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. 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, was awarded certification as a Fisheries Professional by the American Fisheries Society (2018-2023) and won the 2018 Performance Award from the United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
    • The research of Lucas Hix (former Water Center graduate student) and Justin Murdock (interim director) was highlighted on the cover of the journal Hydrobiologia.  Their work investigated the conditions supporting the spread and growth of the invasive algae, Didymo. 

  • Projects

    • AEDC Bat Aquatic Survey
      H. Mattingly/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Aquatic Agroecosystems
      J. Murdock/U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • Brawley's Fork Crayfish
      H. Mattingly/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Collection of Biological Data
      S. Hayslette/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Evaluating Sport Fisheries
      M. Rogers/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Evaluating Stocked Fisheries
      M. Rogers/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Evaluation of Asian Carp TN and Cumberland River
      M. Rogers/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Missouri Conservation Longnose Darter
      A. Rosenberger/Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Missouri Conservation Ozark River Mussel 
      A. Rosenberger/Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Streamside Salamander
      C. Hurt/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Tennessee Heelsplitter Habitat
      A. Rosenberger/U.S. Geological Survey

  • Publications/Presentations

     

    Journal Articles (Fiscal Year 2018-2019)

    • 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," Fisheries, doi:10.1002/fsh.10106 (TPI-076251). 
    • Gibbs, W.K., J.N. Murdock, and M.A. Kulp.  2019.  "Interim Report--Assessment of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Response to Antimycin During Brook Trout Restoration in Little Cataloichee Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park" - Study #: GRMS-02362, Permit #: GRSM-2015-SCI-2362. 
    • Hix, L.A., and J.N. Murdock.  2019.  "Didymosphenia geminata Establishment and Mat Accumulation Require Distinct Water Quality Conditions in the Upper Tennessee River Basin," Hydrobiologia, 828(1), 147-164.  
    • Hurt, C., N. Ellis, A. Harman, and C. Savage.  2019.  "Genetic Structure at the Major Histocompatibility Complex in the Endangered Barrens Topminnow (Fundulus julisia)," Southeastern Naturalist, 18, 29-36.  
    • Kunza, L.A., C.A. Gillis, J.Z. Haueter, J.N. Murdock, and J.M. O'Brien.  2018.  "Oligotrophication as a Potential Driver for the Emergence of Didymosphenia geminata in North American Rivers," River Research and Applications, 34(8), 1105-1110. 
    • Rogers, M.W., and J.N. Murdock.  2018.  "Final Report Cooperative Agreement Award No. F16AC01049:  Effects of Asian Carp Invasion on the Food Web of a Mussel Biodiversity Hotspot in Tennessee," A Final Report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia. 

    Publications in Press (Fiscal Year 2018-2019)

    • DiStefano, R.J., J.T. Westhoff, C.J. Rice, and A.E. Rosenberger.  "Life History of the Endemic Crayfish Faxonius (Procericambarus) medius (Decapoda:  Cambridae) (Faxon 1884) in Missouri, USA," Freshwater Crayfish.  
    • Hargrove, J.S., M.W. Rogers, P.T. Kacmar, and P. Black.  "A Statewide Evaluation of Florida Bass Genetic Admixture Across a Gradient of Stocking Rates and Reservoirs in Tennessee," North American Journal of Fisheries Management, https://doi.org/10.1002/nafm.10295
    • Hargrove, J.S., M.W. Rogers, and P.T. Kacmar.  2019.  "Quantifying Contributions to Tournament Catches Among Resident, Stocked, and Hybrid Black Basses (Micropterus spp.)," Fisheries Management and Ecology, Accepted for Publication. 
    • Hurt, C.R., R.F. Thoma, D.I. Withers, C.E. Williams, and R.T.R. Paine.  "Extensive Regional Endemism and Cryptic Diversity in the Tennessee and Kentucky, USA Populations of the Burrowing Crayfish Cambarus deweesae (Bouchard & Etnier, 1979) (Decapoda:  Astacidea:  Cambaridae) as Revealed by Molecular Genetics," Journal of Crustacean Biology (2019) 1-10.  Accepted April 1, 2019. 
    • 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 2018-2019)

