Graham Sustainability Institute

Cory Brant

brantco's picture
Postdoctoral researcher
Postdoctoral Fellow

For the past 8 years, Cory has researched the physiology, behavior, and chemical ecology of one of the most devastating and strangest invasive fish species ever to become established in the Great Lakes - the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). A single sea lamprey can kill over 40 lbs of fish per year during its parasitic phase, while a single female can produce up to 300,000 eggs during its reproductive phase. For the past 50 years or so, sea lamprey have been brought under control in the Great Lakes through an integrated control program coordinated by the bi-national Great Lakes Fishery Commission, thus allowing a near 7 billion dollar fishery to flourish. Cory’s primary focus as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan Water Center is to conduct an oral history of sea lamprey invasion and control in the Great Lakes basin. The goal of Cory's research is to uncover, qualitatively analyze, and preserve the first-hand perspectives of those individuals that pioneered the control program, witnessed changes to the fish community, and/or currently work to keep populations at bay in the Great Lakes. The sea lamprey oral history project is a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan Water Center and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Cory completed his B.S. at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in Fisheries and Water Resources, Biology, and Aquaculture. He then completed his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at Michigan State University where he researched the molecular biology, chemistry, and behavioral function new pheromone components used by sea lamprey to attract one-another for mating. Cory’s research at MSU contributed to the EPA registration of the first fish pheromone as a control tool (approved biological control method), which can now be added to the ever-growing toolbox of integrated techniques used to remove sea lamprey from the Great Lakes.