Biodiversity and Ecology

Biodiversity Focus Leader



The aquatic animals living in certain water sources can be indicators of water quality. 

 

The overarching objective of this area is to enable basic and applied research related to aquatic ecosystem conservation and management.  Current research interests among faculty members in this area are diverse, mainly covering endangered, invasive, and game species management; food webs; biogeochemistry; climate change impacts; and ecosystem services.  The biological groups of interest include bacteria, algae, macroinvertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, waterfowl, and bats, as well as genetic-based detection and conservation strategies for many of these groups.  Twelve faculty in the Department of Biology, School of Environmental Studies, and USGS Cooperative Fishery Unit are active in this area. 

Research Focus Area Leader: Dr. Justin Murdock, Biology

  • Faculty

    • Dr. Brian Carver, Biology
    • Dr. Dan Combs, Biology
    • Dr. Brad Cook, Biology
    • Mr. Keith Gibbs, Biology
    • Dr. Steve Hayslette, Biology
    • Dr. Carla Hurt, Biology
    • Dr. Robert Kissell, Biology
    • Dr. Hayden Mattingly, Environmental Studies
    • Dr. Justin Murdock, Biology
    • Dr. Chris Murray, Biology
    • Dr. Mark Rogers, Biology and TN Cooperative Fishery Unit
    • Dr. Amanda Rosenberger, Biology and TN Cooperative Fishery Unit

    FACULTY SPOTLIGHT:  Phil Bettoli

  • Students

     

  • Awards and Recognition

    • Amanda Rosenberger, assistant unit leader of the Tennessee Cooperative Fishery Research Unit and associate professor of biology, won the 2017 award for Outstanding Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Faculty Member of the Fish and Wildlife Student Organization. Also, Rosenberger's students Kayla N. Key, G. Lindner, and K. Bouska were awarded the Best Student Oral Platform Presentation Award for their paper titled "A Hierarchical Approach to Mussel Conservation: From Niche Modeling to Field Monitoring," presented at the 2017 Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society 10th Biennial Symposium in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Projects

    • Aquatic Agroecosystems
      J. Murdock/U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • Avian Occurrence and Habitat Use at Naval Support Activity Mid-South
      S. Hayslette/U.S. Geological Survey
    • Brook Trout Restoration
      K. Gibbs/National Park Service
    • Collection of Biological Data at Deer Check Stations
      S. Hayslette/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Determination of Geomorphological and Landscape Factors Contributing to Diverse Unionoid Mussel
      A. Rosenberger/Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Determining Bluemask Darter Ecological Requirements at Multiple Spatial Scales to Support Reintroductions in the Calfkiller River System
      H. Mattingly/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Determining the Current Distribution and Potential Spread of Didymo in North Carolina Streams
      J. Murdock/North Carolina Community Foundation
    • Ecological and Climatic Assessment of Flying Squirrels in East Tennessee
      B. Carver/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Endangered Tennessee Bats and Development of WNS Biocontrol Agents
      D. Walker/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Environmental DNA Protection, Population Status, and Habitat Use of the Pygmy Madtom
      H. Mattingly/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Evaluating Sport Fisheries
      M.W. Rogers/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Evaluating Stocked Fisheries
      M.W. Rogers/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Genomic Variation and Species Diversification in Alpheid Snapping Shrimps
      C. Hurt/National Geographic Society
    • Intern Propagation of Freshwater Mussels and Fishes in Tennessee
      A. Rosenberger/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • The Origin, Host and Geographic Range of Snake Fungal Disease with an Emphasis on Species
      D. Walker/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Prioritizing Fish Reintroduction in Lower Abrams Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
      B. Leckie/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Rangewide Population Status Assessment for the Rare Barrens Darter, Etheostoma forbesi
      H. Mattingly/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Relative Population Densities, Movement and Spawning Success of Asian Carp
      M.W. Rogers/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Spatial Assessment of the Status and Risk to Mussel Concentrations in the Meramec Drainage
      A. Rosenberger/The Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Spatial Assessment of the Status and Risk to Mussel Concentrations in the Meramec Drainage
      A. Rosenberger/The Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Status of Streamside Salamander in Central Tennessee
      C. Hurt/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Valley Flame Crayfish, Molecular and Morphological Taxonomy
      C. Hurt/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Water Quality Profile of the Little Black River System to Determine Potential Causes for Decline
      A. Rosenberger/The Missouri Department of Conservation

  • Publications/Presentations

     

    Journal Articles (Fiscal Year 2017-2018)

