Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Staff Member

Robert T Paine

Robert collecting water samples for eDNA surveillance of the endangered pygmy madtom, Noturus stanauli



  • Ph D Tennessee Technological University 2019
  • BS University of West Florida 2013


I am a molecular ecologist interested in using next-generation sequencing to answer questions related to fish community ecology.. Molecular ecology, Fishes, Community ecology, Next-generation sequencing, Rare species

Research Publications Publication Date
Wells, W. G., Johnson, T. C., Gebhard, A. E., Paine, R. T. R., Hix, L. A., Ferrell, H. N, Engle, A. N., and Perkin, J. S. (2017). March of the sculpin: measuring and prediciting short-term movement of banded sculpin Cottus carolinae. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 26(2), 280 - 291. February 2016
Paine, R. T. R., Hurt, C. R., & Mattingly, H. T. (2021). Monitoring a minuscule madtom: Environmental DNA surveillance of the endangered pygmy madtom (Noturus stanauli Etnier & Jenkins 1980) in the Duck and Clinch rivers, Tennessee. Environmental DNA, 3(4), 745-759. DOI: 10.1002/edn3.179 | Abstract | Download | Publisher Website February 2021
Hurt, C. R, Thoma, R. G., Withers, D. L., Williams, C. E., & Paine, R. T. R. (2019). Extensive regional endemism and cryptic diversity in the Tennessee and Kentucky, USA populations of burrowing crayfish Cambarus deweesae (Bouchard & Etnier, 1979) (Decapoda: Astacidae: Cambaridae) as revealed by molecular genetics. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 1 - 10. doi:10.1093/jcbiol/ruz027 April 2019
Hirohara, T., Tsuri, K., Miyagawa, K., Paine, R. T. R, & Yamanaka, H. (2021). The application of PMA (Propidium Monoazide) to different target sequence lengths of Zebrafish eDNA: A new approach aimed toward improving environmental DNA ecology and biological surveillance. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 277. | Abstract | Download June 2021
Gebhard, A. E., Paine, R. T. R., Hix, L. A., Johnson, T. C., Wells, W. G., Ferrell, H. N., and Perkin, J. S., (2017). Testing cross-system transferability of fish habitat associations using Cottus carolinae (band Sculpin). Southeastern Naturalist, 16(1), 70 - 87. March 2017
Swain, Hannah

Presentations Presentation Date
Paine, R.T.R., M.W. Rogers, and A.E. Rosenberger. 2024. Environmental DNA surveillance of a <i>Clarias</i> catfish in southeastern Puerto Rico. September, 2024. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. September 2024
Paine, R.T.R., M.W. Rogers, C.R. Harty, and T. J. Flanagan. 2024.Molecular surveillance of invasive carp reproduction in Tennessee reservoirs. September, 2024. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. September 2024
Paine, R.T. and M.W. Rogers. 2024. Looking for Lazarus: Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance of the federally threatened Slender Chub (<i>Erimystax cahni</i>) in the Clinch River and Powell Rivers. Poster Presentation submitted to the American Fisheries Society. Chatanooga, TN. February 2024
Paine, R. T. R. (2019). Can metabarcoding characterized and describe the structure of diverse fish commmunities? Southeastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics Conference. Lightning Talk. November 2019
Kumetis, T., K. Wheeler, R. Paine, K. Key, and A. Rosenberger. 2023. New Vs. Old: Comparing eDNA metabarcoding with conventional electrofishing sampling to monitor fishes in headwaters of Western Tennessee. SEAFWA Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia. October 2023. October 2023
Technical Publications Publication Date
Paine, R.T.R., M.W. Rogers, A.E. Rosenberger. 2024. Early Detection and Rapid Response to the African Walking Catfish in Puerto Rico: Identification and Removal. Final Report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. | Download March 2024