Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Pennsylvania Staff Member


Megan Kepler

Megan Kepler

Post Doc
Email: mvk10@psu.edu

Biography

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 Interest

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 Publication Date
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. April 2018
Schall, M.K., V.S. Blazer, H.L. Walsh, G.D. Smith, T. Wertz, and T. Wagner. Spatial and temporal variability of myxozoan parasite prevalence in young of the year smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania August 2018
Schall, M.K., T. Wertz, G.D. Smith, V.S. Blazer, and T. Wagner. 2019. Movement dynamics of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in a large river-tributary system. Fisheries Management and Ecology 26:590-599. July 2019
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. May 2017
Mollenhauer, R., T. Wagner, M.V. Kepler, J.A. Sweka. 2013. Fall and early winter movement and habitat use of wild brook trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:1167-1178. | Download July 2013
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 October 2014
Irwin, B.J., T. Wagner, J.R. Bence, M.V. Kepler, W. Liu, and D.B. Hayes. 2013. Estimating spatial and temporal components of variation for fisheries count data using negative binomial mixed models. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:171-183. | Download January 2013
Presentations Presentation Date
Thompson, T., M. Schall, T. Wagner, V. Blazer, A. Sperry and J. Niles. An investigation into the role of groundwater as a point source of emerging contaminants to smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River basin. 2016 Chesapeake Bay Workshop, Aug 30-Sept 1. August 2016
Thompson, T., M. Schall, T. Wagner, V. Blazer, A. Sperry and J. Niles. 2016. An investigation into the role of groundwater as a point source of emerging contaminants to smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River basin. Joint meeting between the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Chapters of the American Fisheries Society, California State University of Pennsylvania. February 2017
Schall, MK., M.L. Bartron, T. Wertz, J. Niles, V.S. Blazer, T. Wagner. Investigating movement dynamics and population genetics of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River Basin. 2016 Chesapeake Bay Workshop, Aug 30-Sept 1. August 2016
Schall, M.K., V.S. Blazer, T. Wagner, T. Wertz, and G. Smith. 2015. Investigation of contaminants and disease characteristics of young of the year Smallmouth Bass in the Susquehanna River basin, PA. AFS-Fish Health Section Annual Meeting, Ithaca, NY. July 13-15. July 2015
Schall, M.K., V.S. Blazer, H.L. Walsh, G. Smith, T. Wertz, and T. Wagner. 2017. EVALUATING DIFFERENCES IN FIELD OBSERVATIONS AND HISTOLOGICAL PREVALENCE OF MYXOZOAN PARASITES IN YOUNG-OF-THE-YEAR SMALLMOUTH BASS (MICROPTERUS DOLOMIEU) IN THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN, PA. AFS FHS Annual Meeting. April 2017
Schall, M.K., V.S. Blazer, H. Walsh, T. Wertz, G. Smith, and T. Wagner. 2017. Investigating myxozoan parasite prevalence in young of the year smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River basin, 2013-2016. U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake Bay Meeting, Aug 23-25. August 2017
Schall, M.K., T. Wagner, V. Blazer, and T. Wertz. Movement dynamics of Smallmouth Bass in the Susquehanna River basin. Pennsylvania-Ohio 2015 Joint American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, 25–27 February 2015. February 2015
Schall, M.K., T. Wagner, R.M. Lorantas, G.D. Smith, and V.S Blazer. Investigating trends in riverine smallmouth bass catch per effort data in Pennsylvania. Joint meeting between the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Chapters of the American Fisheries Society, California State University of Pennsylvania. February 2017
Schall, M., T. Wagner, M. Bartron, V.S. Blazer and J. Niles. 2016. Movement dynamics and population genetics of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River Basin. Susquehanna River Symposium, Bucknell University. November 2016
Megan K. Schall, Vicki S. Blazer, Heather L. Walsh, Geoffrey Smith, Robert Lorantas, Timothy Wertz, and Tyler Wagner. 2018. Investigating occurrence of disease characteristics and trends in smallmouth bass abundance in rivers within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Chesapeake Research & Modeling Symposium, June 12 - 14, Annapolis, MD. June 2018
Kepler, M.V., V. Blazer, T. Wagner, H. Walsh, G. Smith. 2014. Evaluation of potential disease causing agents in young of the year smallmouth bass in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health. Portland, OR. August 31 – 5 September. September 2014
Kepler, M.V., T. Wagner, J. A. Sweka. 2013. Comparative bioenergetics modeling of two representative strains of lean and humper lake trout (Salvenlinus namaycush) morphotypes. 69th Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference, April 7-9, Saratoga Springs, New York. April 2013
Technical Publications Publication Date
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. June 2011