James Diana

Professor; Director of Michigan Sea Grant


PhD, University of Alberta (zoology)

MA, California State University (biology)

BS, California State University (marine biology)

(734) 763-5834
G128a Dana


Jim Diana is a Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture, as well as Director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. His research focuses on aquatic animals and their interactions with the environment. This is expressed in two major research areas: sustainable aquaculture and its role in feeding the world, and the ecology of natural fish populations, particularly in the Great Lakes region. As aquaculture is the dominant means of producing seafood today, its environmental impacts are important, and we need to understand and remediate them in order to more sustainably produce aquaculture crops. Jim’s research focuses on the interaction between aquaculture practices and environmental impacts and seeks to find solutions for more sustainable production in the future. Secondly, human impacts on natural systems have resulted in dramatic declines in many fish species throughout the world, particularly in the Great Lakes region. His research focus in fish ecology is on the management, restoration, and rehabilitation of wild populations inevitably influenced by human disturbance. Jim’s teaching is in Aquatic Sciences, in particular, courses in Ecology and Biology of Fishes and Sustainable Aquaculture. In addition, he supervises research of a large number of graduate students in Aquatic Sciences.

  • 2007-present: U.S. Agency for International Development (Oregon State University prime). Improving sustainability and reducing environmental impacts of aquaculture systems in China, and South and Southeast Asia.

  • 2013-present: University of Michigan, Third Century Initiatives, Transforming the Future. Researching fresh solutions to the energy/water/food challenge in resource constrained environments.

  • 2015-2016: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Restoring native fish spawning habitat in the St Clair River Delta (Middle Channel) in the St. Clair River Area of Concern.

  • 2015-2016: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fort Wayne Reef: Restoring fish spawning habitat in the Detroit River.

  • 2009-2014: National Science Foundation. Collaborative research: improving the environmental sustainability of shrimp aquaculture through microbial resource management.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, World Aquaculture Society and AquaFish CRSP (2010).
  • Establishment of the Jim Diana Scholarship in Aquatic Ecology, SNRE  (2007).
  • Justin W. Leonard Award of Excellence, Michigan Chapter, American Fisheries Society (2006).
  • University of Michigan Undergraduate Teaching Award for (2004–2005).
  • Associate Fisheries Biologist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (1986-present).

Select publications: 
  • Diana, J.S., H.S. Egna, T. Chopin, M.S. Peterson, L. Cao, R. Pomeroy, M. Verdegem, W.T. Slack, M.G. Bondad-Reantaso, and F. Cabello. 2013. Responsible aquaculture in 2050: Valuing local conditions and human innovations will be key to success. BioScience 63:255-262.

  • Diana, J.S.  2009. Aquaculture production and biodiversity conservation.  BioScience 59:27-38.

  • Diana, J.S. 2005.  Biology and ecology of fishes, Second Edition. Biological Sciences Press. Carmel, Indiana.

  • Diana, J.S. and T.L. Margenau, editors.  2007.  The muskellunge symposium: a memorial for E. J. Crossman.  Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

  • Diana, J.S., S. Maruca, and B. Low.  2006.  Prey consumption by cormorants and its effect on the yellow perch population of Les Cheneaux Islands area, Northern Lake Huron.  Journal of Great Lakes Research 32:306-320.


  • Member, Great Lakes Net-pen Aquaculture Science Panel-Advisory to the Michigan Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Environmental Quality (2015-present).
  • Chair, Steering Committee for the Michigan Seafood Summit (2014-present).
  • Member, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research Management Council, (2012-present).
  • Member, Escoid Technical Committee, North Central Division, American Fisheries Society (2008-Present).

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