Welcome to the website of Dr. Gayle Zydlewski's lab

Lab Theme & Vision

Conservation Biology of Fishes

Seeking to understand the impacts of environmental conditions on fish behavior, physiology, and their relationship with population dynamics. This includes incorporating effects of various components of the ecosystems (prey presence, interspecific interactions, and water chemistry) on fish behavior and population dynamics.
Results from these research topics are useful for natural resource managers making decisions associated with environmental impacts on natural (or artificially-enhanced) populations of fishes.
Projects are implemented by Dr. Zydlewski, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, High School students.

Current Projects

  • Presence and distribution of Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon in the Penobscot River and Gulf of Maine
  • Application of modern acoustic technology and spatial analyses to estimate densities of aggregating sturgeon
  • Assessing the impacts of tidal turbines on fishes using acoustic techniques
  • Documenting spawning of shortnose sturgeon in the Penobscot River
  • Hydroacoustic documentation of diadromous fish migrating in the lower Penobscot River


  • SMS 322: Biology of Marine Vertebrates
  • SMS 550: Fisheries Oceanography
  • SMS 491/598: Marine Renewable Energy: Enginneering, Oceanography, Biology, and Human Dimensions


  • Marine Biology Program Graduate Coordinator
  • The Maine Ocean School Board of Trustees
  • Maine Agricultural & Forest Experiment Station Research Council
  • Mandela Washington Fellows Public Management Institute at the University of Maine
We study fish from cellular function and hormonal control of behavior to population-level responses to human-induced changes to their ecosystems.For example, this Atlantic Sturgeon was captured in the Penobscot River and has been tracked using a sonic tag. Some of our tagged Atlantic Sturgeon have been detected as far away as Halifax Nova Scotia and New York! See Altenritter et al. 2017 for more details!