Don Uzarski
Department of Biology
Director, CMU Institute for Great Lakes Research
Director, CMU Biological Station
Ecosystem, Wetland, & Great Lakes Ecology, Limnology, Conservation
Biosciences 2410

Dr. Uzarski is a professor of Biology at Central Michigan University.  He is also the Director of the CMU Institute for Great Lakes Research, Director of the CMU Biological Station, Associate Editor of Wetlands, a Member of the State of Michigan Wetland Advisory Council, and a Member of the Management Council of the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research.


  • B.S., Grand Valley State University, 1992
  • M.S., Central Michigan University, 1995
  • Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1999

Teaching Areas

  • Wetland Ecology
  • Limnology
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Multivariate Statistics

Research Fields

  • Wetland Ecology
  • Great Lakes Ecology
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Ecosystem Ecology

Current Research Projects

I am a limnologist and aquatic ecologist. My research interests include measures of ecosystem health of Great Lakes coastal wetlands using indices of biotic integrity. My lab has developed indices of biotic integrity for inland depressional and Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Our work most often involves investigations of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on community composition and the relationships of land use/land cover to chemical/physical variables and lentic and lotic biota.


*Graduate Student
**Undergraduate Student

  • Uzarski, D.G., V.J. Brady, M.J. Cooper, D.A. Wilcox, D.A. Albert, R. Axler, P. Bostwick, T.N. Brown, J.J.H. Ciborowski, N.P. Danz, J. Gathman, T. Gehring, G. Grabas, A. Garwood, R. Howe, L.B. Johnson, G.A. Lamberti, A. Moerke, B. Murry, G. Niemi, C.J. Norment, C.R. Ruetz III, A.D. Steinman, D. Tozer, R. Wheeler*, T.K. O'Donnell, and J.P. Schneider. 2016 Standardized measures of coastal wetland condition: implementation at the Laurentian Great Lakes basin-wide scale. Wetlands doi:10.1007/s13157-016-0835-7.
  • Schoen*, D. G. Uzarski. 2016. Reconstructing fish movements between coastal wetlands and nearshore habitats of the Great Lakes. Limnology and Oceanography, LO-15-0273.R1. 
  • Langer*, T. A., B. A. Murry, K.L. Pangle, and D. G. Uzarski. 2016. Species turnover drives b- diversity patterns across multiple spatial and temporal scales in Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Communities. Hydrobiologia, DOI 10.1007/s10750-016-2762-2. 
  • Clement*, T. A., B. A. Murry and D. G. Uzarski. 2015. Fish community size structure of small lakes: the role of lake size, biodiversity and disturbance. Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 30(4): 557-568. 
  • Patrick, C., M.J. Cooper, anD.G. Uzarski. 2014. Dispersal mode and ability affect the spatial turnover of a wetland macroinvertebrate metacommunity. Wetlands, 34:1133-1143.
  • Clement, T.A., B.A. Murry, K.L. Pangle, and D.G. Uzarski. 2014. Effectiveness of fishing gears to assess fish assemblage size-structure in small lake ecosystems. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 21(3): 211-219.
  • Cooper, M.J., G.A. Lamberti, and D.G. Uzarski. (accepted) Anthropogenic impacts on Great Lakes coastal wetland invertebrate communities across multiple spatial scales and wetland types.  Journal of Great Lakes Research.
  • Peters, J.A., M.J. Cooper, S.M Creque, M.S. Kornis, J.T. Maxted, W.L Perry, F.W. Schueler, T.P. Simon, C.A. Taylor, R.F. Thoma, D.G. Uzarski, and D.M. Lodge. 2014. Historical changes and current status of crayfish diversity and distribution in the Laurentian Great Lakes. J. Great Lakes Res, 40(1):35-46.
  • Steinman, A.D., M.E. Ogdahl, M. Weinert, and D.G. Uzarski. 2014. Influence of water level fluctuation duration and magnitude on sediment-water nutrient exchange in coastal wetlands". Aquatic Ecology, 48(2): 143-159.
  • Cooper, M.J., G.A. Lamberti, and D.G. Uzarski. 2014. Spatial and temporal trends in invertebrate communities of Great Lakes coastal wetlands, with emphasis on Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 40(1): 168-182.
  • Schock*, N.T.,  B.A. Murry, and D.G. Uzarski. 2014. Impacts of agricultural drainage outlets on Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Wetlands, 34:297-307.
  • ​Calabro**, E.J., B.A. Murry, D.A. Woolnough, and D.G. Uzarski. 2013. Application and transferability of Great Lakes coastal wetland indices of biotic integrity to high quality inland lakes of Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management. 16(3)338-346.
  • Sherman*, J.J., B.A. Murry, D.A. Woolnough, D.T. Zanatta, and D.G. Uzarski. 2013. Assessment of remnant unionid assemblages in a selection of Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Journal of Great Lakes Research JGLR-00558; No. of pages: 10; 4C: 6.
  • Cooper*, M.J., A.D. Steinman, D.G. Uzarski. 2013. Influence of geomorphic setting on the metabolism of Lake Huron fringing wetlands. Limnol. Oceanogr., 58(2), 2013, 452-464.
  • Steinmn, A.D., M.E. Ogdahl, M.W., K. Thompson, M.J. Cooper*, and D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Water Level Fluctuation and Sediment-Water Nutrient Exchange in Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38: 766-775.
  • Coulter*, D.P., B.A. Murry, and D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Use of wetland versus open habitats by round gobies in lakes Michigan and Huron: Patterns of CPUE, length, and maturity. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 38: 439-444.
