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Megan Kepler

Megan Kepler


My interest in the field of fisheries biology began at a very young age. As I began thinking about my career goals, I wanted to explore the broader field of biology to really get a feeling of how encompassing biology truly was. I attended Lock Haven University and pursued a biology degree with concentrations in cellular and environmental biology. During that time, I was able to complete internships that strengthened my fisheries knowledge, one with the Clinton County Conservation District and a second with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. After this point, I knew I wanted to continue my education and also gain more work experience. I began working as a research technician for Dr. Tyler Wagner of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit where I was able to assist in a wide variety of research projects. Currently I am a pursuing a master’s degree with Dr. Tyler Wagner as my advisor. My thesis work will focus on Comparative Lake Trout Bioenergetics. Additionally, I enjoy spending most of my spare time outside. Whether it is hunting, fishing or just taking a walk with my dogs, my love for the outdoors has always been a large part of my life and has helped develop my career path.

Research Interests

Currently, my research interests pertain to bioenergetics modeling. My thesis research focuses on comparative lake trout bioenergetics where I will be comparing two lake trout morphotypes in terms of consumption and metabolism across a range of sizes and temperatures. A portion of my research will focus on conducting these experiments at temperatures that would exceed lake trout’s preferred temperature range to examine potential climate change implications. Also morphotypes may or may not respond differently to the varying experimental temperatures. As a result, stocking and management recommendations for morphotypes based on bioenergetics models will be evaluated in addition to global climate change implications.

Research Publications

  • Schall, M.K., V.S. Blazer, R.M. Lorantas, G.D. Smith, J.E. Mullican, B.J. Keplinger, T. Wagner. In press. Quantifying Temporal Trends in Fisheries Abundance using Bayesian Dynamic Linear Models: A Case-Study of Riverine Smallmouth Bass Populations. North American Journal of Fisheries Management.
  • Schall, M.K., M.L. Bartron, T. Wertz, J. Niles, V.S. Blazer, and T. Wagner. 2017. Evaluation of genetic population structure of Smallmouth Bass in the Susquehanna River Basin, PA. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 37:729-740.
  • Kepler, M.V., T. Wagner, and J.A. Sweka. 2014. Comparative bioenergetics modeling of two Lake Trout morphotypes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 143:1592–1604. Download  | 
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Technical Publications

  • Irwin, B. J., T. Wagner, M. V. Kepler, W. Liu, J. R. Bence, D. B. Hayes, and N. Lester. 2011. Spatial and temporal components of variation in Great Lake percid populations: implications for conservation and management. Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, Project Completion Report.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 2

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 4

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 20

Scientific Publications: 88

Presentations: 122


Contact Information


Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  2. Pennsylvania Game Commission
  3. Pennsylvania State University
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  5. U.S. Geological Survey
  6. Wildlife Management Institute