Jill B. K. Leonard

Professor and Department Head

Contact Information:

2115 Weston Hall
Phone (906) 227-1619
Email: jileonar@nmu.edu

Research Web Page


  • B.S.   Biology, College of William and Mary 1989
  • M.S.  Marine Biochemistry and Biology, University of Delaware 1992
  • Ph.D. Biology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst 1997
  • NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow Hokkaido University Japan 1997-1999
  • USDA Postdoctoral Reseacher, USDA-ARS Stoneville MS 1999-2000
  • Biology Department Northern Michigan University 2000-present

Research Interests:

My research is in the area of fish biology, particularly in the physiological ecology of fish migration.  While I am interested in all areas of fish migration, in recent years my laboratory has focused on the restoration of coaster brook trout, a migratory strain, to Lake Superior tributaries.  We are interested in the factors that elicit migratory behavior in brook trout as well as what physiological capabilities are necessary to support this life history.  This has recently included basic telemetry work, diet analysis, population estimation, growth and condition analysis, competitive interactions, and the effect of available summer and winter habitat. Researchers in my lab also work on a variety of other projects including sea lamprey movements and physiology, fish community ecology, and the role of round goby in the emerging botulism type-E story as it impacts Great Lakes waterbirds.


I teach a variety of classes within the Biology Department, primarily for those students interested in natural resources and ecology. These courses include:

  • Ecology Theory & Methods (BI 310)
  • Limnology (BI 411)
  • Fisheries Management (BI 441)
  • Ichthyology (BI 460)
  • Ecological Animal Physiology (BI 427)
  • Introductory Marine Biology (BI 350)
  • Field Experimental Marine Biology (BI 495)

Selected Publications:

  • T.A. Ritz, J.B.K. Leonard (2022) Variability in early development and growth of Great Lakes burbot: developmental patterns in cultured and wild-caught larval burbot. J. Fish Bio. 2022:1-12.

  • C.J. Richter, S.M. DiGiulio, C.D. Marshall, and J.B.K. Leonard. (2021) Herpetofaunal community response to hurricanes Irma and Maria in Virgin Islands National Park. Journal of Tropical Ecology https://doi.org/10.1017/ S0266467421000262

  • T.A. Ritz, N.R. Jensen, J.B.K. Leonard (2020) Larval morphology of North American butbot (Lota lota maculosa) from two spatially separated populations. Hydrobiologia, (), 1-18 DOI 10.1007/s10750-020-04288-w
  • E.Y. Chen, J.B.K. Leonard, and H. Ueda. (2016) The behavioural homing response of adult chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta to amino acid profiles. J. Fish Biol.  doi:10.1111/jfb.13225
  • D.A. Essian, J.G. Chipault, B. Moraska Lafrancois, J.B.K. Leonard. (2016) Gut content analysis of Lake Michigan waterbirds in years with avian botulism type E mortality, 2010-2012. J. Great Lk. Res. 42:1118-1128.
  • Hares, C.J.., J. L. Jonas, J.B.K. Leonard. (2015) Diet analysis of burbot (Lota lota) from eastern Lake Michigan: 1996-2012. Hydrobiologia 757:89-99. DOI 10.1001/s10750-015-2297-y.
  • Kusnierz, P.C., S.P. Stimmell, J.B.K. Leonard (2009) Movement and growth indicators in resident and adfluvial coaster brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the Hurricane River, Lake Superior, Michigan, USA. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 35:385-391.
  • Huckins, C.J., E.A. Baker, K.D. Fausch, J.B.K. Leonard (2008) Ecology and Life History of Coaster Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis and Potential Bottlenecks in Their Rehabilitation. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28(4):1321-1342.
  • Leonard, J.B.K., M. Iwata and H. Ueda (2002) Seasonal changes in hormones and metabolic enzymes in adult lacustrine sockeye (Oncorynchus nerka) and masu (O. masou) salmon.  Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 25: 153-163.
  • Plisetskaya, E.M., V.M. Bondareva, J.B.K. Leonard, M. Conlon, T.P. Mommsen and J.T. Silverstein (2002) Measurement of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) plasma insulin in species-specific radioimmunoassay. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry: 25:71-80.
  • Leonard, J.B.K. and S.D. McCormick. (2001) Metabolic enzyme activity during smolting in stream- and hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences: 58:1585-1593
  • Silverstein, J.T., V.M. Bondareva, J.B.K. Leonard and E.M. Plisetskaya. (2001) Neuropeptide regulation of feeding in fish: A role for glucagons-like peptide. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 129(2-3):623-631
  • Leonard, J.B.K., G.C. Waldbieser and J.T. Silverstein.(2001) Neuropeptide Y (NPY) sequence and mRNA distribution in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Marine Biotechnology: 3:111-118.
  • Ueda, H., Leonard, J.B.K. and Naito, Y. (2000) Physiological biotelemetry research on the homing migration of salmonid fishes.  In Advances in Fish Telemetry (Moore, A. & Russell, I., eds.)  CEFAS, Lowestoft, UK. 264pp.
  • Leonard, J.B.K., D.R. Leonard and H. Ueda. (2000). Active metabolic rate of masu salmon  (Oncorhynchus masou) determined by respirometry.  Fisheries Science, 66:481-484.
Jill Leonard