Our Team

Meet Our Team

AEM was founded in 1998 to focus on providing ecologically oriented water management in the Chicagoland area.
The staff includes dedicated biologists, ecologists, and trained professionals caring for the environmental integrity of each site. The firm manages over one hundred client sites annually, completing an array of projects in both the public and private sectors, from small garden ponds to 100+ acre lake/wetland/stream complexes. The goal of our services is to provide each client with both an aesthetically pleasing and ecologically balanced water feature. Well-maintained water features add to property value and proactive measures for pond protection can reduce future expenses.

Michael Perkaus

Michael, Aquatic Biologist, founded Aquatic Ecosystems Management in 1998. Michael is a member of Illinois Lakes Management Association, National Association of Lakes Management, and Midwest Aquatic Plant Society. He is involved in the North Branch Watershed Planning Committee. He conducts annual aquatic ecology field lessons for students and volunteer monitoring for area schools. He graduated with a BS in Biology, from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. His college summers were spent studying Marine Sciences & Ecology at The Alabama Sea Lab, a consortium of colleges and universities in Alabama.

Matt Rudy

Matt joined AEM in 2005 and is currently Field Supervisor. Matt graduated from Trinity International University in 2003 with a BS in Biology. Responsibilities include coordinating and scheduling of monitoring and maintenance services and reviewing project sites for quality control. In addition to his field responsibilities, his people skills allow him to effectively work with both clients and crews. Prior to joining AEM, Matt worked in sales for Orvis. He is an avid fly fisherman and outdoorsman with a passion for the environment.

John Bambino

John joined AEM in 2007 and is currently Native Shoreline Specialist. He also is responsible for care of all koi ponds, ensuring proper care of the water features and koi. He has over 10 years of experience with native plants, and shoreline maintenance. He has joint field responsibilities for sites where Native Shoreline Maintenance is contracted. John’s artistic abilities and eye for detail help clients envision how a native project will develop over time.

Aaron Rudy

Aaron joined AEM in 2008 and is currently project manager as well as fountain and aeration sales and service manager.  His primary responsibilities are twofold.  He coordinates the monitoring and maintenance of many of the ponds AEM cares for.  He also coordinates the sales and subsequent installation of fountains and aeration systems along with general maintenance and repairs.  Aaron is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fly fishing, camping and hiking with his family.

Mindy Barrett

Mindy joined AEM in 2008 and is currently Business Manager. She has a MS in Public Service Management from DePaul. She has worked in the industry since 2004, building and managing office staff, client communications, and financial responsibilities.