Matthew Cooper

Affiliated Faculty, Burke Center

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Earned and Honorary Degrees

PhD, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
MS, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan
BS, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan


I am an aquatic ecologist interested in a broad array of research questions. Much of my past work has focused on Great Lakes coastal ecosystems, especially coastal wetlands.

Why Northland?

I chose Northland for a number of reasons. First, the degree to which students are involved in cutting edge research at Northland is very exciting and I look forward to working with many excellent students over the coming years. Second, the Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation is poised to make a significant positive impact on the region's freshwater resources and I am proud to be a part of the Center. And third, the Chequamegon Bay region represents the perfect "natural laboratory" for research that will be critical to the future management of the planet's water resources.

Student Involvement

My research absolutely depends on the dedication and hard work of students. When studying fish or aquatic invertebrate communities, students are often the ones out there setting and retrieving nets, navigating the research boat, collecting water samples, and a host of other things that go into a successful field trip. Back in the lab, students are involved in processing samples, managing data, and preparing reports and manuscripts. Students really are at the heart of what we do.


I love being on the water, especially with my family. We fish some, but mostly just have fun exploring the bay and islands. I also do a bit of kite surfing, biking, skiing, and running.