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Jessica Kosiara


Reserach Technician

I recently graduated this spring from Lake Superior State University with a B.S. in Biology. My undergraduate advisor at Lake State was a former student from the Lamberti lab. Through this connection, I got involved with some of the research Dave Janetski was working on with Pacific salmon in Great Lakes tributaries. This work allowed me to complete a thesis project examining the effects that these non-native fish have on biofilm in Great Lakes tributaries. Spawning salmon are known to have dual impacts on biofilm as they

provide a resource subsidy but also disturb the sediments biofilm grow on.  We used an exclosure experiment utilizing artificial substrates for algal colonization in stream reaches receiving salmon runs. Our experimental design allowed us to determine that spawning Pacific activities lead to decreased benthic algal abundance in this system.

The connections I made with the Lamberti lab during my undergraduate work got my foot in the door and played a role in hiring me on for my current position.

I am a research technician brought on by Matt Cooper to work on a Great Lakes coastal monitoring project involving crews across the Great Lakes (including Canada). This project is EPA funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This is a 5 year, $10million project. Between all of the crews involved we will have sampled over 1000 sites by the end of the 5 years. The data collected in this project will hopefully be used to inform future protection or restoration efforts of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

SamplingAt each site we collect invertebrates to be identified back in the lab. We also sample fish at these sites using fyke nets that must sit overnight. There are also additional crews that sample amphibians, birds and plants. My role in this project is to lead the Notre Dame crew in the field and manage the data entry, invertebrate identification as well as the undergraduates working with us.

This year we sampled sites on northern Lakes Huron and Michigan and on the south shore of Lake Superior and were able to enjoy some incredible sites. This has been a great learning experience for the students that worked with us this summer and opportunities will likely be available to students through the remainder of the project.






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