Gerald Niemi

Center for Water
and the Environment
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Gerald Niemi, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate and Professor

Jerry Niemi

Position and Focus

Gerald ‘Jerry’ Niemi was director of the Center for Water and the Environment from 1988-2008. He now holds an appointment as a senior research associate. He is also a tenured professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Jerry has had over 25 graduate students in biology and conservation biology at the University of Minnesota. He holds graduate appointments in the Integrated Biological Sciences, Conservation Biology, and Chemical Toxicology graduate programs. Jerry has maintained an active research program focusing on birds, the loss of biological diversity, Great Lakes ecosystems, conservation biology, landscape ecology, and sustainable natural resources development. His current projects include 1) bird conservation and management in the Great Lakes region, 2) the Minnesota breeding bird atlas, 3) environmental indicators and thresholds, and 4) predictive models of bird species occurrence in response to human and natural disturbances.


Ph.D. Biology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 1983
M.S. Zoology, University of Minnesota, 1977
B.S. Biology, University of Minnesota, 1974

Current Publications

  • Danz, NP, Frelich, LE Reich, PB & Niemi, GJ. 2013. Do vegetation boundaries display smooth or abrupt spatial transitions along environmental gradients? Evidence from the prairie-forest biome boundary of historic Minnesota, USA. Journal of Vegetation Science 24:1129--1140.
  • Kovalenko, KE, Brady, VJ, Brown, TN, Ciborowski, JJH, Danz, NP, Gathman, JP, Host, GE, Howe, RW, Johnson, LB Niemi, GJ & Reavie, ED. 2013. Congruence of community thresholds in response to anthropogenic stressors in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Freshwater Science
  • Lapin, C N Etterson, M A & Niemi, G J. 2013. Occurrence of Connecticut Warbler increases with coniferous forest patch size. Condor 115:168--177.
  • Niemi, GJ. 2013. Review: The Boreal Owl: Ecology, Behavior, and Conservation of a Forest-dwelling Predator. Journal of Wildlife Management 77:1075--1076.
  • Niemi, GJ, Bednar, JD, Condon, EL, Grinde, AR, Harrington, KA, Hoheisel, SM, Joyce, MJ, Panci, HG, Terry, JM Vetter, BJ & Ward, RL. 2013. Book Review: Community Ecology. The Auk 130:817--818.
  • Click here to view complete publication list.

    Project list for Gerald Niemi :

    (A link will go to the project's current report, an arrow will take you to a project's home page)

    Post-burn Bird Surveys at Pagmi River, Superior National Forest
    To sample breeding birds (2012-2016) in habitats burned by the Pagami Creek Fire (2011). These data will be used to compare with the breeding communities of both pre-fire samples and areas not affected by the fire.

    St. Louis River AOC R2R Support Project - Ecological Monitoring and Assessment
    Establish baseline conditions for restoration locations in the St. Louis River estuary using aquatic macroinvertebrates, aquatic vegetation, and birds. We are also examining the potential for mercury in the estuary sediments to raise concerns for wetland restoration, and how examining estuary circulation patterns may affect restoration sites.

    Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring
    To assess the biotic condition of all the major coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes, United States and Canadian shorelines.

    Avian Responses to Climate Change in the Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota