Chicago aquarium taps Mich. native for research

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is relying on some expertise from western Michigan.

Phil Willink is leading the aquarium's Great Lakes conservation initiative. He's a Grand Rapids native who graduated from Calvin College and recalls catching perch in Lake Michigan as a younger man.

Willink's research focuses on rare and endangered species in the Great Lakes and maintaining the whitefish population. He says Shedd is known for education and outreach, but conservation research is being emphasized, too. Willink tells The Grand Rapids Press ( that he's always been fascinated by the Great Lakes, although he's caught fish in exotic waters around the world.

His parents live in Grand Haven.

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