  • Ruetz, C.R. III, M.R. Reneski**, and D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Round goby predation on Dreissena in coastal areas of eastern Lake Michigan. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 1-14.
  • Parker*, A.D., M.J. Cooper*, C.R. Ruetz III, D.P. Coulter*, D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Distribution of yellow perch in Great Lakes coastal wetlands: patterns within and among wetland types. Wetland Ecology and Management. DOI 10.1007/s11273-012-9250-x.
  • Cooper*, M.J., K.F. Gyekis*, and D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Edge effects on abiotic conditions, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, and larval fishes in Great Lakes fringing marshes. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 38: 142-151.
  • Wieten**, A.C., M.J. Cooper*, A.D. Parker*, and D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Great Lakes coastal wetland habitat use by seven turtle species: influences of wetland type, vegetation, and abiotic conditions. Wetland Ecology and Management. DOI 10.1007/s11273-011-9240-4.
  • Coulter*, D.P., B.A. Murry, W.C. Webster**, and D.G. Uzarski. 2011. Effects of dreissenid mussels, chironomids, fishes, and zooplankton on growth of round goby in experimental aquaria. Freshwater Ecology 26(2): 155-162.
  • Coulter, D.P., B.A. Murry, W.C. Webster, and D.G. Uzarski. 2010. The growth of a Great Lakes invasive fish species, the round goby, on four naturally occurring prey items. Freshwater Ecology.
  • Parker*, A.D., D.G. Uzarski, C.R. Ruetz III, and T.M. Burton. 2009. Diets of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in wetland habitats of Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 24(3): 347-355. 
  • Nelson*, K.M., C.R. Ruetz III, and  D.G. Uzarski. 2009. Colonization by Dreissena of Great Lakes coastal ecosystems: how suitable are wetlands? Freshwater Biology. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02265x.
  • Cooper*, M.J., C.R. Ruetz III, D.G. Uzarski, and B.M. Shafer**. 2009. Habitat use and diet of the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in coastal areas of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 24(3): 477-488.
  • Parker*, A.D., C.A. Stepien, O.J. Sepulveda-Villet, C.B. Ruehl, and D.G. Uzarski. 2009. The interplay of morphology, habitat, resource use, and genetic relationships in young yellow perch. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138: 899-914.
  • Cooper*, M.J., R.R. Rediske, D.G. Uzarski, and T.M. Burton. 2009. Sediment contamination and faunal communities in two subwatersheds of Mona Lake, Michigan. Journal of Environmental Quality 38:1-11.
  • Uzarski, D.G., T.M. Burton, Kolar, R.E. and M.J. Cooper*. 2009. The Ecological Impacts of Fragmentation and Vegetation Removal in Lake Huron Coastal Wetlands.  Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 12 (1): 45-62.
  • Burton, T.M.and D.G. Uzarski. 2009.  Biodiversity in protected coastal wetlands along the west coast of Lake Huron. Biodiversity and Bioassessment of Protected Coastal Wetlands. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 12 (1): 63-76.
  • Uzarski, D.G. 2009. Wetlands of Large Lakes. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. (Gene E. Likens, Editor). Oxford: Elsevier. p. 599-606.
  • Uzarski, D.G., A.T. Bosch, M.J. Cooper and T.M. Burton. 2009. Wetland ecology and management for fish, amphibians and reptiles. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. (Gene E. Likens, Editor). Oxford: Elsevier. p. 582-589.
  • Burton, T.M. and D.G. Uzarski. 2009. Freshwater Marshes-Non-Forested Wetlands.  Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. (Gene E. Likens, Editor). Oxford: Elsevier. p. 531-540.
  • Cooper*, M.J., D.G. Uzarski, and T.M. Burton. 2009. Benthic Invertebrate Fauna, Wetland Ecosystems.  Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. (Gene E. Likens, Editor). Oxford: Elsevier. p. 232-241.
  • Wessell K.J., R.W. Merritt, J.G.O. Wilhelm, J.D. Allan, K.W. Cummins, and D.G. Uzarski 2008.  Biological evaluation of Michigan’s non-wadeable rivers using macroinvertebrates.  Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 11 (3): 335-351.
  • Bhagat, Y. J.J.H. Ciborowski, L.B. Johnson, T.M. Burton, D.G. Uzarski, S. A. Timmermans and M. Cooper. 2007. Testing a fish index of biotic integrity for Great Lakes coastal wetlands: stratification by plant zones. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33 (3):224-235.
  • Cooper*, M.J., D.G. Uzarski and T.M. Burton. 2007. Macroinvertebrate community composition in relation to anthropogenic disturbance, vegetation, and organic sediment depth in four Lake Michigan drowned river mouth wetlands. Wetlands 27 (4):894-903.
  • Ruetz III, C.R., D.G. Uzarski, D.M. Krueger, and  E.S. Rutherford. 2007. Sampling a littoral fish assemblage: Comparing small-mesh fyke netting and boat electrofishing. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 27:825-831.
  • Cooper*, M.J., C.R. Ruetz III, D.G. Uzarski and T.M. Burton. 2007. Distribution of round gobies ( Neogobius melanostomus) in Lake Michigan drowned river mouth lakes and wetlands: do coastal wetlands provide refugia for native species? Journal of Great Lakes Research 33(2): 303-313. 
  • Stevenson R.J., M.J. Wiley, S.H. Gage, V.L. Lougheed, C.M. Riseng, P. Bonnell, T.M. Burton, R.A.Hough, D.W. Hyndman, J.K. Koches, D.T. Long, B.C. Pijanowski, J.Qi, A.D. Steinman, and D.G. Uzarski. 2007. Watershed Science: Essential, Complex, Multidisciplinary and Collaboratory. In Wei “Wayne” Ji, Editor. Wetland and Water Resource Modeling and Assessment: A Watershed Perspective. p. 231-246.