Michael Fraker

Assistant Research Scientist


Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan (2007)
A.B. Biology, University of Chicago (2001)



Dr. Fraker works on a variety of basic and applied questions within aquatic ecology. His primary focus is currently on the influence of biophysical and anthropogenic factors on ecosystem dynamics in the Great Lakes. This includes ongoing projects exploring 1) harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in Lake Erie, 2) early life history and recruitment dynamics of fish, and 3) ecosystem trends and their drivers using long-term monitoring data (integrated ecosystem assessment). He also is interested in the role of predator-induced phenotypic plasticity and chemical communication in aquatic ecosystems. He believe in using a variety of empirical, modeling, and statistical approaches across subdisciplines to gain a strong mechanistic understanding of ecosystems, so most of my research is collaborative.

  • Great Lakes ecology, including impacts of anthropogenic stressors
  • Aquatic community ecology, including nonconsumptive effects of predators and chemical ecology
  • Larval fish biology
  • Biophysical and individual-based modeling
  • Multivariate analysis of long-term datasets

Select publications: 

Brown, T., M.E. Fraker and S.A. Ludsin. 2018. Space use of predatory larval dragonflies and tadpole prey in response to chemical cues. American Midland Naturalist. 181:53-63. (DOI:10.1674/0003-0031-181.1.53). 

DeVanna Fussell, K.M., R.E.H. Smith, M.E. Fraker, and 17 co-authors. 2016. A perspective on needed research, modeling, and management approaches that can enhance Great Lakes fisheries management under changing ecosystem conditions. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 42:742-753. (DOI:10.1016/j.jglr.2016.04.007). [Altmetric Score].

Brodnik, R.*, M.E. Fraker*, E.J. Anderson, L. Carreon-Martinez, K.M. DeVanna, B.J. Fryer, D.D. Heath, J.M. Reichert and S.A. Ludsin. 2016. Combining microsatellite data with dispersal trajectories of larvae reveals novel stock structure and demographically-important population connectivity in a freshwater fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 73:416-426. *co-first authors. (DOI:10.1139/cjfas-2015-0161). [Altmetric Score].

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