Fluvial landscape ecology & conservation planning
Multi-scale approaches are necessary for understanding how ecology functions across the landscape.
Our team is involved in several projects involving landscape-scale approaches to fluvial ecology--from developing a connectivity-based stream classification system, to basin-specific conservation planning, investigating cross-scale metacommunity dynamics, and developing state-wide flow-ecology relationships.
Cross-scale invasion dynamics
Species invasions are an urgent threat to global biodiversity, but also present unique opportunities for testing general ecological concepts. With an emphasis on freshwater fishes, we use a combination experiments, observational studies, and modeling to better elucidate the fundamental drivers of biological invasions. Our work ranges from large, continental-scale analyses, to single key species in focal watersheds.
We are working closely with collaborators from LSU, Purdue, the University of Washington, and UNC-Wilmington to develop new research that will fundamentally change the way we model and manage species invasions.
Fluvial fish conservation
The southeastern United States is home to an impressive diversity of freshwater fishes, each with unique life histories and habitat requirements. In collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, we are working to understand the ecology of several groups of threatened fishes--from diadromous sturgeons in South Carolina's tidal rivers, to endemic Bartram's Bass (pictured) in the upper Savannah River basin, to whole-community modeling of SC's fish assemblages.
Positive biotic interactions in freshwater ecosystems
Throughout the last century, ecologists have learned a great deal about how negative biotic interactions (competition, predation, and parasitism) operate in nature. However, research on positive interactions such as mutualism, commensalism, and facilitation is still developing. We use symbiotic reproductive interactions among stream fishes as a model system for understanding how positive interactions function in nature.