Virginia Staff Member
I am investigating the population ecology, including population genetics, habitat use, and distribution, of variegate darters (Etheostoma variatum) in the upper Big Sandy River Drainage in Virginia and West Virginia. Variegate darters are listed as state endangered in Virginia because of coal mining impacts, habitat loss, and isolation by dams. Furthermore, I am interested in the effects of loss of connectivity due to landscape barriers (dams or the altered Ohio River) on the population diversity and structure of variegate darters in rivers across their range, which spans the upper Ohio River drainage, from Kentucky to New York. Finally, I am investigating various methods, including morphological and genetic techniques, for identifying larval fishes in the Big Sandy and in the Roanoke Rivers.