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

Virginia Staff Member


Brett John Kaste Ostby

Measuring and recording data on endangered freshwater mussels during an annual sampling event in the Clinch River.

Phone: (540) 230 - 1042
Email: bostby@vt.edu

Research Interest

My research focuses on the associations among freshwater mollusk assemblages, local habitat characteristics, and landscape features. The ultimate goals of my work are to: 1) Document the process at multiple scales that control mussel assemblages in the Upper Tennessee River Basin, 2) Incorporate that information into a Mollusk Assemblage Index (MAI) that can be used to gauge ecological integrity. his data is used to by the USFWS and TWRA to guide management of this imperiled fauna in Tennessee, but beyond that it provides us with an window into the dynamics of a presumptively healthy mussel assemblage, which is part of a healthy and functioning fluvial ecosystem once ubiquitous throughout the Upper Tennessee River Basin. Data collected from this project will allow us to understand the influence of annual variation in flow and climate on populations, better refine parameters and precision of population models, and understand the magnitude of annual variation which can ultimately confound our ability to interpret results from other projects.

Technical Publications Publication Date
Petty, M., B. Ostby, D. Garst, and R. J. Neves. 2006. Freshwater mussel survey of Copper Creek, Virginia and propagation of the federally endangered purple bean (Villosa perpurpurea). Final Report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Abingdon, VA. 46 2006-06-30
Ostby, B. and R. J. Neves. 2006. Relocation of freshwater mussels from gas pipeline crossing of 6 streams in southwest Virginia. Final Report to TRC Solutions, Lowell, MA. 57 pp. 2006-06-30
Ostby, B. J. K. and R. J. Neves. 2010. Habitat Assessment at the Route 58 Bridge Crossing of the Middle Fork Holston River in Washington County. Project Number:0058-095-108, B607, B608, C504. Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond, VA. 10 pp. 2010-12-31
Carey, C. S., B. J. K. Ostby, and R. J. Neves. 2010. A Qualitative Survey for Mussels in Lower Indian Creek: Follow-up Monitoring of the Route 460 Bridge Replacement Project, 2010 Annual Report. Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond, VA. 13 pp. 2010-12-31
Carey, C. S. Carey, B. J. K. Ostby, R. J. Neves. 2011. A Qualitative Survey for Mussels in Lower Indian Creek: Follow-up Monitoring of the Route 460 Bridge Replacement Project (2006-2010). Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond, VA. 25 pp. 2011-02-28