Research Assistant - QFC
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife



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  • B.S. - Wildlife Biology, University of Michigan-Flint, 2013
  • M.S. - Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 2017


I attended the University of Michigan-Flint during my time as an undergraduate. There, I was involved in two very different research projects.

The first project, which I assisted with under the supervision of Dr. Heather Dawson at UM-Flint, involved determining the viability of using Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags to study sea lamprey larvae less than 120mm in length. 9mm as well as slim 8mm tags were surgically implanted into larvae collected from Silver Creek near Tawas, MI. Larval survivability, tag detectability, and changes to behavior were analyzed. I was involved in an experiment examining changes to behavior, by examining the differences between tagged and untagged larvae while burrowing. It was determined that currently available tags are not suitable for use on lamprey larvae of this size.

The other project I was involved in was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Greg Rybarczyk at UM-Flint. Two different modeling approaches were compared to analyze crime rates in Flint, MI. Potential crime predictors, such as data involving public health, social capital, and environmental stressors, were considered. The two models were an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, and a geographically weighted regression (GWR), both conducted in ArcGIS. Due to its ability to account for spatial autocorrelation, the GWR model provided a closer fit between crime rates and the predictor variables. Therefore, it was concluded that GWR models should be under close consideration when modeling local crime rates.


Current research involves the use of otolith microchemistry on Chinook salmon in the Great Lakes. The goal is to determine to what degree the population of salmon in Lake Huron contribute to the population of salmon in Lake Michigan. Data collection will involve determining the presence of trace elements, and comparing them between regions and age classes. A model will be developed based on this data, which will be collected over two years. The model will help determine the feasibility of using otolith chemistry to ascertain a salmon’s natal origins in the Great Lakes.


Rybarczyk, G., Maguffee, A.C., and Kruger, D.J. Linking public health, social capital, and environmental stress to crime using a spatially dependent model. Cityscape: A Journal of policy development and Research (Submitted for review).

Dawson, H.A., Potts, D.D., Maguffee, A.C., and O’Connor, L.M. Feasibility of using Passive Integrated Transponder technology to study movements of larval sea lamprey. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management (Under review).