David Bunnell


Trained as an Aquatic Ecologist, I am most interested in trophic interactions occurring between fish and their prey.  I am particularly interested in how these interactions are influence by anthropogenic stressors, such as nonindigenous species and climate change.  I am also interested in life history strategies and how these can evolve to influence the population dynamics of managed fish species.  Within the USGS Great Lakes Science Science, I am assigned to the Lake Michigan section, but am fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate on research questions across the Great Lakes basin.



Ph.D.       2002.  The Ohio State University; Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Columbus, OH.  Dissertation Title: “Exploring mechanisms regulating recruitment of white crappie in Ohio reservoirs.” 

M.S.        1997.  Clemson University; Fisheries Biology, Clemson, SC.  Thesis title: “Diel movement of brown trout in a southern Appalachian river.”

B.S.          1995.  Centre College, Magna cum laude; Biology, Danville, KY. 


Professional Experience

October 2004 – present.  Research Fishery Biologist, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan

August 2003 – October 2004.  Assistant Research Scientist, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland.

August 2002 – August 2003.  Post-doctoral researcher, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Wheatley, Ontario.   

July 1997 – December 2002.  Graduate Research Associate, Ohio State University, Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Columbus, Ohio. 

July 1995 – May 1997.  Graduate Research Associate, Clemson University Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Clemson, SC.  





Kao, Y., C.P. Madenjian, D. B. Bunnell, B. M. Lofgren, and M. Perroud. 2015. Effects of climate change on the growth of fishes with different thermal preferences in the Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41:423-435 [Link]

Deines, A. M., D. B. Bunnell, M. W. Rogers, T. D. Beard Jr., and W. W. Taylor. 2015. A review of the global relationship among freshwater fish, autotrophic activity, and regional climate. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 25:323-336. [Link]

Bunnell, D. B., B. M. Davis, M. A. Chriscinske, K. M. Keeler, and J. G. Mychek-Londer. 2015. Diet shifts by planktivorous and benthivorous fishes in northern Lake Michigan in response to ecosystem changes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(Suppl. 3): 161-171. [Link]

Keeler, K. M., D. B. Bunnell, J. S. Diana, J. V. Adams, J. G. Mychek-Londer, D. M. Warner, D. Yule, and M. Vinson. 2015. Evaluating the importance of abiotic and biotic drivers on Bythotrephes in Lakes Superior and Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(Suppl. 3): 150-160. [Link]

Madenjian, C. P., D. B. Bunnell, D. M. Warner, S. A. Pothoven, G. L. Fahnenstiel, T. F. Nalepa, H. A. Vanderploeg, I. Tsehaye, R. M. Claramunt, R. D. Clark. 2015. Changes in the Lake Michigan food web following dreissenid mussel invasions: a synthesis. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(Suppl. 3): 217-231. [Link]

Vanderploeg, H. A., D. B. Bunnell, H. J. Carrick, and T. O. Hook. 2015. Complex interactions in Lake Michigan’s rapidly changing ecosystem. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(Suppl. 3): 1-6. [Link]

Sayers, M.J, A. G. Grimm, Z. Raymer, R. A. Shuchman, D. B. Bunnell, A. M. Deines, D. H. Bennion, M. W. Rogers, C. N. Brooks, W. Woelmer, M. Whitley, D. M. Warner, J. G. Mychek-Londer. 2015. A new method to generate high-resolution global distribution map of freshwater chlorophyll. International Journal of Remote Sensing 36:1942-1964 [Link]

Collingsworth, P. D., D. B. Bunnell, C. P. Madenjian, and S. R. Riley. 2014. Comparative recruitment dynamics of alewife and bloater in Lakes Michigan and Huron. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 143: 294-309. [Link]

Bunnell, D. B., R. P. Barbiero, S. A. Ludsin, C. P. Madenjian, G. J. Warren, D. M. Dolan, T.O. Brenden, R. Briland, O.T. Gorman, J. X. He, T. H. Johengen, B. F. Lantry, T. F. Nalepa, S. C. Riley, C. M. Riseng, T. J. Treska, I. Tsehaye, M. G. Walsh, D. M. Warner, and B. C. Weidel. 2014. Changing ecosystem dynamics in the Laurentian Great Lakes: bottom-up and top-down regulation. BioScience 64:26-39. [Link]

Newman, K. R., D. B. Bunnell, and D. W. Hondorp. 2014. Openness to the unexpected: our pathways to careers in a federal research laboratory. Pages 201-206 in Future of Fisheries: Perspectives for Emerging Professionals. W. W. Taylor, A. J. Lynch, N. Leonard, editors.

