Dana M. Infante

Assistant Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University


Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
13 Natural Resources
East Lansing, Michigan  48823-5243
(517) 432-7232

Research Interests:

My interests include understanding the influence of landscape features and processes on aquatic organisms and quantifying the mechanisms by which that influence occurs.  My experience examining hierarchical relationships between landscape factors and stream ecosystem variables includes the study of indirect landscape controls on Michigan fish assemblages through effects on stream channel shape as well as a comprehensive study of landscape effects on fish and macroinvertebrates through multiple measures of physical habitat in stream catchments of southeast Michigan.  I am interested in questions of spatial variability (i.e., do mechanisms vary with scale, by region?), and in the applicability of different analytical techniques for addressing these questions.  Because successful protection and management of aquatic systems requires an understanding of mechanisms of impairment, I have a broad goal of performing research that benefits management while ensuring sustainability.


  • Ph.D., Resource Ecology and Management, 2005
    School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
    Dissertation Title:  Relationships among the landscape, stream habitat, and stream biota of the Huron and Raisin Rivers, southeastern Michigan

    M.S., Resource Ecology and Management, 2001
    School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
    Thesis Title:  The effects of channel shape on fish assemblage structure

    B.S., Scientific Writing, 1994
    College of Literature, Science, and Arts, University of Michigan

    Research Interests

    My research focuses on understanding how birds respond to different habitat conditions, and on developing ways to integrate bird demographic information into habitat conservation planning using approaches and analysis tools from landscape ecology. I am particularly interested in the process of avian habitat selection, and in understanding spatial and temporal associations between territory choices (e.g., location and size) and demographic parameters (e.g., age of adults, reproductive success). At present, most conservation planning for forest songbirds birds relies solely on survey (point-count) data, which provides an index of relative abundance that is linked to habitat characteristics. I hope to develop ways of measuring demographic parameters that are less-labor intensive than traditional breeding season studies, and then use these measures as indices of habitat quality. With a ranking of habitat quality, rather than simple measures of presence/absence, I expect that the usefulness of large-scale spatially explicit models will be improved, especially for identifying key habitats for rare species. Future directions that I would like to explore include the use of acoustic monitoring equipment for determining demographic parameters (e.g., for detecting changes in song characteristics that indicate pairing or nesting success), and the integration of climate change impacts into spatially-explicit forest management models.

Current Research Projects:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “An Initial National Assessment of the Status of Fish Habitats”

U.S. Geological Survey, “Aquatic GAP Analysis Program:  A Search for New Paradigms to Guide Future Research”

Selected Publications:

Infante, D. M., T. Zorn, T. Wills, and L. Wang. In Preparation. Development of a physical habitat rating system for Michigan’s nonwadeable rivers.

Infante, D. M., J. D. Allan, S. Linke, and R. Norris. In Preparation. Response of stream biota to environmental factors:  Consideration of community concordance and scale.

Thompson, K. F., K. F. Millenbah, T. Yerkes, D. M. Infante. In Review. Evaluation of wetland restoration projects on private lands in Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Watershed.

Infante, D. M., M. J. Wiley, and P. Seelbach. 2006. Relationships among channel shape, catchment characteristics, and fish in lower Michigan streams. In: Influences of landscape on stream habitats and biological assemblages. R. M. Hughes, L. Wang, and P. W. Seelbach, editors. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Diana, M. J., J. D. Allan, and D. M. Infante. 2006. The influence of habitat and land use on fish assemblages of streams in southeastern Michigan. In: Influences of landscape on stream habitats and biological assemblages. R. M. Hughes, L. Wang, and P. W. Seelbach, editors. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Nassauer, J. I., J. D. Allan, T. Johengen, S. Kosek, and D. M. Infante. 2004. Exurban residential subdivision development: Effects on water quality and public perception. Urban Ecosystems 7:267-281.

Freedman, P. L., V. K. S. Breidenbach, D. M. Infante, and A. S. Kumar. 2004. A retrospective look at watershed management, reflected through six WEF sponsored conferences. Proceedings of the 2004 Water Environment Federation (WEF), Dearborn, Michigan.


Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability
115 Manly Miles Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
517-432-5025 (phone)
517-432-5066 (fax)