Faculty/Staff Directory

First Name

Last Name

Matt Cooper


Associate Professor


Office Address
2200L KHS

Office Phone

Areas of Expertise
Aquatic Ecology, Wetland Ecology, Great Lakes Science and Management, Climate Adaptation

Professional Societies

International Association for Great Lakes Research
Society for Freshwater Science

Courses Taught at GVSU

BIO 105 – Environmental Science
BIO 215 – General Ecology


Research Interests

My research focuses on freshwater ecosystems, especially Great Lakes coastal and tributary habitats.  Examples of questions that my lab addresses include: how do fish and macroinvertebrate communities respond to human disturbances, what effects does nutrient pollution have on wetland function, and how are Great Lakes coastal wetlands responding to climate change.  I am also on the leadership team of the US EPA-funded Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, a long-term program that assesses the health of over 1,000 wetlands across the Great Lakes (www.greatlakeswetlands.org).  I am always looking for students to collaborate on these and other related projects! 


Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
M.S., Biology, Grand Valley State University
B.S., Biology, Grand Valley State University

Select Publications

O'Reilly, K.E., M.B. Berg, M.J. Cooper, P.S. Forsythe, C.J. Houghton, J.S. Shrovnal, J.J. Student, D.G. Uzarski, and G.A. Lamberti. 2023. Lakescape connectivity: Mobile fish consumers link Lake Michigan coastal wetland and nearshore food webs. Ecosphere: 14(2), p.e4333.

Zachritz, A.M., K.E. O’Reilly, D.L. Smith, M.J. Cooper, K. Schlaht, and G.A. Lamberti. In Press. Bioaccumulation of mercury in Lake Michigan painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.

Gentine, J.A., W.A. Conard, K.E. O'Reilly, M.J. Cooper, G.E. Fiorino, A.M. Harrison, M. Hein, A.H. Moerke, C.R. Ruetz III, D.G. Uzarski, and G.A. Lamberti, 2022. Environmental predictors of phytoplankton chlorophyll-a in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 48(4), pp.927-934.

Diller, S.N., A.M. Harrison, K.P. Kowalski, V.J. Brady, J.J.H. Ciborowski, M.J. Cooper, J.D. Dumke et al. 2022. Influences of seasonality and habitat quality on Great Lakes coastal wetland fish community composition and diets. Wetlands Ecology and Management: 1-22.

Kneisel, A.N., M.J. Cooper, A.K. Monfils, S. Haidar, and D.G. Uzarski. 2020. Great Lakes coastal wetland data as a resource for invasive species management. Journal of Great Lakes Research.

Harrison, A.M., A.J. Reisinger, M.J. Cooper, C.R. Ruetz, D.G. Uzarski, D.A. Wilcox. 2020. A basin-wide survey of coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes: Development and comparison of water quality indices. Wetlands.

Reisinger, L.S., K.L. Pangle, M.J. Cooper et al. 2019. Short-term variability in coastal community and ecosystem dynamics in northern Lake Michigan. Freshwater Science. 38(3): 661-673.

Kovalenko, K.E., L.B. Johnson, V.J. Brady, J.J.H. Ciborowski, M.J. Cooper, J.P. Gathman, G.A. Lamberti, A.H. Moerke, C.R. Ruetz, and D.G. Uzarski. 2019. Hotspots and bright spots in functional and taxonomic fish diversity. Freshwater Science

Schock, N.T. A.J. Reisinger, L.S. Reisinger, M.J. Cooper, J.J.H. Cibrowski, T.M. Gehring, A. Moerke, D.G. Uzarski. 2019. Relationships between the distribution of the invasive faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) and environmental factors in Laurentian Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Biological Invasions.

Uzarski, D.G., D.A. Wilcox, V.J. Brady, M.J. Cooper, D.A. Albert, J.J.H. Ciborowski, N.P. Danz, A. Garwood, J.P. Gathman, T.M. Gehring, G.P. Grabas, R.W. Howe, G.A. Lamberti, A.H. Moerke, G.J. Niemi, C.R. Ruetz,        D.C. Tozer, and T.K. O’Donnell. 2019. Leveraging landscape level monitoring and assessment program for developing resilient shorelines throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes. Wetlands.


Page last modified May 1, 2020