My students and I study the ecology of the bottom-dwelling exotic Great Lakes fish, the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus. Our research suggests that Neogobius, an aggressive multiple spawner, is a threat to native fish species. The round goby eats the eggs and fry of native species, resulting in a decline in the recruitment of native fishes. The parent male round goby maintains and guards a nest into which many females deposit eggs.

The chemical communication between male and female round gobies is crucial in controlling their reproductive habits. In partnership with colleagues Dr. Barbara Zielinski (University of Windsor), Dr. Weiming Li (Michigan State University), and Dr. A.P. Scott (Centre for Enivironment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Weymouth, UK), we are characterizing the structure and function of a sex pheromone that guides female round gobies to nests with parental males. The outcome of our proposed research will eventually lead to a selective and benign control of the round goby.

  Click here to learn more about the invasive round goby!

A round goby, Neogobius melanosotmus, caught in Lake Erie.

In collaboration with Dr. Nick Mandrak (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), and graduate student, Nick Lapointe, we are studying fish-habitat associations in shallow waters (< 3 m) of the Detroit River. The protocol involves a detailed description of habitat using underwater videography and sediment grab samples. After testing a variety of fish sampling gear in 2003, we used boat seines and boat electrofishing to capture fishes in near and offshore waters in spring, summer and autumn. We developed fish-habiat associations in shallow (< 3 m) Canadian waters of the Detroit River.

In addition to my research interests in fish behaviour and ecology, I have studied spatial distributions of aquatic invertebrates. My research goal has been to develop explanatory models that predict invertebrate community organization in rivers at scales that are applicable across broad environmental and geographic gradients. One of my research areas focuses on predicting invertebrate assemblages in rivers using features of the

Our research brings us to some of the most beautiful locations in Canada, like Erieau, Ontario.

The ROV; one of the many state-of-the-art equiments used in the Corkum Lab.

landscape. I have developed empirical models that predict the spatial distribution of riverine invertebrates in drainages that occur in three terrestrial biomes, the Eastern Deciduous Forest (EDF), the Grasslands, and the Montane Coniferous Forests.

I have studied whether or not aquatic invertebrate assemblages that characterize designated land use areas within the EDF can be reset to reflect presettlement (i.e., forested) conditions rather than the enriched riverine communities in agricultural areas. My graduate students and I have used both hydrological regime and riparian vegetation to predict the spatial distribution and morphological adaptations to flow of freshwater clams (Unionidae) in drainage basins of EDF.

Another research interest focuses on using adult aerial insects (e.g., Hexagenia mayflies) to monitor exposure of organisms to organochlorines and metals in aquatic habitats. We have examined maternal effects of Hexagenia species on the subsequent size and survivorship of larvae. Benthic invertebrates serve as a link in energy transfer between the primary producers and consumers in aquatic habitats. Hexagenia, which were virtually eliminated from the western basin of Lake Erie, have since returned owing to decreased levels of productivity, increased transparency and a corresponding increase in oxygen concentrations. During this transition period, there have been concomitant changes in contaminant dynamics in the lake.

A more recent interest in mayfly research focuses on predicting when mass emergence of the adults occurs.Over the past 10 years, mass emergence at Colchester Harbour (northwest Lake Erie) has occurred anywhere within
A swarm of mayflies during a mass emergence in Colchester Harbour.

a four week period in June and July, but adult mayflies can be seen flying from late May until late July. Stragglers are seen until October. Although degree days can be used to predict when Hexagenia emergence begins, we want to determine which abiotic factors best forecast mass emergence, i.e., the short time interval within the expanded emergence period during which most adults swarm. Water temperature and wind speed are key factors.

Research Videos
The following videos were taken during the 2008 & 2009 Summer research seasons by members of the Corkum lab.

 To view more videos of the round goby, and to read more about this invasive species, visit the roung goby page of this site by clicking here.

About UWindsor

The University of Windsor is located at the crossroads of North America, 15 minutes from the start of Highway 401 or Michigan’s I-75, and facing one of Canada’s most beautiful waterfronts on the Detroit River. That location speaks to UWindsor’s greatness as an internationally oriented, multi-disciplined institution that actively encourages a broad diversity of students, faculty and staff. Those strengths vault it to the forefront of Canadian universities in the creation of an awareness and appreciation of difference — difference in ethnic backgrounds, difference in cultures and difference in dreams.

From that diversity, the University fosters an atmosphere of close cooperation between faculty and students, creating a unifying atmosphere of excellence across all of its faculties to encourage lifelong learning, teaching, research and discovery. Its basic characteristics of openness, warmth and support make the University of Windsor an exceptionally welcoming community for students and faculty from Asia, Europe, and Africa — or from just down the street.

Now entering its most ambitious capital expansion since its founding in 1963, UWindsor opened its Medical Education Building, which houses the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Program. As well, with the help of $40 million in Ontario government funding, the University will construct a new 300,000-square-foot, $112-million Centre for Engineering Innovation, a structure that will establish revolutionary design standards across Canada and beyond. The buildings are two of the touchstones for our tagline, Thinking Forward. The University of Windsor expects great vision and achievement from its 16,000 full-time graduate and undergraduate students as they assume responsibility for their future and that of the world around them. And it gives them the fullest opportunity, encouragement and help to meet the challenge, and more.


Point Pelee is the southern most tip of mainland Canada.

Detroit, Michigan skyline in mid-June.

Neogobius melanostomus, the Round Goby.

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