Research Projects

Current Research Projects

  • Effects of invasive Red swamp crayfish on native crayfishes in eastern North Carolina
    (Collaboration with Robert Creed and NCWRC)
    Newly-funded study will examine the effects of invasive crayfishes on two endemic species in Coastal Plain habitats.
  • Phylogeography of the Mountain river cruiser
    (Collaboration with USFWS Asheville)
    Newly-funded study will use molecular bar coding and larval surveys to better identify the distribution of an uncommon and difficult to sample dragonfly.
  • Monitoring the effects of small dam removal on Blue Ridge stream communities
    (Collaboration with App State Geography and Planning Dept.)
    Newly funded study will examine the response of habitat and biota in the Watauga River to the removal of Ward's Mill Dam.
  • Distribution and status of the Round Ebonyshell mussel in the Conecuh River, Alabama
    (Collaboration with USFWS Panama City)
    Newly funded study will examine the distribution of this endemic and difficult to detect mussel in the Conecuh River and try to better understand its habitat requirements.
  • Effects of transportation corridor development on freshwater mussels and habitats in the South Toe River
    Recently completed 5-year project examined the effects of the Highway 19E expansion project on a population of endangered Appalachian elktoe mussels in Yancey County, NC.
  • Patterns of microplastic accumulation by freshwater mussels in the Pee Dee River Drainage
    Study will examine the role of landuse and position within a watershed on the abundance of microplastic particles in sediment, water and tissue samples.
  • Occupancy and status of the Carolina Creekshell
    (Collaboration with NCWRC and SCDNR)
    Study will use spatial models to understand the role of landuse and other habitat factors in predicting the distribution of an at-risk freshwater mussel species endemic to the Piedmont.
  • Molecular phylogeography of the freshwater mussel genus Elliptio
    (Collaboration with NCWRC and USFWS Athens)
    Long-term study of phylogenetic relationships and species boundaries in Elliptio, North America's most species-rich freshwater mussel genus.
  • Phylogeography of Appalachian Mountain stream fishes
    New study will attempt to use molecular markers to better understand the native range of several montane stream fishes and identify which populations are native or invasive.
  • Response of freshwater mussels to small dam removals
    Long-term study is focused on understanding how recent and older dam removal projects have influenced downstream mussel populations. My students and I have been monitoring several sites over the last decade to understand the long-term effects of this increasingly common form of stream restoration.
  • Response of mussel and fish communities to floodplain slough habitat restoration in the lower Apalachicola River, Northwestern FL
    (Collaboration with UF, Apalachicola Riverkeeper and Florida FWC)
    Study examines response of slough biota to a planned flow and habitat restoration.

Recently Completed Research Projects

  • Comparing The Effectiveness of Diurnal Rock-Lifting and Nocturnal Dive-Lighting Surveys For Eastern Hellbenders
  • Response of Brook Trout Populations to Habitat Conditions and Exotic Trout in Southern Appalachian Streams
  • The Effects of Beaver Impoundments on Montane Stream Fish Communities
  • Estimating Appalachian Elktoe Distribution and Abundance Using Occupancy And Detection Models
  • Phylogeographic Patterns Among the Freshwater Mussel Elliptio lanceolate Species Complex
  • Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Interstitial Sediments and Mussel Populations In The South Toe River