Mark Kershner

Mark W. Kershner

Associate Professor
Contact Information


My research program combines theoretical and empirical investigations of lake community ecology, predator-prey interactions, and fish ecology.  My overriding interests lie in understanding the impact of spatial heterogeneity of biotic (e.g., prey availability) and abiotic (e.g., water temperature, disssolved oxygen) variables on individual organisms, population dynamics, and community structure and function.  More generally, I am interested in the impact of heterogeneous landscapes on population- and community-level interactions; modeling of freshwater ecosystems (particularly with regard to spatial relationships); and community- and ecosystem-level effects of exotic/introduced organisms at multiple spatial and temporal scales.  Current projects include research focused on 1) effects of shifting lake productivity on walleye-prey interactions in Lake Erie; 2) exploring the influence of biotic/abiotic variability on foraging by cruising piscivores (e.g., lake trout); 3) modeling the importance of spatial heterogeneity (relative to habitat type) for an ongoing crayfish invasion in north temperate lakes; and 4) investigating what factors influence sexual dimorphism/life history plasticity in fishes (walleye, in particular).

Courses Taught

  • Biological Diversity
  • Vertebrate Zoology
  • Ichthyology
  • Population & Community Ecologyy
  • Biological Statistics

Courses Teaching

Spring 2015

  • BSCI 10110 - 001 Biological Diversity
  • BSCI 40099 - 003 Senior Honors Thesis
  • BSCI 40556 - 001 Vertebrate Zoology
  • BSCI 40600 - 018 Writing In Biological Sciences
  • BSCI 50195 - 029 St : Advanced Community Ecology
  • BSCI 50556 - 001 Vertebrate Zoology
  • BSCI 60198 - 005 Research
  • BSCI 60299 - 005 Thesis II
  • BSCI 60391 - 001 Seminar In Ecology
  • BSCI 70195 - 029 St : Advanced Community Ecology
  • BSCI 70391 - 001 Seminar In Ecology

Summer 2015

  • BSCI 40195 - 042 St : Field Method In Ornithology
  • BSCI 50195 - 042 St : Field Methods In Ornitholo
  • BSCI 70195 - 042 St : Field Methods In Ornigholo

Fall 2015

  • BSCI 10110 - 008 Biological Diversity
  • BSCI 40195 - 005 St : Mammology
  • BSCI 40360 - 001 Ichthyology


1988 B.S. Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 1992 M.S. Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 1998 Ph.D. Zoology, The Ohio State University, 1999 Postdoctoral Research Associate. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Utah State University


Theoretical and empirical investigations of community ecology in aquatic, terrestrial and riparian ecosystems; crayfish ecology, Faculty Advisor


  • Kershner, M.W. and D.M. Lodge. 1990. Effect of substrate architecture on aquatic gastropod-substrate associations. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 9(4):319-326. Lodge, D.M., M.W.
  • Kershner, J.P. Aloi, and A.P. Covich. 1994. Effects of an omnivorous crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) on a freshwater littoral food web. Ecology 75(5):1265-1281.
  • Kershner, M.W. and D.M. Lodge. 1995. Effects of littoral habitat and fish predation on the distribution of an exotic crayfish, Orconectes rusticus. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 14(3):414-422.
  • Madenjian, C.P., J.T. Tyson, R.L. Knight, M.W. Kershner, and M.J. Hansen. 1996. First-year growth, recruitment, and maturity of walleye in western Lake Erie. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 125:821-830.
  • Kershner, M.W. and E.A. Marschall. 1998. Allocating sampling effort to equalize precision of electrofishing catch per unit effort. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18:822-831.
  • Kershner, M.W., D.M. Schael, R.L. Knight, R.A. Stein, and E.A. Marschall. 1999. Modeling sources of variation for growth and predatory demand of Lake Erie walleye, 1986-1995. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56(4):527-538.