Conservation Research
Research focuses on patterns of fish movement as it relates to metapopulation dynamics of non-game, freshwater fishes. Topics also include habitat use, life history plasticity and pesistence in fragmented landscapes.


Yazoo darter status survey, MS
The Yazoo darter, Etheostoma raneyi, is endemic to small streams in the upper tributaries of the Yazoo River in Mississippi.  The species is threatened by degradation of small stream habitat, and monioring the distribution and abundance of popluation of the species is critical for it’s protection.  The current project aims to identify populations that may be on the verge of extirpation on the basis of habitat connectivity, habitat quality, and abundance.


Kudzu, the little known habitat of the Yazoo darter.

No darters here. Hotopha Creek, Panola Co., MS



Habitat use of blue shiner, Cyprinella caerulea

The blue shiner, Cyprinella caerulea, has disappeared throughout much of its range, prompting federal listing as a threatened species. Our research focues on understanding how blue shiners use their habitat by researching movement among habitat patches as well as seasonal, nocturnal and foraging habitat use.



Habitat use of Muscadine darter in the Conasauga River

Muscadine Darter, Percina sp., photo by C. E. Johnston

What habitat is really important for maintaining a species?  In a project similar to that for blue shiner, we are examing seasonal, nocturnal, foraging and spawning habitat use by the muscadine darter in a pristine environment.  Hopefully such projects will help in understanding the maintainance of biodiversity as well as what is needed for habitat restoration.


Holiday Darter, Etheostoma brevirostrum, photo by C. E. Johnston


Other projects include:
- Habitat use, status and abundance of the holiday darter in Alabama and in the Conasauga River
- Effects of habitat fragmentation and land use on fish assemblages of Bear Creek, Alabama and Mississippi
- Autecology of the flier
- Status of Pteronotropis euryzonus in Alabama:  effects of habiat fragmentation on a headwater species
- Movement patterns of the slackwater darter, Etheostoma boschungi
- Fishes of Five Runs Creek, Conecuh National Forest
- Fishes of selected streams on the Talladega National Forest
- Spawning habitat segregation of three species of Cyprinella in the Conasauga River

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