Redefining the Classroom

Student's award-winning research reveals potential tool against lamprey

Posted: June 9th, 2009

CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2314; Prof. Geoff Steinhart, e-mail, 635-2093.

SCENT OF A LAMPREY – Lake Superior State University student Tyler Buchinger monitors a lamprey nest in the Ocqueoc river, west of Rogers City, Mich. Buchinger, a senior in fisheries and wildlife management from Lachine, Mich., is conducting a senior research project to locate the source of a pheromone that induces spawning in female lamprey and keeps them on a nest. His findings suggest it comes from the head region of male lampreys. A set-up shown above releases the pheromone, as wire antennae track the approach of lampreys. Buchinger's presentation at a Michigan chapter meeting of the American Fisheries Society garnered him a "best poster" award. (LSSU/ Tyler Buchinger)

A print-resolution photo that runs with the caption above can be found by clicking here.

DUNDEE, Mich. – Tyler Buchinger, a Lake Superior State University fisheries and wildlife major from Lachine, Mich., has been awarded Best Student Poster at the Annual Meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Buchinger won the award for his poster on sea lamprey spawning pheromones.

This is the second consecutive year — and third presentation award — that LSSU undergraduates have won at this meeting of fisheries professionals, professors, and students.

For his senior thesis project, Tyler is working with Michigan State University graduate students Trevor Meckley and Nicholas Johnson. The project seeks to identify the source of a pheromone that encourages females to stay on a nest and induce spawning. Buchinger 's research determined that it is released from the head region of male sea lamprey. With the origin of the pheromone known, it will be easier to isolate and synthesize the pheromone. A synthetic pheromone could be used to better lure and trap reproductively active sea lamprey before they spawn.

"Considering that all the student poster displays were very good, it is a real honor to receive this recognition from the Michigan fisheries community," said Troy Zorn, the current president of the Michigan AFS chapter. Zorn, an LSSU alumnus, is also a fisheries research biologist with the Michigan DNR. He commended Tyler on both the quality of his research and presentation skills.

Run a web search for "LSSU fisheries" for more information about majoring in fisheries and wildlife management at Lake Superior State University.