    • Blackburn, A.  "Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Response to Antimycin During Brook Trout Restoration in a Small Headwater Stream," presented at the Tennessee American Fisheries Society Chapter Meeting, Chattanooga, Tennessee, April 2019. 
    • Blackburn, A.  "Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Periphyton Response to Antimycin During Brook Trout Restoration in a Small Headwater Stream," presented at the 2019 Tennessee American Fisheries Society Meeting, Chattanooga, February 2019 .
    • Brown, R., J. Murdock, and J. Evans.  "Developing Standard Collection Procedures for Intact Sediment Cores Used in Continuous Flow Experiments," presented at the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2019. 
    • Blum, P., M. Green, S. Tuberty, and J. Murdock.  "Effects of Didymosphenia on Larval Chironomid Diversity and Feeding Structures," presented at the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2019.  
    • Chilton, J., A. Rosenberger, and R. DiStefano.  "Habitat Associations and Distributions of Endemic Crayfishes in the Meramec River Drainage," presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference, Osage Beach, Missouri, February 2019.  
    • Day, S., and J. Murdock. “Establishing Didymosphenia geminata Cellular Response Thresholds to Water Quality Changes Using Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Microspectroscopy,” presented at the Tennessee American Fisheries Society Chapter Meeting, Chattanooga, TN, April 2019.
    • Day, S., and J. Murdock, “Establishing Didymosphenia geminata Cellular Response Thresholds to Water Quality Changes Using Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Microspectroscopy,” presented at the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2019.
    • Fernholz, S.R., and M.W. Rogers. “Relative Densities and Population Characteristics of Bighead and Silver Carp in
      Reservoirs of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers,” presented at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 2018.  
    • Flanagan, T., and M.W. Rogers. “Evaluating Asian Carp Movement in the Tennessee River with a Focus on Prohibiting Lock and Dam Passage,” presented during the 2019 Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society Meeting, Galveston, Texas.
    • Hargrove, J.S., and M.W. Rogers. “Rethinking Florida Bass Stocking as a Fishery Management Tool,” presented at the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Meeting, Mobile, Alabama, 2018.
    • Hargrove, J.S., M.W. Rogers, P.T. Kacmar, and P. Black. “A Statewide Evaluation of Florida Bass Introgression Across a Gradient of Stocking Rates and Reservoirs in Tennessee,” presented at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 2018.
    • Hurt, C.  "Molecular Tools in Aquatic Conservation Genetics," presented during a departmental seminar at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, 2018. 
    • Hurt, C.  "Environmental DNA (eDNA) Tracking of Invasive Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) in the Duck River, Tennessee," presented at the Southeastern Fishes Council 2018, Hickory Knob State Park, McCormick, South Carolina, November 2018. 
    • Hurt, C.  "Environmental DNA and Rare Fishes in Tennessee," presented at the Rare Fishes Meeting 2019, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Tennessee, March 2019. 
    • Johansen, J.W., H.T., Mattingly, C.A. Taylor, and G.A. Shuster.  "Assessing Rarity Patterns in Crayfish at Multiple Spatial Scales Using Scale-Area Curves," presented at the International Associateion of Astacology 22nd International Symposium on Freshwater Crayfish, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, July 2018.  
    • Jones, V.J., H.T. Mattingly, S.A. Allen, and J.W. Simmons.  "Distribution and Abundance of the Bluemask Darter Etheostoma akatulo in the Collins River during Summer 2018," presented at the Southeastern Fishes Council Annual Meeting, Hickory Knob State Park, McCormick, South Carolina, November 2018.   
    • Kacmar, P., M.W. Rogers, and T. Flanagan.  "Influences of Sampling Method and Season on Florida Largemouth Bass Genetic Introgression at Chickamauga Reservoir, Tennessee," presented at the 2019 Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society, Galveston, Texas. 
    • Leckie, B., E. Kohler, B. Castleberry, and G. Delay.  "Genomics Enabled Sustainable Agriculture," presented at the Life Science Tennessee's Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 2018.
    • Murdock, J., A. Kalyanapu, and L. Webb, et al.  "Assessing the Restoration Success of the Wetlands Reserve Program in Western Kentucky and Tennessee," presented at the West Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, Jackson, Tennessee, March 2019. 
    • Murdock, J., and S. Day.  "Detecting Water Quality Thresholds for Algal Blooms Using a Short-Term, Multi-Species Assay," presented at the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2019. 
    • Paine, R.T.R., M.W. Rogers, and C. Hurt.  "Environmental DNA (eDNA) Tracking of the Invasive Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) in the Duck River, Tennessee," presented at the Southeastern Fishes Council Annual Meeting, South Carolina, 2018. 
    • Rogers, M.W., J. Murdock, and D. Hubbs.  "Implications of Silver Carp Invasion on the Food Web of a Freshwater Mussel Biodiversity Hotspot," presented at the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Meeting, Mobile, Alabama, 2018. 
    • Rosenberger, A.  "Fire and Ice:  Landscape Ecology of Life on the Edge," Seminar for the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture presented at the Mississippi State University, March 2019. 
    • Rosenberger, A., S. McMurray, K. Bouska, G. Lindner, K. Key, M. Schrum, and L. Lueckenhoff.  "Towards a Statewide, Strategic, and Spatially Explicit Mussel Conservation Assessment and Monitoring Program--Our Vision," presented at the Tennessee Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee. 
    • Womble, S., and J. Murdock.  "Distribution of Didymosphenia geminata in Southern Appalachian Watersheds," presented at the Tennessee American Fisheries Society Chapter Meeting, Chattanooga, Tennessee, April 2019. 
    • Womble, S., and J. Murdock.  "Distribution of Didymosphenia geminata in Southern Appalachian Watersheds," presented at the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 2019. 

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