Feiner, Z. S., D. B. Bunnell, T. O. Höök, C. P. Madenjian, D. M. Warner, and P. D. Collingsworth. 2014. Non-stationary recruitment dynamics of rainbow smelt: the influence of environmental variables and variation in size structure and length-at-maturation. Journal of Great Lakes Research doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2014.11.029. [Link]

Kao, Y., C.P. Madenjian, D. B. Bunnell, B. M. Lofgren, and M. Perroud. 2014. Temperature effects induced by climate change on the growth and consumption by salmonines in Lakes Michigan and Huron.Environmental Biology of Fishes 10.1007/s10641-014-0352-6 [Link]

O’Malley, B. P., and D. B. Bunnell. 2014. Diet of Mysis diluviana reveals seasonal patterns of omnivory and consumption of invasive species in offshore Lake Michigan. Journal of Plankton Research36:989-1002. [Link]

Rogers, M. W., D. B. Bunnell, C. P. Madenjian, and D. M. Warner. 2014. Lake Michigan offshore ecosystem structure and food-web changes from 1987 to 2008. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71:1072-1086. [Link]

Turschak, B. A., D. B. Bunnell, S. Czesny, T. O. Hook, J. Janssen, D. M. Warner, and H. A. Bootsma. 2014. Nearshore energy subsidies support Lake Michigan fishes and invertebrates following major changes in food web structure. Ecology 95: 1243-1252. [Link]

Manning, N. F., J. M. Bossenbroek, C. M. Mayer, D. B. Bunnell, J. T. Tyson, L. G. Rudstam, and J. R. Jackson. 2014. Modeling turbidity type and intensity effects on the growth and starvation mortality of age-0 yellow perch. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71: 1544-1553. [Link]

Jacobs, G. R., C. P. Madenjian, D. B. Bunnell, D. M. Warner, and R. M. Claramunt. 2013. Chinook salmon foraging patterns in a changing Lake Michigan. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society142:362–372.

Mychek-Londer, J. G., D. B. Bunnell, W. Stott, J. S. Diana, J. R. P. French III, and M. A. Chriscinske. 2013. Using diets to reveal overlap and egg predation among benthivorous fishes in Lake Michigan.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:492–504.

Mychek-Londer, J. G., and D. B. Bunnell. 2013. Gastric evacuation rate, index of fullness, and daily ration of slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) and deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsonii). Journal of Great Lakes Research 39:327-335.

Seelbach P. W., L. R. Fogarty, D. B. Bunnell, S. K. Haack, and M. W. Rogers. 2013. Developing a conceptual framework for Lake Michigan nearshore ecosystem: relevance to Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan goals. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report. 2013- 1139, v, 36 p. [Link]

Bunnell, D. B., J. G. Mychek-Londer, and C. P. Madenjian. 2013. Population-level effects of egg predation on a native planktivore in a large freshwater lake. Ecology of Freshwater Fish DOI: 10.1111/eff.12112 [Link]

Bunnell, D. B., C. P. Madenjian, M. W. Rogers, J. D. Holuszko, and L. J. Begnoche. 2012. Exploring mechanisms underlying differences in sex-specific mortality rate in Lake Michigan bloater. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:204-214.

