Josh Hoekwater

Josh Hoekwater

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Ph.D. Student
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife



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  • M.S. - Environmental Science and Policy, Plymout State University, 2020
  • B.S. - Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, 2015


I am originally from Royal Oak, Michigan and became interested in Fisheries research as an undergraduate student at Central Michigan University while volunteering with graduate students on Beaver Island. After undergrad, I spent a few years working in various positions across the country with universities, governmental agencies, private, and tribal groups on projects related to salmon habitat and monitoring stream fish and invertebrate communities to assess ecosystem health. I then went on to get my M.S. at Plymouth State University (2020) where I monitored headwater stream responses to culvert removal and wood additions and explored drivers of Brook Trout growth, movement, and survival. Now, I am pursuing my PhD and studying the decline of Slimy Sculpin in the Great Lakes using a combination of field, laboratory, and modeling approaches.


My goal is to explain the historic variation and decline of slimy sculpin populations within the Great Lakes using historic trawl data and a suite of variables describing environmental variation, predation, invasive species competition, and food web changes. I will also use field and laboratory experiments to closely examine habitat competition between Round Goby and Slimy Sculpin. 


Schumann, DA, Graeb, KN, Wagner, MD, Graeb, BDS, Prenosil, E, Hoekwater, J. 2020. Suitability of Surgically Implanted 8-mm Passive Integrated Transponder Tags for Small-Bodied Fish. Journal of Applied Icthyology; 36: 682– 692.