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Jared Bilak

bilak, jared


Advisor:  Dr. James Garvey

Research Interest 

Common mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus) are large aquatic salamanders native to the Great Lakes region and were listed as threatened in Illinois in 2010.  I am funded by the Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research and am studying the natural history of mudpuppies. My specific objectives are to: (1) Assess individual movements, home range sizes, and habitat selection in response to seasonal changes in water temperatures; (2) Estimate population size, sex ratios, temperature dependent catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), and seasonal diet shifts; and (3) Determine the physiological mechanisms underlying seasonal activity patterns, particularly increased activities during the coldest months. My study will help inform the conservation and management of mudpuppies throughout the Great Lakes region.