The Graduate Program in Ecology of Inland Water Ecosystems began to be idealized in 1983, when a group of researchers from the Department of Biology of the State University of Maringá, that were supported by Itaipu Binacional, started to develop ichthyological studies in the Itaipu reservoir of the Upper Paraná River.

In 1986, these researchers formed the Nupélia – Research Group in Limnology, Ichthyology and Aquaculture, that aimed to coordinate and perform studies of ecology of inland water ecosystems.

As Nupélia developed its activities with a major focus on freshwater communities, there was a need to add researchers to the group with a more specific view of the physical and chemical components of the environment. Thus, the GEMA researchers (Group of Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies) were invited to join Nupélia, having in mind the creation of a graduate course with the objective of training high-level human resources in the area of Aquatic Ecology.

Fundamental ideas of this interdisciplinary group was to act within a systemic vision in the study of continental aquatic ecosystems and their environments, aiming at the understanding of its structure and functioning, providing indispensable subsidies for management, guaranteeing its integrity and balance, and aiming at improving the quality of life of the populations that occupy these areas.

Thus, the Graduate Program in Ecology of Inland Water Ecosystems of the State University of Maringá was born.

The Master's program began in September 1991, with the support of PADCT/CIAMB-CAPES-CNPq, which funded the implementation of the Program and the development of a comprehensive, associated research project. The Master's degree was recommended by the GTC/CAPES in March of 1992, and from that date onwards, it had scholarships provided by CAPES and CNPq.

The PhD program was implemented in August 1992 and was recommended by the GTC/CAPES in June 1995. Like the Master's degree, it is supported by CAPES and CNPq.

The geographical location of the State University of Maringá, in the northwest of Paraná State, allows easy access to the only free stretch of the upper Paraná River and reservoirs, belonging to the river basin, a factor that places the natural laboratory at the disposal of postgraduates, for the accomplishment of research activities to be developed, parallel to those of teaching.