Current Projects

Monitoring the fauna of a restored coastal wetland

Ecology, evolution, and genomics of gars (Lepisosteidae), Bowfin (Amia calva) and other ancient fishes, with applications to biomedical sciences including understanding development of human diseases.

Ellis masters thesis: Variation in species diversity and trophic ecology of a restored Mississippi River floodplain fish community with a focus on gars (Lepisosteidae) [completed Spring 2021]

Fredrickson masters thesis: Using stable isotopes to compare seasonal and spatial variation in trophic position of the Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus in Louisiana floodplains [completed Spring 2020]

Fontana masters thesis: Growth and development of Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus spawned out of season [completed Spring 2020]

SPG - Spotted Gar adult & embryos SRD IB
Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) adult, embryos (inset).


Great Lakes Native Fishes Conservation – Restoration Ecology of Cisco/Lake Herring Coregonus artedi and deepwater ciscoes.

CoRE - GLSC Lab Coordination Header - All Hands Mtg
Lab-raised Cisco (Coregonus artedi) as part of common garden experiments for Great Lakes restoration science; USGS Great Lakes Science Center, 2016.

Great Lakes Migratory Fishes – Reemergence of Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis migrations in northern Lake Michigan tributaries

LWF 2013 1b
River-spawning Lake Whitefish collected from Menominee River, Fall 2012.

Great Lakes Migratory Fishes – Effects of dam removal and habitat restoration on migratory Northern Pike Esox lucius in northern Lake Michigan tributaries

SHEDD - NPProject - UWGB SRD big pike COVER 1
River-spawning Northern Pike from downstream Duck Creek, Spring 2013; with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay field team.

Ecology and conservation of peripheral populations of the Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus. See David et al. 2015, David and Wright 2017.

Common garden experiments comparing core and peripheral populations of Spotted Gars (Lepisosteus oculatus).
Field collection of adult Spotted Gars (Lepisosteus oculatus) for life history analyses.

Sustainable practices (fishmeal substitution, optimal stocking densities, water use) in aquaculture of air-breathing fishes (Tropical Gar Atractosteus tropicus and Cuban Gar A. tristoechus).

Young of year Cuban Gars (Atractosteus tristoechus) reared for sustainable feed in aquaculture experiments.
Juvenile Cuban Gars (Atractosteus tristoechus) ready for transport after first experimental trials.

1 thought on “Current Projects

  1. First off, love your research on all things Gar and also Pike. These happen to be my most favorite species to fish for. I am a solely a catch, photo, and release fishermen. The most over abundant river in Chicago with these two species is the Des Plaines River. Over populated with Pike in the northern cook and lake county stretches, and heavily populated with Gar south of the Brandon Lock and Dam. There are basically no Gar above the Brandon lock and dam, but heavily stacked up at the Brandon lock and dam. Too bad we can’t consider the Chicago river and Illinois waterway a tributary. I look foward to your continued research.

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