Jamilynn Poletto

Jamilynn Poletto

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught

Contact Information

TitleFish Physiologist
Faculty RankAssistant Professor
Address412 South Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
  • office: 402-472-5890
  • fax: 402-472-2946


My Story

Jamilynn Poletto, assistant professor within the School of Natural Resources, had an unusual beginning to her career.

While completing her bachelor's degree in neuroscience at the University of Rochester, she took a neuroethology class that looked at the neural basis for naturally occurring animal behavior.

"It was one of those 'aha' moments where I said, 'I love this'," she said. "I don't want to go to med school; I want to go to grad school."

She went on to get her doctorate in animal behavior at the University of California, Davis. Her post doctorate position focused on how temperature affects the metabolic rate of the green sturgeon in California.

In 2016, she joined SNR at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a fish physiologist because she fell in love with the department and environment. She grew up in a small town in upstate New York and found that the comradery, open-door policy, and great working environment within SNR made Lincoln feel like a small town as well.

"There's lots of opportunities here for interesting fish work," Poletto said. "The fish diversity afforded meaningful work."

Poletto teaches ichthyology, ecophysiology of wildlife and graduate seminars. For her research, she focuses on integrating studies of behavior and physiology of endangered fishes with conservation and management plans. Using this information, she can make more effective management plans.

In the field, researchers find that stressors such as habitat fragmentation, water temperatures, or invasive species may cause the decline in fish populations. Poletto wants to figure out the exact stressor causing a specific fish decline.

"In order to correct the problem or mitigate it, we need to know what the actual corresponding link is," she said. "I link some sort of environmental stressor to the behavior change."

She also works on collaborative projects with others in SNR examining how climate change, coupled with humans, affect natural ecosystems. And, she is studying fish populations in Canada to try to explain why some populations in one part of the world may be doing better than other populations.

Poletto said she is always willing to take on students for research projects, and she hires undergrads during the summer time to take care of fish in her lab. She encourages students to volunteer with her.

"I love to give students the opportunity to develop their own research and gain a lot of work experience so they're prepared to enter the work field," she said.

In the future, Poletto said she would like to continue to grow a strong research team in fish physiology and collaborate more with other SNR faculty.

