William R. Ireland Center for Fisheries Research

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William R. Ireland
(1923-2009)

Ireland attended Auburn University (then Auburn Polytechnic Institute) in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. The long-time Vulcan Materials Co. executive and board member made numerous generous contributions to AU. His career with Vulcan Materials included serving as president of two Vulcan subsidiaries, executive vice president of the Midwest division, manager of community relations and for 29 years a member of the board of directors. He received an honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Auburn in 1993, served on the board of the Auburn University Foundation and on the advisory council for AU’s College of Mathematics and Sciences. Ireland was also a board member and past president of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, a member of the advisory board of the Alabama Wildlife Rescue Service and a member of the Governor’s Committee on the Forever Wild amendment. He has been honored for his efforts on behalf of wildlife with the 1994 Walter L. Mims Lifetime Achievement Award in Wildlife Conservation and the 1995 Ducks Unlimited Marsh Project Award.

Ireland had a long-standing relationship with the AU Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures. Over many years faculty and staff in the fisheries department worked with him on several projects including providing management help with the fishing resources of the Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps that Ireland helped sponsor. Ireland generously supported the construction of the Ireland Center Lab at the E.W. Shell Fisheries Station at Auburn.

Dr. Dennis R. DeVriesProfessor - Fisheries Ecology

Dr. Rusty WrightAssociate Professor


Facilities at Auburn University include a 210 m² laboratory building, a 128 m² office building, and five outdoor drive-through boat storage bays that are all shared by Drs. Dennis DeVries, Mike Maceina, and Rusty Wright. In addition, a pond facility provides a variety of sizes of controlled hatchery and farm ponds. This 1000-hectare facility includes a lower station, with 194 hatchery ponds totalling 11 ha of water, and an upper station, with 36 farm ponds totalling 80 ha of water. All ponds are drainable, contain distinct littoral and limnetic areas, and are on University property with controlled access, providing a unique facility for continued whole-pond experimental work. Field equipment available at the lab includes three Smith-Root shockboats (two of which have been fitted with a larval fish push net; the largest boat is suitable for large reservoir work, the smallest boat is suitable for pond work), two large net boats (one of which is fitted with paired larval fish push nets), a Boston Whaler (which has been fitted with a larval fish push net), several small flat-bottom boats, and a variety of seines, trap nets, and gill nets. In addition YSI temperature-dissolved oxygen meters and Ohaus digital field scales are available for field work.

Inside the lab we are set up for processing larval fish samples and for quantifying fish diets and zooplankton samples. Four dissecting microscopes, two compound microscopes, and an image analysis system provide us with state-of-the-art technology for processing larval fish samples, diets, zooplankton samples, and for quantifying daily rings in fish otoliths. A recently-purchased semi-microbomb calorimeter is now available for energetics work. In addition, we have a nephelometer and a spectrophotometer for analysis of turbidity and chlorophyll a in pond and reservoir water samples. The Annex office facility houses graduate students and technical staff, and includes numerous IBM-compatible computers for data entry and analysis. In a nearby flow-through tank facility, we are equipped for running multiple aquarium feeding experiments under controlled photoperiod and temperature conditions.


Dennis DeVries’ Research Project Titles:

Ecology of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta Ecosystem (with Rusty Wright)
Evaluating movement patterns in estuarine fishes: application of microchemical techniques to fish otoliths (with Rusty Wright)
Mercury in the Mobile-tensaw Delta: using fish otoliths to explore bioaccumulation patterns (with Rusty Wright)
Recreational fishing fisheries management: Maximizing the impact of small impoundment management (with Rusty Wright)
Status survey of tributary populations of Tulotoma magnifica.

Rusty Wright’s Research and Extension Project Titles:

Research: Ecology of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta Ecosystem (with Dennis DeVries)
Research: Temperature variability / survival of largemouth bass
Extension: Alabama River Basin Approach Stakeholders Guides


Welcome to the IC’s Aquatic Ecology Group!

The IC Aquatic Ecology Group is a collection of faculty (DeVries and Wright), students, and staff whose research is conducted within the broad area of Aquatic Ecology. Our work spans levels of study, including behavioral, population, and community ecology, and also includes a wide diversity of taxa across a wide range of systems (including small impoundments, streams, rivers, large reservoirs, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta).

Dennis R. DeVries (Professor, Fisheries Ecology )
devridr@auburn.edu

Rusty Wright (Associate Professor and Extension Specialist)
wrighr2@auburn.edu

Tammy DeVries (Research Technician)
devrits@auburn.edu

Cheryl Cortemegila (Graduate Research Assistant – Ph.D.)
cortech@auburn.edu

Troy Farmer (Graduate Research Assistant – M.S.)
farmetm@auburn.edu

Mark Fritz (Research Technician)
fritzmt@auburn.edu

David Glover (Graduate Research Assistant – Ph.D.)
glovedc@auburn.edu

Mike Leonard (Graduate Research Assistant – MS)
leonadm@auburn.edu

Mike Lowe (Graduate Research Assistant – MS)
lowemic@auburn.edu

Alicia Norris (Graduate Research Assistant – MS)
norria1@acesag.auburn.edu

Ireland Center Annex Office Building

Image Analysis System

Image Analysis System

Ireland Center

South Auburn Research Ponds

South Auburn Research Pond Facility

Bomb Calorimeter

One of Our Computer Stations

More of Our Computer Stations

More of Our Computer Stations

Electrofishing on Auburn Research Ponds

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