    • Curtis, W.J., A.E. Gebhard, and J.S. Perkin. 2018. "The River Continuum Concept Predicts Prey Assemblage Structure for an Insectivorous Fish Along a Temperate Landscape," Freshwater Science, doi:10.1086/699013.
    • Dillard, J.G., A.E. Rosenberger, and E. Tracy-Smith. 2018. "Still Hooked: Our First 50 Years," Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Columbia. ISBN 978-1-61600-518-4.
    • Foley, K., A.E. Rosenberger, and F. Mueter. 2018. "Longitudinal Patterns of Juvenile Coho Salmon Distribution and Abundance in Headwater Streams of the Little Susitna River, Alaska," Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 147, 247-264.
    • Knorp, N.E., and J.N. Murdock. 2017. "Exclusion Size and Material Have Minimal Effects on Stream Benthic Algae and Macroinvertebrate Colonization with Submerged Cages," Aquatic Ecology, 54, 545-556.
    • Laske, S.M., A.E. Rosenberger, M.S. Wipfli, and C.E. Zimmerman. 2018. Generalist Feeding Strategies in Arctic Freshwater Fish: A Mechanism for Dealing with Harsh Environmnets," Ecology of Freshwater Fish, doi: 10.1111/eff.12391.
    • Laske, S.M., A.E. Rosenberger, W.J. Kane, M.S. Wipfli, and C.E. Zimmerman. 2017. "To-Down Control of Invertebrates by Ninespine Stickleback in Arctic Ponds," Freshwater Biology, doi: 10.1086/690675.
    • Malone, E.W., J.S. Perkin, B.M. Leckie, M.A. Kulp, C.R. Hurt, and D.M. Walker. 2018. "Which Species, How Many, and from Where: Integrating Habitat Suitability, Population Genomics, and Abundance Estimates into Species Reintroduction Planning," Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb,14126.
    • Wellemeyer, J.C., J.S. Perkin, J.D. Fore, and C. Boyd. 2018. "Comparing Assembly Processes for Multimetric Indices of Biotic Integrity," Ecological Indicators, 89, 590-609. 

    Publications in Press (Fiscal Year 2017-2018)

    • Bouska, K., A.E. Rosenberger, S.E. McMurray, G. Lindner, and K. Key. State Level Freshwater Mussel Programs: Current Status and a Research Framework to Aid in Mussel Management and Conservation.
    • Rosenberger, A.E. Principles of Thermal Ecology: Temperature, Energy, and Life. Written by Andrew Clarke. New York (United States): Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-955166-8. The Quarterly Review of Biology.
    • Zuber, B.C., and H.T. Mattingly. "Etheostoma forbesi, Barrens Darter," in George, A.L. (ed.). Conservation Plans for Imperiled Fishes of the Mobile, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. Tennessee Aquarium Institute, Chattanooga, TN.

    Presentations (Fiscal Year 2017-2018)

