2022 Highlights from The Gray Lab

With 2023 off to a great start, we wanted to look back on 2022. Here is a highlight from everyone for this past year!

Bethany: I ran my first 50k and am in the final stages of writing up my dissertation!

Jai: I passed my candidacy exams and got to start 2023 out hiking!

Noel: I completed my first field season at Stone Lab for my master’s research!

Victoria: I started my master’s this past fall, and am currently planning a project investigating how ALAN acts on the tradeoff between foraging and predator avoidance.

Amber: I had the chance to spend a lot of time outside doing field work for multiple classes!

Alex: Spending my summer at Stone Lab and getting involved with research.

Mike: I spent the summer working at Stone Lab assisting Noel in her smallmouth bass research and conducting a pilot study for my own research this upcoming summer.

Sarah Grace: Looking forward to starting Honors thesis project in 2023.

A moment captured from ENR 5350.02 Taxonomy and Behavior of Fish this past year (taught by our very own Dr. Gray)!


Slowly returning to “normal”

The last two years have been challenging for everyone and I am so proud of how our lab has risen to those challenges. We are sloooooowly getting back to “normal” this summer with fieldwork and fish. Bethany and Jai are in Uganda, Noel is at Stone Lab, and I’m still sitting in my basement office trying to keep it all together.

We’ll be trying to post more research news from now on so stay tuned!

Chelsey wins award!

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Chelsey Nieman on winning the Janice Lee Fenske Memorial Award for Outstanding Students! Also, a big congrats to masters student Tiffany Atkinson on being a finalist for the award as well! Keep up being outstanding students in fisheries, ladies!

2018 Highlights!

A list of every lab members 2018 highlight!

Tiffany: I completely finished collecting data for my Master’s thesis.

Rylie: My 2018 highlight is that I decided to start my own Research with Distinction project with the Gray Lab this year.

Richard: I secured my first publication looking at differences in behavioral responses between fish with different parental origin, and successfully defended my master’s thesis to graduate with a MS.

Bethany: Skipped my Master’s graduation ceremony and that same day hopped on a plane for Uganda to start my Ph.D.!

Chelsey: I published two papers on the effects of elevated turbidity on visual ecology of Lake Erie fish and also taught my very first aquatic ecology course.

Brynne: I furthered my passion for youth outreach and education by helping teach aquatic ecology to a variety of school groups.

Taylor: Being fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live in Columbus for the summer where I developed and carried out my first independent research project looking into sexual behavior in African cichlids.

Jeremy: I started my Master’s program at Ohio State University and completed my first field season and semester of course work.

Andy: I was fortunate enough to spend my summer studying how the vision of adult Walleye is effected by increasing turbidity concentrations on Lake Erie, with results indicating that algae may disrupt vision at a much lower level than suspended sediment.


Can’t wait to see what new publications, students and research will happen in 2019! Big things coming from the Gray Lab!

New Publication!

Congrats to our very own Chelsey Nieman and Suzanne Gray on their recent publication in The Journal of Fish Biology! Check out their paper on the effects of algal blooms and sediment plumes on the visual performance of Emerald Shiner and Walleye!

Fall Update!

Although the summer field season has come to a close, The Gray Lab is in full swing with lab work! Tiffany has begun swim performance trials on her cichlids reared under turbid and clear conditions. Richard, Bethany, and Chelsey have begun work on MSP (microspectrophotometry), looking at the cones of African Cichlid fish eyes. Chelsey is also diligently writing as well as looking at historic Emerald Shiners dating back to the 1920’s. Shib and Jeremy are busy with classes and being Teaching Assistants! Taylor’s undergraduate project has been going great, she even has a few brooders in her turbid and clear tanks! Stay tuned for updates happening this fall and check out our Twitter!

New Gray Lab Publication!

We are excited to finally get to announce our newest lab publication, “Visual detection thresholds in two trophically distinct fishes are compromised in algal compared to sedimentary turbidity” in Conservation Physiology!

Over the past few summers, as part of my Ph.D. research, I have had the opportunity to work with undergraduates Andy Oppliger and Caroline McElwain on a project focusing on the visual sensitivity, or ability to determine contrast, of Lake Erie fishes. We were able to utilize the optokinetic response, or the innate response of fishes to follow a moving stimulus, to determine at what level of turbidity at which fish can no longer see. One of our goals was to determine the differences between the effects of sedimentary and algal turbidity on the visual sensitivity of Emerald Shiner and Walleye. We found that visual detection thresholds, or the point at which the fish can no longer see, were significantly lower in algal turbidity compared to sedimentary turbidity for both Walleye and Emerald Shiner.

Read the full article here:


Chelsey Nieman