Pangle, K. L., T. D. Malinich, D. B. Bunnell, D. R. DeVries, and S. A. Ludsin. 2012. Context-dependent planktivory: interacting effects of turbidity and predation risk on adaptive foraging. Ecosphere 3:114.[Link]

Bunnell, D. B. (Editor). 2012. The state of Lake Michigan in 2011. Great Lakes Fishery Commission Special Publication 12-01. [Link]

Bunnell, D. B., K. M. Keeler, E. A. Puchala, B. M. Davis, and S. A. Pothoven. 2012. Comparing seasonal dynamics of the Lake Huron zooplankton community between 1983-1984 and 2007 and revisiting the impact of Bythotrephes planktivory. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38:451-462.

Vanderploeg, H. A., S. A. Pothoven, G. L. Fahenstiel, J. F. Cavaletto, J. R. Liebig, C. A. Stow, T. F. Nalepa, C. P. Madenjian, and D. B. Bunnell. 2012. Seasonal zooplankton dynamics in Lake Michigan, 1994-2008: disentangling the impacts of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms during a critical ecosystem transition. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38:336-352.

Fitzsimons, J. D., M. Wolgamood, C. P. Madenjian, and D. B. Bunnell. 2012. Thiamine deficiency in aquatic food chains: the cumulative result of ecosystem disruption by clupeids? Pages 167-180. InEcology and Animal Health (Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Agriculture 2). Edited by L. Norrgren and J. M. Levengood. The Baltic University Programme, Uppsala University.

Pothoven, S. A., D. B. Bunnell, C. P. Madenjian, O. T. Gorman, E. F. Roseman. 2012. Energy density of bloater in the upper Great Lakes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:772-780.

Bunnell, D. B., R. L. Eshenroder, A. E. Krause, and J. V. Adams. 2012. Depth segregation of deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus spp.) in Lake Michigan during 1930-1932 and range expansion of Coregonus hoyiinto deeper waters after the 1990s. Advances in Limnology Series (Biology and Management of Coregonid Fishes – 2008). 63:3-24.

Bunnell, D. B., B. M. Davis, D. M. Warner, M. A. Chriscinske, and E. F. Roseman. 2011. Planktivory in the changing Lake Huron zooplankton community: Bythotrephes consumption exceeds that of Mysisand fish. Freshwater Biology 56:1281-1296.

Bunnell, D. B., D. W. Lipton, and T. J. Miller. 2010. The bioeconomic impact of different management regulations on the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30:1505-1521.

Jacobs, G. R., Madenjian, C. P., Bunnell, D. B., and J. D. Holuszko. 2010. Diet of lake trout and burbot in northern Lake Michigan during spring: evidence of ecological interaction. Journal of Great Lakes Research 36:312-317.

Bunnell, D. B., J. V. Adams, O. T. Gorman, C. P. Madenjian, S. C. Riley, E. F. Roseman, and J. S. Schaeffer. 2010. Population synchrony of a native fish across the upper Great Lakes: evaluating the effects of dispersal and climate. Oecologia 162:641–651.

Madenjian, C. P., D. B. Bunnell, and O. T. Gorman. 2010. Ninespine stickleback abundance in Lake Michigan increases after invasion of dreissenid mussels. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society139:11–20.

Barbiero, R. P., D. B. Bunnell, D. C. Rockwell, and M. L. Tuchman. 2009. Recent increases in the large glacial-relict calanoid Limnocalanus macrurus in Lake Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research35:285-292.

Bunnell, D. B., C. P. Madenjian, J. D. Holuszko, J. V. Adams, and J. R. P. French. 2009. Expansion of Dreissena into offshore waters of Lake Michigan and potential impacts on fish populations. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35:74-80

Zweifel, R. D., R. S. Hale, D. B. Bunnell, and M. T. Bremigan. 2009. Hatch timing variations among reservoir gizzard shad populations: implications for stocked Sander spp. fingerlings. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 29:488-494.

Bunnell, D. B., S. R. David, and C. P. Madenjian. 2009. Decline in bloater fecundity in southern Lake Michigan after decline of DiporeiaJournal of Great Lakes Research 35:45-49.

Madenjian, C. P., and D. B. Bunnell. 2008. Depth distribution dynamics of the sculpin community in Lake Michigan. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137: 1346-1357.

