Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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About the Author

Current Research: My research involves how stream disturbance regimes effects species assemblage of aquatic insects. Specifically, I am interested in how hydraulic regimes influence species assemblages of non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae) across spatial landscapes. My project will also assess how widespread epizootics affecting populations of a dominant periphyton-grazing caddisfly differentially effects chironomid assemblage composition under different hydraulic-driven disturbance regimes.

Academic Interests: Systematics and ecology of aquatic insects, with an emphasis on Chironomidae (Diptera), Trichoptera, Odonata, Plecoptera and Ephemeroptera of the Great Lakes region; water quality and ecosystem management of streams and rivers.

Former Education: BA (1983) from James Madison College, Michigan State University - international relations and socioeconomics; MS (1995) from the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan.

Brief Bio: As a child I was always interested in nature, delving into hobbies such as herpetology, astronomy, geology and entomology. To the left is a picture taken during a 1970 National Wildlife Federation vacation camp in Rocky Mountain National Park - even then I was intrigued with aquatic entomology! (From National Wildlife 10(2):26). As you can see in the next picture (right), taken in 1997, I'm still acting like a kid!

I began my studies in the sciences rather late. Despite interests in nature and the environment as a youngster, I "deviated" into political science, graduating from Michigan State University (James Madison College) in 1983 with a B.A. in international relations and socio-economics. After living in Germany and Belgium for about 3 years (and learning German, French and a little Dutch) I returned to the USA and worked in the automotive business for about three uninspiring and unenjoyable years. During that time, I rediscovered my love of nature, especially after a fantastic trip in 1989 to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, USA. I then realized a change in my life was required, so I went back to school and spent a couple of years taking classes required for entry into a science-oriented masters' program. During my masters program I took a class in aquatic entomology, and it was then that I rediscovered my interest in aquatic ecology. I also discovered new interests in aquatic insect taxonomy, systematics and ecology. I have stayed the course ever since (1997, picture above).

Page created: January 14, 2004 - Last edited: November 05, 2013 (EB)