James Diana

Professor; Director of Michigan Sea Grant


PhD, University of Alberta (zoology)

MA, California State University (biology)

BS, California State University (marine biology)

(734) 763- 5834
G128a Dana


Professor Diana, PhD, has studied the behavior and ecology of temperate fishes for three decades, working extensively on the behavior and ecology of many temperate fishes, including pike, muskellunge, brown trout, lake sturgeon, yellow perch, largemouth bass, and alewives. He joined the U-M faculty in 1979. Previously, Diana served as associate dean of University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment from 1999-2007, and as chair of the Resource Ecology and Management Program in SNRE from 1994-1999.

Dr. Jim Diana joined Michigan Sea Grant in March 2009. As Director for Michigan Sea Grant, Diana is involved in leading the statewide program in its research, education and outreach efforts on critical Great Lakes issues, such as sustainable coastal development, fisheries, and other issues.

As Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, Diana currently teaches a senior course on fish ecology and an introductory course in environmental sciences. He has received numerous professional honors, and is the author of more than 70 scientific publications and reports, as well as authored an edited book.

Diana is interested in aquaculture’s potential contribution to the global food supply through the understanding of ecologically sensitive aquaculture practices, particularly in developing countries; as well as the conservation of natural ecosystems through focusing on ecology of native species like pike and muskellunge as well as endangered species like lake sturgeon.

  • 2007-present: U.S. Agency for International Development (Oregon State University prime). Improving sustainability and reducing environmental impacts of aquaculture systems in China, and South and Southeast Asia.

  • 2013-present: University of Michigan, Third Century Initiatives, Transforming the Future. Researching fresh solutions to the energy/water/food challenge in resource constrained environments.

  • 2015-2016: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Restoring native fish spawning habitat in the St Clair River Delta (Middle Channel) in the St. Clair River Area of Concern.

  • 2015-2016: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fort Wayne Reef: Restoring fish spawning habitat in the Detroit River.

  • 2009-2014: National Science Foundation. Collaborative research: improving the environmental sustainability of shrimp aquaculture through microbial resource management.


Lifetime Achievement Award, World Aquaculture Society and AquaFish CRSP (2010).

Establishment of the Jim Diana Scholarship in Aquatic Ecology, SNRE  (2007).

Justin W. Leonard Award of Excellence, Michigan Chapter, American Fisheries Society (2006).

University of Michigan Undergraduate Teaching Award for (2004–2005).

Associate Fisheries Biologist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (1986-present).

Select publications: 
  • Diana, J.S., H.S. Egna, T. Chopin, M.S. Peterson, L. Cao, R. Pomeroy, M. Verdegem, W.T. Slack, M.G. Bondad-Reantaso, and F. Cabello. 2013. Responsible aquaculture in 2050: Valuing local conditions and human innovations will be key to success. BioScience 63:255-262.

  • Diana, J.S.  2009. Aquaculture production and biodiversity conservation.  BioScience 59:27-38.

  • Diana, J.S. 2005.  Biology and ecology of fishes, Second Edition. Biological Sciences Press. Carmel, Indiana.

  • Diana, J.S. and T.L. Margenau, editors.  2007.  The muskellunge symposium: a memorial for E. J. Crossman.  Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

  • Diana, J.S., S. Maruca, and B. Low.  2006.  Prey consumption by cormorants and its effect on the yellow perch population of Les Cheneaux Islands area, Northern Lake Huron.  Journal of Great Lakes Research 32:306-320.



Member, Great Lakes Net-pen Aquaculture Science Panel-Advisory to the Michigan Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Environmental Quality (2015-present).

Chair, Steering Committee for the Michigan Seafood Summit (2014-present).

Member, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research Management Council, (2012-present).

Member, Escoid Technical Committee, North Central Division, American Fisheries Society (2008-Present).

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