MSU AgBioResearch announces new assistant director of natural resources programs

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Michael Jones, MSU Fisheries and Wildlife professor (view larger image)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University (MSU) fisheries and wildlife professor Michael Jones has been named assistant director of natural resources programs for MSU AgBioResearch (ABR). This is a new part-time position within the organization. 

Jones, who served as chair of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife from 2009 to July 2014 and acting chair in 2008-2009, will be responsible for overseeing ABR research in natural resources. He will work with departments to facilitate research productivity and collaborative opportunities across units.

“I am pleased that Mike has accepted our invitation to become an integral part of the MSU AgBioResearch leadership team,” said Douglas Buhler, ABR director. “We look forward to working together to strengthen our portfolio in natural resources research. This is an exciting, new administrative approach for us—having director expertise in both animal and plant sciences, and now in natural resources.”

In addition to Buhler, Jones joins acting associate director George Smith, who in July was appointed to oversee the ABR animal science research portfolio, as well as the Office of Research Support. Smith and Jones will fill the void left when former ABR associate director John Baker was named dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine in June.

Jones received his bachelors of science and Ph.D. degrees, both in zoology, from the University of British Columbia in 1977 and 1986, respectively.  In 1997, he came to work at MSU, where he specializes in fish population dynamics and modeling, especially in the Great Lakes, and sea lamprey management.  He is co-director of the MSU Quantitative Fisheries Center and is supported by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission through the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM), an agency-university collaboration that addresses significant ecosystem issues through research and outreach. 

“Mike will also provide oversight to PERM agreements with special emphasis on maintaining effective communication with our partners – the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission,” Buhler said. “These are priority areas as MSU AgBioResearch continues to conduct research on behalf of our important agricultural and natural resources partners.”

Jones, who was recently named the Peter A. Larkin Professor of Quantitative Fisheries at MSU, has been an ABR scientist for 17 years. 

“I am excited to have the opportunity to help strengthen ABR’s natural resources portfolio and to build on the great partnerships we have developed in this area, most notably PERM,” Jones said. “This feels like a natural progression from my department chairperson role, and it will also allow me to continue to forge collaborations between Fisheries and Wildlife and the other natural resource-focused units in the college.”


MSU AgBioResearch engages in innovative, leading-edge research that combines scientific expertise with practical experience to generate economic prosperity, sustain natural resources, and enhance the quality of life in Michigan, the nation and the world. It encompasses the work of more than 300 scientists in seven MSU colleges—Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Letters, Communication Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Natural Science, Social Science and Veterinary Medicine—and has a network of 13 research centers across the state.

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