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Timothy P O'Brien

Timothy O'Brien is a Supervisory Fisheries Biologist based in Ann Arbor, MI.

I spent my formative years exploring the outdoors, particularly the lakes and streams of Michigan. I was always interested in freshwater environments and the fish that made their homes there. These early experiences impelled me to pursue the study of fish biology and ecology. 

While pursuing my undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, I began working for USGS at the Great Lakes Science Center in 2003. I began a project studying deepwater sculpin Myoxocephalus thompsonii diets in Lake Huron and was eager to contribute to our understanding of this enigmatic native species. Early on in my career I also learned larval fish identification and became interested in larval fish ecology. Ultimately, I began working in support of the large vessel fish assessment program where most of my work is now focused. While working as a fisheries technician I had the opportunity to return to school to study fishery science and in 2010 I completed a Master of Science degree at Michigan State University studying rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax population dynamics in Lake Huron.

I am involved with both technical and programmatic aspects of the Deepwater Fisheries program:

Supervise a team of technicians supporting ecosystem and fishery studies.

Project lead for the Lake Huron acoustics program where I am responsible for leading a team to carry out a large-scale integrated trawl and acoustics survey of pelagic fishes in Lake Huron.

Large vessel coordinator for fishery research vessels on Lake Huron and Michigan, assist Branch Chief with managing, scheduling, and staffing the GLSC large vessel program.

Oversee fish aging laboratory.

Education and Certifications

  • M.S.  2010. Fisheries and Wildlife.  Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

  • B.S.  2004. Resource Ecology and Management.  The University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment

Science and Products