    • Blackburn, A. "Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Response to Antimycin During Brook Trout Restoration in a Small Headwater Stream," presented at the Tennessee Tech Research and Creative Inquiry Day, Cookeville, Tennessee, April 9-10, 2018.
    • Blackburn, A. "Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Response to Antimycin During Brook Trout Restoration in a Small Headwater Stream," presented at the 2018 Society for Freshwater Science Conference, Detroit, Michigan, May 20-24, 2018.
    • Caudle, J., W.G. Wells, S. Kenney, H.T. Mattingly, and J. Wolak. "Analysis of Microhabitat Preferences of the Mountain Madtom, Noturus eleutherus," presented at the Tennessee Tech University Research and Creative Inquiry Day, Cookeville, Tennessee, April 2018.
    • Caudle, J., S. Kenney, W. Wells, H.T. Mattingly, and J. Wolak. "Water Depth and Substrate Use of Noturus eleutherus in the Clinch River, Tennessee," presented at the Southeastern Fishes Council Annual Meeting, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 2017.
    • Chilton, J., and A.E. Rosenberger. "Habitat Associations of Endemic Crayfishes in the Meramec River Drainage: The Freckled Crayfish (Cambarus maculatus) and Belted Crayfish (Faxonius harrisonii)," presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference, Osage Beach, Missouri, February 2018.
    • Chilton, J., and A.E. Rosenberger. "The Detectability of Two Rare Crayfish Species in the Meramec River Drainage: The 'Vulnerable' Freckled Crayfish and Belted Crayfish," presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Tampa, Florida, August 2017.
    • Evans, J., and J. Murdock. "Linking Water Depth to Dentrification in Shallow Agricultural Lakes," presented at the Society for Freshwater Science National Meeting," Detroit, Michigan, May 2018.
    • Key, K., A. Rosenberger, G. Lindner, and K. Bouska. "Hierarchical Approach to Mussel Conservation: From Niche Modeling to Field Monitoring," presented at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, August 2017.
    • Key, K., A. Rosenberger, and C. Krause. "A User-Friendly Tool to Identify Potential Threats to Species on a Landscape Level," presented at the 2017 Organization of Fisheries and Wildlife Information Managers Conference, Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 2017.
    • Key, K.N., A. Rosenberger, G. Lindner, and K. Bouska. "A Hierarchical Approach to Mussel Conservation: From Niche Modeling to Field Monitoring," presented at the 2017 Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society 10th Biennial Symposium, Cleveland, Ohio, 2017 (invited presentation and winner of the Best Student Oral Platform Presentation Award).
    • Litmer, A.R., and C. Murray. "Neutrophil: Lymphocyte Ratios as a Measure of Chronic Stress in Populations of the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus allegnaiensis) Across a Habitat Quality Gradient," presented at the Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Annual Meeting, Helen, Georgia, 2018.
    • Litmer, A.R., and C. Murray. "Neutrophil: Lymphocyte Ratios as a Measure of Chronic Stress in Populations of the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus allegnaiensis) Across a Habitat Quality Gradient," presented at the Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers," Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2017.
    • Litmer, A.R., and C. Murray. "The Critical Thermal Capacity of Dispersal: Comparative Niche Breadth Among Populations of the Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)," presented at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Austin, Texas, 2017.
    • Litmer, A.R., and C. Murray. "Neutrophil: Lymphocyte Ratios as a Measure of Chronic Stress in Populations of the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus allegnaiensis) Across a Habitat Quality Gradient," presented at the Tennessee Herpetological Society, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 2017.
    • McConnell, M.T., and H.T. Mattingly. "Water Quality Analysis of Coliform Bacteria at Selected Sites in the Cumberland River Basin of Middle Tennessee," presented at the Volunteer State Community College Annual Earth Day Celebration, Cookeville, Tennessee, April 2018.
    • Mott, R., and A.E. Rosenberger. "Effects of Sublethal Stressors on Topeka Shiner (Notropis topeka) Physiology," presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Tampa, Florida, August 2017.
    • Murdock, J., M.A., Locke, R.E. Lizotte, Jr., and J.M. Taylor. "Surface Water Quantity Management Can Improve Water Quality and Nutrient Retention in Agricultural Watersheds," presented at the West Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, February 2018.
    • Murdock, J., M.A. Locke, R.E. Lizotte, Jr., and J.M. Taylor. "Surface Water Quantity Can Regulate Aquatic Agroecosystem Water Quality and Nutrient Retention," presented at the Tennessee American Water Resources Association Meeting, April 2018.
    • Murdock, J., K. Henderson, J. Payne, and J. Evans. "Surface Water Availability Can Regulate Water Quality and Nutrient Retention in Aquatic Agroecosystems," presented at the Society for Freshwater Science National Meeting, Detroit, Michigan, May 2018.
    • Roberts, A., J. Hundley, A. Rosenberger, K.L. Bouska, D. Mosby, B. Simmons, and G. Lindner. "Quantitative Survey of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea) and Assessment of Sediment Contamination in the Big River, Missouri," presented at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Annual Meeting, November 2017.
    • Rosenberger, A. "Landscape Ecology of Alaska Fishes," presented for the Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, April 2018.
      Schrum, M., A.E. Rosenberger, and S. McMurray. "Identification of the Cause of Mussel Population Collapse, and Current Water Quality and Habitat Suitability Assessment in the Little Black River System, Carter, Ripley, and Butler Counties, Missouri," presented to the Missouri Natural Resources Conference, Osage Beach, Missouri, February 2018.
    • Wells, W., and H.T. Mattingly. "Preliminary Analysis of Age-Class Structure and Longevity for the Endangered Pygmy Madtom, Noturus stanauli," presented at the Southeastern Fishes Council Annual Meeting, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 2017.
    • West, J.M. "Range-Wide Population Genetic Structure of Rafinesque's Big-Eared Bat, Corynhorhinus rafinesquii, and Southeastern Myotis, Myotis austroriparius," presented to the Biology 1000 class at Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, Tennessee, November 2018 (invited presentation).
    • West, J.M., and B.C. Carver. "Range-Wide Population Genetic Structure of Rafinesque's Big-Eared Bat, Corynorhinus rafinesquii, and Southeastern Myotis, Myotis austrorpiarius," presented to the Mississippi Bat Working Group, March 1, 2018 (invited presentation).

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