Bremigan, M. T., P. A. Soranno, M. J. Gonzalez, D. B. Bunnell, K. K. Arend, W. H. Renwick, R. A. Stein, and M. J. Vanni. 2008. Hydrogeomorphic features mediate the effects of land use/cover on reservoir productivity and food webs. Limnology and Oceanography 53: 1420-1433.

Madenjian, C. P., R. O’Gorman, D. B. Bunnell, R. L. Argyle, E. F. Roseman, D. M. Warner, J. D. Stockwell, and M. A. Stapanian. 2008. Adverse effects of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) on Great Lakes fish communities. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28: 263-282.

Bunnell, D. B., S. E. Thomas, and R. A. Stein. 2007. Prey resources prior to spawning influences gonadal investment of female, but not male, white crappies. Journal of Fish Biology 70: 1838-1854.

Hewitt, D. A., D. M. Lambert, J. M. Hoenig, R. N. Lipcius, D. B. Bunnell, and T. J. Miller. 2007. Direct and indirect estimates of natural mortality for Chesapeake Bay blue crab. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136: 1030-1040.

Bunnell, D. B., C. P. Madenjian, and R. M. Claramunt. 2006. Long-term changes of the Lake Michigan fish community following the reduction of exotic alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63: 2434-2446.

Bunnell, D. B., C. P. Madenjian, and T. E. Croley. 2006. Long-term trends of bloater recruitment in Lake Michigan: evidence for the effect of sex ratio. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences63: 832-844.

Bunnell, D. B., R. S. Hale, M. J. Vanni, and R. A. Stein. 2006. Predicting crappie recruitment in Ohio reservoirs with spawning stock size and larval density. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26: 1-12.

Johnson, T. B., D. B. Bunnell, and C. T. Knight. 2005. Benthic-pelagic coupling in Lake Erie- the round goby connection. Journal of Great Lakes Research 31(Supp.2): 238-251.

Bunnell, D. B., and T. J. Miller. 2005. An individual-based modeling approach to per-recruit models: an application to blue crab Callinectes sapidus in Chesapeake Bay. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 2560-2572.

Bunnell, D. B., T. B. Johnson, and C. T. Knight. 2005. The impact of introduced round gobies Neogobius melanostomus on phosphorus cycling in central Lake Erie. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 15-29.

Vanni, M. J., K. K. Arend, M. T. Bremigan, D. B. Bunnell, J. E. Garvey, M. J. Gonzalez, W. H. Renwick, P. A. Soranno, and R. A. Stein. 2005. Linking landscapes and food webs: effects of omnivorous fish and watersheds on reservoir ecosystems. Bioscience 55: 155-167.

Bunnell, D. B., M. A. Scantland, and R. A. Stein. 2005. Testing for evidence of maternal effects among individuals and populations of white crappie. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134: 607-619.

Bunnell, D. B., M. J. Gonzalez, and R. A. Stein. 2003. Zooplankton influences growth, but not survival, of first-feeding Pomoxis spp. larvae. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 60: 1314-1323.

Bunnell, D. B. and E. A. Marschall. 2003. Optimal energy allocation to ovaries after spawning. Evolutionary Ecology Research 5: 439-457. [Link]

McCollum, A. B., D. B. Bunnell, and R. A. Stein. 2003. Cold, northern winters: the importance of temperature to survival of age-0 white crappie. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 132: 977-987.

Burrell, K. B., D. L. Van Lear, D. B. Bunnell, J. J. Isely, and C. A. Dolloff. 2000. Seasonal movement of brown trout in the Chattooga River watershed. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129: 1373-1379.

Bunnell, D. B. and J. J. Isely. 1999. Influence of temperature on mortality and retention of simulated transmitters in rainbow trout. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 19:152-154.

Bunnell, D. B., J. J. Isely, K. B. Burrell, and D. L. Van Lear. 1998. Diel movement of brown trout in a southern appalachian river. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 127: 630-636.