John Hume, Ph.D.

John Hume

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Assistant Professor - Research


PhD, Evolutionary Ecology, University of Glasgow, 2013.

MSci, Zoology, University of Glasgow, 2009.

Areas of Expertise:

Aquaculture; behavioral ecology; chemical ecology; evolutionary ecology; invasive species biology; trophic ecology.


My position is funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). The GLFC, together with other management agencies and Michigan State University, form the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM). Through PERM activities, I have conducted research to inform the sea lamprey control program delivered by the GLFC and their agency partners (US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 

Research Interests:

I am interested in the biology and management (conservation & control) of lampreys, a small group of fishes found in our streams, lakes, and oceans. Despite getting far less attention than ecologically similar salmonids, lampreys are and have always been a key part of freshwater and inshore marine systems: (i) they are important prey items for a range of taxa, including birds, mammals, reptiles, and fishes; (ii) their regular migrations to and from oceans and large lakes provide nutrient subsidies to the headwaters of rivers; and (iii) their spawning behavior helps maintain well sorted gravel patches which can be utilized by other aquatic organisms. Lampreys are also negatively impacted by the same factors facing other migratory fish species; particularly severe is the impact of habitat fragmentation caused by barriers in rivers. But pollution, climate change, and a few other issues are also severe stressors.

Lamprey management in general interests me as their conservation, and the control of sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes, can be seen as “two sides of the same coin”. Where lampreys are of conservation concern, we strive to maintain a positive public and legislative attitude towards them, so that we can fund their protection and punish those that violate those agreements. Here in the Great Lakes, where sea lamprey are the only invasive population of lamprey, control is only possible through continued political support to fund a largescale bi-national program and is possible only with the tolerance of the general public in regards to application of pesticides and maintenance of barriers. Therefore, research breakthroughs in one area often can be readily adapted to the benefit of another.

Select Publications:

Hume, J.B., Almeida, P.R., Buckley, C., Criger, L.A., Madenjian, C.P., Robinson, K.F., Wang, C. & Muir, A.M. (2021). Managing native and non-native sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) through anthropogenic change: a prospective assessment of key threats and uncertainties. Journal of Great Lakes Research 47(1): 704-722.

 Hume, J.B., Bracken, F.S.A., Mateus, C.S. & Brant, C.O. (2021). Synergizing basic and applied research approaches to help understand lamprey biology and support management actions. Journal of Great Lakes Research 47(1): 24-37.

Lucas, M.C., Hume, J.B., Almeida, P.R., Aronsuu, K., Habit, E., Silva, S., Wang, C. & Zampatti, B. (2021). Emerging conservation initiatives for lampreys: research challenges and opportunities. Journal of Great Lakes Research 47(1): 690-703.

Moser, M.L., Hume, J.B., Lampman, R., Aronsuu, K. & Jackson, A. (2019). Lamprey early life history: insights from artificial propagation. In: Docker, M.F. (ed) Lampreys: Biology, Conservation & Control Vol. 2. Springer Dordrecht pp 187-245.

Hume, J.B. & Wagner, C.M. (2018) A death in the family: sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) avoidance of confamilial alarm cues diminishes with phylogenetic distance. Ecology and Evolution 8(7): 3751-3762.

Hume, J.B., Recknagel, H., Bean, C.W., Adams, C.E. & Mable, B.K. (2018). RADseq and mate choice assays reveal unidirectional gene flow among three lamprey ecotypes despite weak assortative mating: insights into the formation and stability of multiple ecotypes in sympatry. Molecular Ecology 27(22): 4572-4590.