Weiming Li, Ph.D.

Weiming Li

Professor; Frederick E.J. Fry Chair for Environmental Physiology

100 Giltner


Area of Expertise: Chemical ecology, pheromone communication, fish behavior; fish endocrinology, comparative genomics, neurobiology and molecular biology

Dr. Li’s Website



Dr. Weiming Li, FEJ Fry Chair of Environmental Physiology, is a professor jointly appointed in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Physiology. He is also a faculty member for the Neuroscience Program and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Program. Graduate students advised by him have options to pursue advanced degrees in any of the abovementioned departments and programs.

Our overall objective is to develop a better understanding of fish and lamprey biology. Currently, the primary model for our research is the sea lamprey. Research on this model system has resulted in an array of useful and exciting outcomes. The sea lamprey is an invader of the Great Lakes of North America, and is highly destructive to the fish community. Our results have enabled a large scale field experiment to develop effective and environmentally benign methods to control the sea lamprey. Moreover, the sea lamprey is one of the few extant jawless vertebrate species. Lampreys arose at the advent of vertebrate evolution. Through experimentation with the sea lamprey model, we attempt to infer the origin of vertebrate animals, with a focus on evolution of several physiological mechanisms and gene families. We also use teleost species, such as salmonid and goldfish as models in our research. 

Research Interests

Sex pheromone communication in the sea lamprey

Cellular and molecular mechanism of olfaction

Elucidation of etiology and pathogenesis of early mortality syndrome by cDNA microarray based identification of expressed genes

Discovering new targets for sea lamprey control using DNA microarray

Developing procedures for utilizing a sex pheromone in control of sea lamprey populations of the Great Lakes

Electroreception in the Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus

The identification of reproductive pheromones used by the Round Goby in Michigan waters where the survival of indigenous fishes is threatened

Assessment of impacts of contaminants on Atlantic salmon smolts in Maine

Identification and characterization of sex steroids in the sea lamprey

Characterization of stress responses in the Pacific lamprey

Molecular mechanisms of the salmonid thiamin deficiency

Osmoregulation of sea lamprey 

Courses Taught

Affiliated Pages

Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (CEFAS)
Great Lakes Fishery Trust
Great Lakes Protection Fund
Monell Chemical Senses Center
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM)
Sea Grant
USFWS Marquette Biological Station
USGS Conte Anadramous Fish Branch

Selected Publications