Two upcoming thesis presentations will feature research conducted in northeastern WI that will help with the management of two very different, but ecologically and economically important, aquatic species in our state. Defense presentations are free and students, faculty, staff, and the public, are invited to attend.

On Friday, 28 August, David Lawrence will discuss his research on the productivity, morphology, and migration of larval Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) as they move out of the Menominee and Oconto Rivers. Understanding the movement and productivity of young fish will help us to better understand and maintain sustainable populations of this species. The thesis talk will be at 10 am in Room 137 of Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. Dave’s research was funded in part by an NAS Heirloom Grant. His thesis advisory committee includes Dr. Patrick Forsythe (advisor),  Dr. Kevin Fermanich, and Robert Elliott & Michael Donofrio from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Nets used to capture migrating larval Lake Sturgeon in the Oconto River.

Nets that Dave used to capture migrating larval Lake Sturgeon in the Oconto River.

The following Friday, on 4 September, Matt Peter will discuss his research on Common Reed (Phragmites australis). Both native and exotic varieties (genotypes) of this species co-occur in Wisconsin and there is much interest in how native and exotic species impact wetland plant communities. He compared the ecological states, restoration potential, and morphological and molecular genotyping between native and exotic varieties of the plant. His study areas included three sites in Door County, WI managed by The Nature Conservancy: Shivering Sands Preserve, Kangaroo Lake, and Mink River Preserve.  Matt’s research, which was funded in part by the Nature Conservancy and a UWGB Cofrin Grant, will help land managers as they attempt to conserve and restore wetlands that have been invaded by the non-native variety. His thesis advisory committee includes Dr. Mathew Dornbush (advisor), Dr. Patrick Robinson, and Mike Grimm &and Kari Hagenow from the Nature Conservancy.

Matt's kayak sits in a stand of Phragmites australis at Shivering Sands Preserve in Door Co., WI

Matt’s kayak sits in a stand of Phragmites australis at Shivering Sands Preserve in Door Co., WI.