Joel hoffman, adjunct assistant professor

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joel hoffman, adjunct assistant PROFESSOR
B.S., 1999, Resource Ecology and Management, University of Michigan
B.A., 1999, Philosophy, University of Michigan

Ph.D., 2006, Marine Science, The College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Office: EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, A201
Phone: 529-5420
EPA web site:


Broadly, I am interested in how human-caused changes to the environment influence aquatic ecosystem processes, aquatic habitat, and fish population success. My research is focused on coastal and estuarine fishes because they are of economic and social importance and because their habitat is highly vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts. I believe my research should support development of a workable practice of sustainable, ecosystem-based management.

My areas of expertise including using ecogeochemical markers, particularly stable isotopes, to study aquatic food web dynamics and fish movements, developing tools and designs for coastal ecosystem assessment, and using hydroacoustics to study fisheries and fish habitat.

Currently, my research is focused on two areas – ecosystem services (particularly as they relate to fisheries) of coastal ecosystem restoration and aquatic invasive species early detection.

Recent Publications

  • Negus, M.T., and J.C. Hoffman. 2013. Habitat and diet differentiation by two strains of rainbow trout in Lake Superior based on archival tags, stable isotopes, and bioenergetics. Journal of Great Lakes Research 39:578-590.

  • Choy, C.A., P.C. Davison, J.C. Drazen, A. Flynn, E.J. Gier, J.C. Hoffman, J. McClain, T.O. Miller, B.N. Popp, S. Ross, and T. Sutton. 2012. Global trophic position comparison of two dominant mesopelagic fish families (Mytophidae, Stomiidae) using amino acid nitrogen isotopic analyes. PLoS ONE 7(11): e50133. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050133
  • Hoffman, J.C., J.R. Kelly, G.S. Peterson, A.M. Cotter, M. Starry, and M.E. Sierszen. 2012. Using 15N in fish as an indicator of watershed sources of anthropogenic nitrogen: response at multiple spatial scales. Estuaries and Coasts. 35 (6):1453-1467. DOI: 10.1007/s12237-012-9534-7

  • Sierszen, M.E., J.A. Morrice, A.S. Trebitz, and J.C. Hoffman. 2012. A review of selected ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 15(1):92–106.

  • Hoffman, J.C., A.M. Cotter, G.S. Peterson, T.D. Corry, and J.R. Kelly. 2011. Rapid stable isotope turnover of larval fish in a Lake Superior coastal wetland: implications for diet and life history studies. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 14(4):403-413.

  • Hoffman, J.C., J.R. Kelly , A.S. Trebitz , G.S. Peterson, and C.W. West. 2011. Effort and potential efficiencies for aquatic non-native species early detection. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68:2064-2079.

  • Peterson, G.S., J.C. Hoffman, A.S. Trebitz, C.W. West, and J.R. Kelly. 2011. Establishment patterns of non-native fishes: lessons from the Duluth-Superior harbor and lower St. Louis River, an invasion-prone Great Lakes coastal ecosystem. Journal of Great Lakes Research 37:349-358.

  • Trebitz, A.S., C.W. West, J.C. Hoffman, J.R. Kelly, G.S. Peterson, and I.A. Grigorovich. 2010. Status of non-indigenous benthic invertebrates in the Duluth-Superior Harbor and the role of sampling methods in their detection. Journal of Great Lakes Research 36:747-756.

  • Hoffman, J.C., A.M. Cotter, G.S. Peterson, and J.R. Kelly. 2010. Using stable isotope mixing in a Great Lakes coastal tributary to determine food web linkages in young fishes. Estuaries and Coasts. 33(6):1391-1405.

  • Hoffman, J.C., and T. Sutton. 2010. Lipid correction for carbon stable isotope analysis of deep-sea fishes. Deep-Sea Research Part I 57:956-964.

  • Trebitz, A.S., J.R. Kelly, J.C. Hoffman, G.S. Peterson, and C.W. West. 2009. Exploiting habitat and gear patterns for efficient detection of rare and non-native benthos and fish in Great Lakes coastal ecosystems. Aquatic Invasions 4:651-667.

  • Hoffman, J.C., C.F. Bonzek and R.J. Latour. 2009. Estimation of bottom trawl catch efficiency for two demersal fishes, Atlantic croaker and white perch, in Chesapeake Bay. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 1:255-269.

  • Hoffman, J.C., D.A. Bronk, and J.E. Olney. 2008. Organic matter sources supporting lower food web production in the tidal freshwater portion of the York River estuary, Virginia. Estuaries and Coasts 31:898-911.

  • Hoffman, J.C., D.A. Bronk, and J.E. Olney. 2008. Does terrestrial carbon subsidize production of estuarine fish larvae?, p. 34-45. In Y. Yamashita (ed.), Aquatic ecosystem production in waters linking forests, rivers and coasts, Fisheries Science Series Vol. 157, Koseisha-koseikaku, Tokyo, Japan.

  • Hoffman, J.C., K.E. Limburg, D.A. Bronk, and J.E. Olney. 2008. Overwintering habitats of migratory juvenile American shad in Chesapeake Bay. Environmental Biology of Fishes 81(3):329-345.

  • Hoffman, J.C., D.A. Bronk, and J.E. Olney. 2007. Contribution of allochthonous carbon to American shad production in the Mattaponi River, Virginia using stable isotopes. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6):1034-1048.

  • Hoffman, J.C., D.A. Bronk, and J.E. Olney. 2007. Tracking nursery habitat use by young American shad in the York River estuary, Virginia using stable isotopes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136(5):1285–1297.


Current Graduate Students

  • Ester Dias, PhD Student (University of Porto, Portugal)

  • Elon O’Malia, MS Student

  • Michelle Gutsch, PhD Student

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