Originally from Melrose, Wisconsin, I have spent most of my life living and working on my family’s 58 cow dairy farm. I graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (fall 2014) majoring in Conservation with minors in Animal Science and Biology. I started my masters degree in Biology at WIU in spring 2016. My thesis research involved validating aging structures in Asian carp from the Illinois River, using microchemistry and stable isotopes to determine the natal origin of Asian carp in Pools 16-19 of the Mississippi River, and determining the presence of young-of-year Asian carp found in native piscivores fish diets in lower Pool 19 and its tributaries. I enjoy hunting, fishing, Green Bay Packers, and cheese curds. I am currently working with the Illinois DNR in Yorkville, IL.
My name is Cortney Cox. I am from Palmyra, Missouri. I graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences in 2014. I came to WIU in the summer of 2015 to pursue my master’s degree in Biology. My research involved the harvest and exploitation of asian carp. We are collected both bighead and silver carp in the Upper Mississippi River, and applying jaw tags in order to determine if the fish are caught again and harvested, and where they have moved to. In my free time I enjoy hunting, fishing, and painting.
I grew up in Wolcott, Indiana and received my Bacholor’s degree from Purdue University with a major in Wildlife and a minor in Fisheries in 2013. While attending Purdue, I assisted a graduate student with an Asian Carp movements project and completed an independent study examining silver and bighead carp eggs collected from the Wabash River. Since graduating, I have held technician jobs in Massachutes, Oregon, Washington, and southern Illinois. I finished my Master’s degree research at Western Illinois University in August 2019. My thesis at WIU focused on the commercial harvest and reproductive potential of Asian Carp in the Upper Mississippi River. We determined reproductive potential of Asian carp by quantifying fecundity, gonad somatic index, and egg size from mature females. I am currently a Large River Fisheries Ecologist for the Illinois Natural History Survey in Yorkville, IL.
I completed my master’s degree at WIU in May 2018 studying common snapping turtles in Illinois. The goal of my project was to identify management objectives for common snapping turtle harvest within the state. I collected demographic data from 8 locations in 2015 and 2016. Using this data I will populate life history tables and estimate population generation times to better understand snapping turtle population dynamics in Illinois. My research interests include conservation and management of reptiles and amphibians, population monitoring, distribution, habitat use, relative abundance, conspecific behavior and movement of imperiled species. I graduated with my B.S in zoology from Western Illinois University in 2015.
Originally from Springfield, Illinois, I spent a lot of time hunting and fishing in the outdoors of central Illinois; most notably on the Illinois River, duck hunting with my dad since I was 2 and a half years old. It was this early exposure to wildlife that led me to pursue an education at WIU in all things biology, but more specifically, fisheries. I developed a well rounded background of fisheries techniques working on the Illinois River throughout my undergraduate years, and then furthered my knowledge of riverine systems by working on the Mississippi River during graduate school. I successfully defended my master’s thesis in March 2018 studying blue catfish piscivory on bighead carp and silver carp in the Mississippi River. I am currently working as an Illinois DNR fisheries biologist in Springfield, IL.
I am from Ottawa, Illinois, and I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014 with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Fish and Wildlife Conservation. I began pursuing my M.S. in Biological Sciences at WIU in August 2015 and successfully defended my thesis in March 2018, My thesis research focused on assessing movement and habitat of Asian carp in the upper reaches of the Illinois River using experimental GPS tags. This is the first study to use GPS transmitters on fish in a riverine system. In my free time, I enjoy fishing, hiking, and watching sports. I am currently working as a Large River Fisheries Ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey in Yorkville, IL working on various Asian carp projects.
I received my B.S. in Biology at WIU in 2014 and recently completed my M.S. in Biology at WIU. My thesis research focused on establishing a length relationship between digested silver carp hard structures and silver carp length, and then applied that relationship to determine the size of silver carp being predated by largemouth bass in the Illinois River. I also had the opportunity to work full-time as a research assistant at the Kibbe Field Station from 2016- 2018 working closely with the USGS monitoring Asian carp movement on the Upper Mississippi River using acoustic telemetry technology. WIU and the Kibbe Field Station provided exceptional resources that allowed me to pursue a career as a Fisheries Biologist. I am currently working with the Illinois DNR in Yorkville, IL.
I graduated with my Master’s in Biology in the spring of 2016. My thesis was titled Juvenile Asian carp as forage in the La Grange Reach of the Illinois River. For this project we looked at 1527 diets from 9 predator species to see if they contained young of the year Asian carp, and in what quantity. We also conducted this study on Pools 19 and 20 of the Mississippi and dissected over 2200 diets from 21 predator species. As part of my research assistantship, I have spent two years working at Kibbe conducting boat electrofishing on Pools 19 and 20 of the Mississippi for the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program. Additionally, I co-led a team in charge of the LTEF electrofishing on Pools 17, 18, and 21 during the year 2014. The research assistantship and thesis research really boosted my interest, knowledge, and experience in freshwater fisheries ecology. I am currently employed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Wilmington, IL.
Rebekah (Haun) Anderson
Originally from McNabb, IL, I graduated from Western Illinois University in May 2010 with a B.S. in Zoology and was the co-founder of the WIU Subunit of the IL American Fisheries Society. My graduate research compared fish community composition and structure among river reaches of the Upper Mississippi River to determine the effects of Lock and Dam 19 in structuring fish assemblages using Long Term Resource Monitoring PDC boat electrofishing from June 2013-October 2014. I have had the opportunity to present my research findings at three conferences in the Midwest this year and presented at the national AFS meeting in Portland, Oregon in August 2015. I am currently employed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in Utica, IL as the Upper Mississippi River biologist.