Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Mississippi People

Federal Staff

Leandro Miranda.

Leandro Miranda Assistant Unit Leader Website: Tel: (662) 325 - 3217

Francisco Vilella.

Francisco Vilella Assistant Unit Leader Website: Tel: (662) 325 - 0784

University Staff

Annice Hill

Nicole Medeiros Tel: (662) 325 - 7495

Students and Post Docs

Enid Lake black crappie

Giancarlo Coppola

I am from southeastern New York and received a in biology from Salem State University in January, 2015. After college I was an estuary educator and aquarist at the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Staatsburgh, NY. My thesis research includes analyzing fish community responses to submerged terrestrial vegetation planted on exposed shorelines of a drawdown reservoir in northwestern Mississippi.

Rob DeVries.

Rob DeVries

I obtained my B.S. in marine biology from the College of Charleston in 1998 and then went to work for the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources working on nearshore faunal surveys. In 2006, I completed my M.S. thesis entitled “Population dynamics, movements, and spawning habitat of the shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser brevirostrum, in the Altamaha River system, Georgia” at the University of Georgia after which I went to work for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a lake manager on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. My research interests include fisheries management, age-growth, life history, and endangered fish species. After completing my Ph.D., I hope to land a research/teaching position where I can continue pursuing my research interests.

Julio Gallardo.

Julio Gallardo

A native of Veracruz, Mexico, Julio has worked as a field ornithologists, raptor biologist, and bird tour guide operator. Julio holds a B.S. degree in biology from the Universidad Veracruzana and M.S. degree in behavioral ecology from the Universidad Veracruzana. Julio's dissertation research focuses on the population and spatial ecology of raptors in Puerto Rico.

Dylan Hann

Dylan Hann

I am originally from southwest Michigan. I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Science from Virginia Tech in May 2012. During my time there, I worked as a technician monitoring the federally endangered Roanoke Logperch in the Roanoke River and as a technician evaluating setline methods of catfish harvest in the New River. I have always been very interested in fisheries and habitat conservation in lotic systems. My current research is looking at the movement of shovelnose sturgeon in the Mississippi River. After graduation, I look forward to working as a fisheries biologist.

Electrofishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass

Hunter Hatcher

I was born and raised in Spotsylvania County, Virginia and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Conservation from Virginia Tech in May of 2015. During my undergraduate career I worked on a vast array of projects with both Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on the many diverse systems occurring throughout Virginia. My research interests lie in fisheries management with specific interests in impoundments and large rivers. My thesis will focus on evaluating the success of seeding terrestrial vegetation on reservoir mudflats and the associated impacts on game fish.

Kevin Keretz Tel: (610) 841 - 6152

I am originally from southeast Pennsylvania, and I obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Biology from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania in 2011. While at Mansfield, I participated in assessments of impacts of woody debris, artificial habitat structures, and hooking mortality on wild trout populations; stream macroinvertebrate and fish inventories; channel catfish aquaculture; and stocked Muskellunge ecology. Research experiences were accompanied by a suite of employment opportunities during and after my time at Mansfield University. Time spent with the National Park Service (Yellowstone National Park), Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (Kenai, AK), Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the USGS Lake Erie Biological Station aided in my professional development and helped to define my research interests which include applied conservation biology, natural resource dynamics and economics, fish population analysis, fisheries ecology/management, and ecosystem structure. In 2014, I accepted a M.S. research assistantship position at Mississippi State University under advisor Dr. Hal Schramm. My thesis research is focused on determining the impact of ambient water temperature, livewell water temperature, and livewell dissolved oxygen concentration on the survival of angler- and tournament-caught Largemouth Bass. In addition to my thesis, I have been actively involved in a number of research projects being conducting through the Mississippi Cooperative Research Unit, and within the South Farm Aquaculture Facility at Mississippi State University. These and other experiences over the last several years helped to facilitate my understanding for fisheries conservation and management and have provided me with an excellent foundation of knowledge that can be used in my pursuit of becoming an agency/federal fisheries biologist in the near future.

Native of Montevideo, Uruguay. Juan Andres holds degrees in Biology and Biochemistry from the Universidad de la Republica de Uruguay. His research interests include population ecology and conservation of mammals and birds. For his thesis research, Juan Andres is examining avian community ecology in native grasslands and timber plantations in northern Uruguay.

Juan Martinez-Lanfranco

Native of Montevideo, Uruguay. Juan Andres holds degrees in Biology and Biochemistry from the Universidad de la Republica de Uruguay. His research interests include ecology and conservation of mammals and birds. His thesis research is examining avian community ecology in native grasslands and timber plantations in northern Uruguay.

Jared Porter.

Jared Porter

I earned a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, graduating in May 2011. My fisheries experience as an undergraduate included working on reintroduction of turquoise darters into Piedmont streams. I also spent 3 months as a Student Conservation Intern in Shenandoah National Park, assessing stream health and assisting in the park’s fish sampling program. For two years I worked with channel catfish and tilapia as an employee at the Clemson University Aquaculture Center. My research interests include fisheries conservation in lotic systems, and the conservation of endangered and threatened freshwater fish in the United States. Currently, my thesis includes the assessment of the effects that hydrologic conditions have on age and growth of pallid and shovelnose sturgeon. After graduate school, I intend to work as a fisheries biologist in the Southeastern United States.

Mike Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes is a Master's student. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies. He is interested in the use of geospatial modeling and analysis to solve ecological questions and to further the conservation of natural resources. He has worked on many projects around the world applying GIS and remote sensing on ecological field projects.

Andrew Shamaskin

Andrew Shamaskin

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013 with a B.S. in Fisheries Science. I then took a 2-year break from academia to work as a fisheries observer in Alaska, and to travel a bit before I found myself here at Mississippi State University. My M.S. thesis focuses on improving methods for modeling length limits, and my other duties involve building new data-entry-and-analysis software for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

James Young.

James Young

I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Science from Virginia Tech in May 2011. As an undergrad I completed two research projects working with spawning habitat for brook trout and white suckers. From these projects I developed an interest in conserving native fishes in freshwater systems. For my Master’s project I am researching how movement patterns of pallid sturgeon relate to their age and sexual maturity in the lower Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. Upon completing my Master’s degree I plan to serve as a Fisheries Biologist and continue working with native species here in the southeast.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 8

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 12

Scientific Publications: 50

Presentations: 69


Contact Us

Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Mississippi State, MS 39762 Phone: (662) 325 - 2643 Fax: (662) 325 - 8795

Unit Leader

Leandro Miranda
Leandro Miranda.


  1. Map to Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, Mississippi State University

Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
  2. Mississippi State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute