Focal areas of research include…

Black Bass Diversity – Conservation and Management

Black Bass (Micropterus spp.) are iconic sportfishes of North America, with economic value and ecological significance.  Recently, molecular investigations have discovered at least 19 taxonomic forms, many of which are endemic to stream systems of the southeastern U.S.  Unfortunately, the conservation of many of these endemic forms is uncertain, primarily because of introgressive hybridization with non-native black basses, habitat alteration, and fragmentation.  We are spearheading this emerging paradigm within the fisheries management field (see Taylor et al. 2019 in Fisheries).

Bartram’s Bass
Shoal Bass

Conservation of Native Biodiversity within Riverscapes

As humans increasingly alter streams and their watersheds, conservation of native freshwater fish diversity requires a holistic “riverscape” approach.  We commonly address these problems by linking quantitative models with geospatial datasets that describe natural and anthropogenic features in the riverscape.  Results are spatially explicit and provide roadmaps for on-the-ground management and conservation efforts.

Morgan Falls Dam, Chattahoochee River, GA
Elk River, MO

Non-native and Invasive Aquatic Species

Non-native and invasive species are particularly problematic threats to native fish diversity within human-altered river systems.  We examine how introduced species interact with native organisms through diet studies, and also conduct surveys to update the spatial extent and demographic status of invading populations.  We also apply molecular approaches to illuminate the scope of cryptic species invasions that would otherwise be problematic to quantify.  

Asian Swamp Eel, Roswell, GA
Hybrid black bass