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6200 Bayshore Rd.
Oregon, OH 43616
Great Lakes Genetics Lab
Dr. Osvaldo Jhonatan Sepulveda Villet
Postdoctoral research associate at the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee WATER Institute
I received my B.S. in Aquacultural Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, and a M.S. in Biology from Central Michigan University. My previous academic research has included Nutritional efficiency on freshwater crustaceans, developmental biology of marine shrimp, and proteomic research. An aquatic enthusiast at heart, I joined the Lake Erie Center to focus on yellow perch and percid population genetics and stock assessments for the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie and its tributaries. My interests include genome to proteome databases/mapping, applied genomics, QTL determination in animal species of commercial relevance and aquacultural research. I completed my Ph.D. dissertation, "Population genetic structure and biogeographic patterns in the yellow perch Perca flavescens," in October 2011.
I enjoy most outdoors activities, including backpacking, canoeing, and Steelhead/Salmon flyfishing.
JoAnn Banda, M.S.
I have lived near Lake Erie most of my life and knew I wanted to play a role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. It was during my internship in the summer of 2006 at USGS in their Lake Erie Biological Station that I decided I wanted to work with freshwater fish. After receiving my B.S. from Bowling Green State University in Environmental Science, I started my M.S. in Biology with an ecological focus at the University of Toledo.
I began my research at UT as an undergraduate, as part of the NSF’s REU program, in the summer of 2007. I tested for genetically distinct spawning groups of Lake Erie walleye (Sander vitreus) to determine if the genetic composition of spawning runs is temporally and spatially consistent. I focused on sites in Lake Erie, and tested the Maumee River runs from 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, and 2006 to date. I extracted DNA from fin clip samples taken by government agencies for the past 13 years during their catch and release programs, amplifying DNA from highly variable nuclear microsatellite loci with the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), identifying the alleles, and comparing among spawning group locations and years.
Dr. Joshua Brown
My interests center on questions of adaptation and evolution, focusing on the evolution of invasiveness and plasticity, using aquatic organisms as model systems. To address these questions, I make use of molecular and ecological studies to identify and track changes in populations. I have recently become very interested in native fish and mussel conservation, and would like to examine the historical forces that drove their radiations. Finally, I am interested in examining the interface between evolution and religion, and in finding ways to educate lay audiences on evolutionary principles.
My research projects focused on the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Ponto-Caspian species suite that is invading the region. These include the zebra and quagga mussels and the round and tubenose gobies. I utilized mitochondrial and nuclear markers to elucidate populatioin relationships, and then testing for ecological differences between these populations.
Dr. Matthew Neilson
My research interests lie mainly around the evolution, biogeography, systematics and population genetics of marine fishes, although I have recently become interested with freshwater fishes as well. I have previously worked on the population genetics of an invasive species of Asian goby along the California coast. I am also interested in the use of computer models in both population genetics and fisheries biology.
The main focus of my dissertation research was the systematics of the neogobiin gobies, a small species flock of ~20-25 species of gobies endemic to the Ponto-Caspian region (Black and Caspian Seas) of Europe/Asia. The systematic relationships within this group are not very well known: many species in the group are morphologically similar, and are highly sympatric (4-7 species in a given area) within their native range. More importantly, however, is that a number of these species have invaded areas outside of their native range, due to anthropogenic sources such as man-made canals or transport in ballast water. The problem thus arises in determining the actual number of species invasions or rate of range expansion when the potential for cryptic invasion of a morphologically similar species is high. In addition, phylogenetic analysis species groups containing a large number of invasive/introduced species (such as the neogobiins) can shed light on the evolutionary origins of invasiveness, through examining the distribution of invasive taxa relative to non-invasive taxa within the phylogeny itself. My research utilized both morphological and molecular characters to describe the relationships among these species, as well as design morphological keys and molecular diagnostic tools in order to differentiate among these closely related taxa.
Former GLGL Research Technician
Current Education Program Manager
I received my B.S. in Biology from the University of Toledo in 2000. I then continued my education at U.T. and completed my thesis, titled Diversity, redundancy, and efficiency in microbial decomposition of Typha litter and M.S. in biology in 2002. After working as a technician at the Medical College of Ohio in a genetics laboratory for a year I joined Christine Mayer's benthic ecology lab at the University of Toledo's Lake Erie Center, where I worked on a benthic primary productivity project. I then joined Carol Stepien's Great Lakes Genetics Laboratory to work on the population genetic variation of walleye, using mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellites. I am currently working as the Education Program Manager at the Lake Erie Center. Through this position I oversee environmental education programs and facilitate educational outreach and I serve as the program manager on Dr. Stepien’s NSF funded GK-12 grant titled, “Graduate Teaching Fellows in STEM High School Education: An Environmental Science Learning Community at the Land-Lake Ecosystem Interface”.
Dr. Rex Meade Strange
Dr. Strange comments, "My research interests include the processes of anagenetic change and cladogenetic diversification within the North American freshwater fish fauna." Dr. Strange's primary mission in his two year postdoctoral study (2004-6) in the Great Lake Genetics Laboratory was to work with Dr. Stepien to investigate the phylogeographic structure of walleye (Sander vitreus) spawning groups in Lake Erie. This postdoctoral research was supported by Dr. Stepien's NOAA Sea Grant Project # RL/R 7 "Development and implementation of a high-resolution data base for fishery management: Walleye and yellow perch stock structure." Dr. Strange's postdoctoral study focused on population structure in Lake Erie walleye using ten microsatellite loci, and included all recognized native spawning populations in the Lake. The practical aspect of this study is that the analysis identified management units (stocks) of this commercially important species. It also identified certain spawning groups (e.g., Cattaraugus Creek, Huron River, Western Reefs, Smoke's Creek, and Grand River, Ontario) as distinctive within the Lake and worthy of conservation. A paper on this work was published in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2007 by Strange and Stepien, "Genetic divergence and connectivity among river and reef spawning populations of walleye (Sander vitreus) in Lake Erie". In addition, Dr. Strange co-authored a paper on smallmouth bass stock structure across the Great Lakes using eight microsatellite loci, by Stepien, Murphy, and Strange 2007 in Molecular Ecology, "Broad- to fine-scale population genetic patterning in the smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu across the Laurentian Great Lakes and beyond: An interplay of behavior and geography." Dr. Strange also authored another paper with Dr. Stepien as co-author, 2007 in U.S. Fishery Bulletin "Yellow (Perca ﬂavescens) and Eurasian (P. ﬂuviatilis) perch distinguished in fried ﬁsh samples by DNA analysis". After completing his postdoctoral study in the Great Lakes Genetics Lab, Dr. Strange began a full time position in fall 2006 as an assistant professor of developmental biology with the University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN, where he is teaching histology and other courses.