Biology professor, students featured in sturgeon-spearing article

Associate Professor of Biology Memuna Khan and some of her Vertebrate Zoology students recently were on Lake Winnebago near Van Dyne for the opening of the sturgeon-spearing season.

They met with John Luthens, who writes for On Wisconsin Outdoors, and he included the encounter in his story. Click here to read Luthens’ story.

“The Ripon students are pursuing various biological paths, from veterinary medicine to wildlife ecology,” Luthens writes. “In the course of their studies, they undergo hands-on field training ranging from prairie ecology to bluebird decline and migration habits. And on this particular opening day, the harvesting of a sturgeon was a science lab waiting to happen.
“Professor Khan explained the similarity of a sturgeon’s tail, lack of vertebrae, and bony back plates in relation to that of a shark, with the students asking registration representatives questions on the mouth structure and sensory habits of the fish, as well as specific food-chain effects of zebra mussels, gizzard shad and lake fly larvae on the reproduction and growth rate of Lake Winnebago sturgeon.”

Khan told Luthens: “This is wonderful example of a conservation success story. Opening day of sturgeon season gives the students a great opportunity in the field, and they end up learning a lot from the registration staff. Some of them have never been out on the ice before, and this is one of the greatest places there is to get that chance.”


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