Heather Dawson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Education: Michigan State University, Ph.D. Eastern Michigan University, MS University of Michigan, BS

Research Interests: Invasive species ecology, aquatic invasive species management, fisheries management, fish population dynamics, simulation modeling.



What do you enjoy most about your work?

I am motivated to make a small contribution to the greater whole. As a scientist, I think I can do that best by mentoring students in the classroom and in research. I have never done research without students, as students are going to take a part of what they learn and make wonderful contributions to the greater whole. Whether it be conserving natural resources, researching the diversity of life, or teaching, our students are going to make a difference.


Who has had the greatest influence on your career?

Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, Sylvia Earle, Jacques Cousteau, E.O. Wilson are scientists/explorers who inspired me to want to become a scientist and focus on conserving our natural resources. My Ph.D. advisor at M.S.U., Michael Jones, has had the biggest influence on my career, and I am still doing research with him today. He taught me how to be a professional in the field and how best to mentor students. My colleagues in the UM-Flint Biology Department continue to inspire me to want to do great work on the campus of UM-Flint.


•Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Senior Faculty Award
• Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Albert S. Hazzard Award

•International Association for Great Lakes Research Norman S. Baldwin Fishery Science Award

 Current Projects
•Before and after complete dam removal on the Flint River; investigating changes in river morphology, fish distribution and heavy metal loads.

•Incorporating expert judgment and sex ratios in a model to evaluate trade-offs for sea lamprey management

•Using autonomous underwater vehicles for acquisition of data on an aquatic invasive species