by Alli Dickey, Natural Resources communications assistant

Selected Publications

Wszola, L. S., Feiner, Z. S., Chizinski, C., Poletto, J., DeLong, J. (2022). Fishing regulations, sexual dimorphism, and the life history of harvest. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 79(9), 1435--1446.
Fangue, N. A., Cocherell, D. E., Mauduit, F., Poletto, J., Carr, K., O'Rear, T. A., Soyster, G., Lorenzato, S., Carlon, J., Kavvas, M. L., Cech, Joseph J., Jr. (2021). Juvenile Chinook salmon use of sandbar willows in a large-scale, simulated riparian floodplain: microhabitat and energetics. ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY OF FISHES, 104(7), 867-879.Online
Baird, S., A.E. Steel, D.E. Cocherell, J.B. Poletto, R. Follenfant, N.A. Fangue (2019) Experimental assessment of predation risk for juvenile green sturgeon, Acipenser medirostris, by two predatory fishes. J Appl Ichthyol. 35:14-24.Online
Davis, B. E., Komoroske, L. M., Hansen, M. J., Poletto, J., Perry, E. N., Miller, N. A., Ehlman, S. M., Wheeler, S. G., Sih, A., Todgham, A. E., Fangue, N. A. (2018). Juvenile rockfish show resilience to CO2-acidification and hypoxia across multiple biolo
Poletto, J. B., Cocherell, D. E., Ho, N., Cech, Jr, J. J., Klimley, P., Fangue, N. A. (2018). The effect of size on juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) behavior near water-diversion fish screens. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 101, 67-77.Online
Poletto, J., Martin, B., Danner, E., Baird, S. E., Cocherell, D. E., Hamda, N., Cech, J. J. J., Fangue, N. A. (2018). Assessment of multiple stressors on the growth of larval green sturgeon Acipenser medirostris: Implications for recruitment and managemen
Poletto, J.B., Martin, B., Danner, E., Baird, S.E., Cocherell, D.E., Hamda, N., Cech, J.J. and Fangue, N.A., 2018. Assessment of multiple stressors on the growth of larval green sturgeon Acipenser medirostris: implications for recruitment of early life‐Online
Ercan, A. M., Kavvas, M. L., Carr, K., Hockett, Z., Bandeh, H., Mussen, T. D., Poletto, J., Cocherell, D. E., Cech, J. J., Fangue, N. A. 2017. Hydraulics Near Unscreened Diversion Pipes in Open Channels: Large Flume Experiments. JAWRA. 53: 431-441.Online
Poletto, J., Cocherell, D. E., Baird, S. E., Nguyen, T. X., Cabrera-Stagno, V., Farrell, A. P., Fangue, N. A. 2017. Unusual aerobic performance at high temperatures in juvenile Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Conservation physiology, 5(1):cow067Online
Klimley, A.P., Cech, J.J.Jr., Fangue, N.A., Gingras, M., Jackson, Z., Miller, M., Mora, E., Poletto, J., Schreier, A., Seesholtz, A., Sulak, A., Thomas, M., Woodbury, D., and Wyman, M. (2015). Sturgeon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Watershed: New InsightsOnline
Poletto, J.B., Cocherell, D.E., Mussen, T.D., Ercan, A., Bandeh, H., Kavvas, M.L., Cech, J.J. Jr., and Fangue, N.A. (2015). Fish protection devices at unscreened water diversions can reduce entrainment: Evidence from behavioral laboratory investigations. Online
Mussen, T.D., Cocherell, D.E., Poletto, J.B., Reardon, J.S., Ercan, A., Bandeh, H., Kavvas, M.L., Cech, J.J. Jr., and Fangue, N.A. (2014). Unscreened water-diversion pipes threaten green sturgeon survival. PLoS ONE 9, e86321. Online
Poletto, J.B., Cocherell, D.E., Ho, N., Cech, J.J. Jr., Klimley, A.P., and Fangue, N.A. (2014). Juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) and white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) behavior near water-diversion fish screens: experiments in a laborOnline
Poletto, J.B., Cocherell, D.E., Mussen, T.D., Ercan, A., Bandeh, H., Kavvas, M.L., Cech, J.J. Jr., and Fangue, N.A. (2014). Efficacy of a sensory deterrent and pipe modifications in decreasing entrainment of juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris)Online
Verhille, C.E., Poletto, J.B., Cocherell, D.E., DeCourten, B., Baird, S., Cech, J.J. Jr., and Fangue, N.A. (2014). Larval green and white sturgeon swimming performance in relation to water diversion flows. Conservation Physiology 2, doi:10.1093/conphys/coOnline
Poletto, J.B., D.E. Cocherell, A.P. Klimley, J.J. Cech Jr., and N.A. Fangue. (2013). Behavioural salinity preferences of juvenile green sturgeon Acipenser medirostris acclimated to fresh water and full-strength salt water. Journal of Fish Biology 82, 671-Online
Hamda, N., Martin, B., Poletto, J., Cocherell, D. E., Fangue, N. A., VanEenennaam, J., Mora, E. A., Danner, E. (2019). Applying a simplified energy-budget model to explore the effects of temperature and food availability on life history of the Green SturgOnline



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyAnimal BehaviorUniversity of California-Davis2014
Bachelor of ScienceNeuroscienceUniversity of Rochester2009



TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
Holling Family Awards for Teaching Excellence, Junior FacultyUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln 2020
Parents Recognition AwardUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln Teaching Council and Parents Association2018
Great Plains FellowsCenter for Great Plains Studies, UNL2018
Research Development Fellows Program (RDFP)UNL Office of Research and Economic Development2017




SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Ecology

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Fish Behavioral Ecology
  • Ecophysiology
  • Intraspecific Variation
  • Conservation and Management
  • Endangered Species
  • Fisheries


Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant TitleOptimization of Practical Feed Formulation to Improve Fish Health and Production Performance of Yellow Perch (Additional Funding)
Starting Date08/05/2022


Ending Date12/31/2022
Funding Level$10,512.00
Funding AgencyIowa State University


Grant TitleOptimization of Practical Feed Formulation to improve Fish Health and Production Performance of Yellow Perch
Starting Date02/29/2020


Ending Date04/20/2022
Funding Level$10,253.00
Funding AgencyIowa State University



Graduate Programs

Master of Applied Science

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Applied Ecology

Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Applied Ecology

Courses Taught

Course NumberCourse TitleFall Even YearsFall Odd YearsSpring Even YearsSpring Odd YearsSummer SessionCross Listing
NRES 482/882Ecophysiology of Wildlife XX
NRES 489/889IchthyologyXX
NRES 801Topics in Applied EcologyXX