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Joseph Zydlewski

Sampling American shad on the Penobscot River.


  • Ph D University of Massachusetts 1997
  • BS Bates College 1990


Joe joined the Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 2004 as Assistant Unit Leader, coming from the USFWS Columbia River Fisheries Program Office. He is a Professor of Fisheries Science in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology and cooperating faculty in the School of Biology and Ecology and the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, Orono.

Research Interests

Joe's work centers on the study of fish movements and migrations. Many vital fisheries issues in the northeast United States are dependent upon a rigorous understanding of life history expression. He has effectively addressed both basic and complex management questions in innovative ways, developing a program which includes three main themes: i) Connectivity and River Restoration ii) Physiology and Behavior of Migration , and iii) Species Interactions. As a critical part of his position, Joe's work is responsive to the requests of MCFWRU cooperators (e.g. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the University of Maine’s Department of Wildlife , Fisheries, and Conservation Biology and US Fish and Wildlife Service).

Teaching Interests

As part of his appointment to the graduate faculty at the University of Maine through the MCFWRU, Joe provides graduate instruction in the form of formal courses (e.g. "Movements and Migration", directing independent studies of selected topics (fisheries science, migration biology), and interacting with graduate students. Joe serves on numerous committees as degree program advisor, co-advisor, or committee member.

Research Publications

  • Izzo, L., and Zydlewski, J. (2017) Retrospective analysis of seasonal ocean growth rates of 2SW Atlantic Salmon in Downeast Maine using historic scales. Marine and Coastal Fisheries. 9:1, 357-372, DOI: 10.1080/19425120.2017.1334723 Download  | 
  • Altenritter, M., Kinnison, M., Zydlewski, G., Wippelhauser, G. and Zydlewski, J. (2017). Movements and demography of shortnose sturgeon in the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers, Maine. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Published on the web 9 May 2017,
  • O’Malley, A., Enterline, C., and Zydlewski, J. (2017) Comparison of size, growth and age structure among anadromous and landlocked populations of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 37:2, 326-336. DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2016.1264508 Download  | 
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Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Graduate Seminar – Fish Physiology (2016)
  • Special Problems in Wildlife Ecology (Independent Study) (2015)
  • Movements and Migrations (2014)
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Maine University Committees and Workgroups

  • Joseph ZydlewskiIACUC (January 2013 - January 2016)

Technical Publications

  • Loftin, C.S., J. Zydlewski, and A.Elskus. 2008. Examination of mercury contamination in northern two-lined salamanders and slimy sculpin inhabiting watersheds in coastal Maine, Report to Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, 15 pp
  • Zydlewski, J. and C.S. Loftin. 2008. Using dendrochonology and stable isotopes to document historical deposition of marine derived nutrients in the Penobscot River Basin, Maine, Report to Penobscot Indian Nation, 4 pp.
  • Studies on Lake Whitefish in Maine. (2006) Annual Report to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 3

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 12

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 25

Scientific Publications: 47

Presentations: 277

Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Maine
  5. Wildlife Management Institute