Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Sport Fish Ecology Lab

Dr. Jeffrey A. Stein

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Our research lab is focused on the study of basic and applied ecology of freshwater and marine fisheries to understand linkages between life history and exploitation of fish populations by human activities. We use manipulative experiments, field studies, and long-term data sets in combination to explore the roles humans play in driving variation in fish populations. Our interests span a variety of species and systems, providing a broad spectrum of perspectives. Fundamentally, we seek to explore how human activities can impact the reproductive ecology and behavior of fishes, ultimately translating findings into meaningful and effective conservation actions.


Prospective Students

I encourage students interested in joining our research lab to contact me directly ( Our research spans a wide array of subject areas, offering students with various levels of experience to contribute to our work.  Students interested in graduate opportunities should provide a CV, unofficial transcript, and unofficial GRE scores regardless of whether you have a specific project in mind.

Undergraduates seeking to gain research experience can also contact me to discuss the many options we have in our lab for gaining both field and laboratory experience.

I encourage all prospective students to review our current and past projects, our lab member profiles, and our list of publications to identify areas of mutual research interest.

Prospective Interns

Each field season, our lab provides internships to undergraduate students to gain valuable experience in fisheries field ecology. Through our collaboration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Fisheries, we place students side by side with professional fisheries managers to assist with extensive field sampling of fish populations throughout Illinois. Our interns gain valuable, real-world experience in fisheries ecology and are an important part of many of the fisheries research and management activities throughout the state of Illinois.

If you're interested in learning more about becoming an intern for our Lab, please contact Sarah King at

Our Funding


A large portion of our lab funding comes from Federal Aid. For a look at our Federal Aid projects, download a PDF copy of Sport Fish Research in Illinois: A look inside Sport Fish Restoration Fund Project F-69-R.

Additionally, we have other projects within our lab that are funded by smaller grants, including those provided by the University of Illinois Campus Research Board and the Great Lake Restoration Initiative.

Illinois Natural History Survey

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Champaign, IL 61820

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