Lab Members

Current Students and Post-Docs

Post-Doc Research Associates

Dr. Eduardo Ribeiro da Cunha is a postdoc working on river-floodplain ecology and development of RIV WebScape, an individual-based simulation model of fish population and food web dynamics. This spatially explicit model simulates fluvial landscapes and ecological processes in response to scenarios of hydrology, temperature, and other factors. Eduardo received his Ph.D. from the Universidade Estuadual de Maringá in Brazil where he studied community ecology in aquatic habitats of the Paraná River floodplain as a research assistant with that university’s Long-Term Ecological Program. He was a visiting scholar in the Aquatic Ecology Lab during 2016, and in 2018 he began work as a postdoc in the lab.

Dr. David Saenz is a postdoc working on the physiological ecology of Neotropical fishes in the order Gymnotiformes, all of which are weakly electric. While working towards his doctoral degree in the Aquatic Ecology Lab, David conducted research on the neurophysiology of electrogeneration and electroreception as well as ecological and evolutionary patterns of electric organ discharge patterns and electroreceptor distributions. He also collaborated on research on fish community ecology and evolutionary ecology in rivers in Texas, Central and South America, and Africa. David also is collaborating on a synthesis of metrics used for fish functional traits.

Ph.D. Students

Yasmin Quintana Morales
Tori Spencer

Former Students and Post-Docs

Post-Docs

Hernan López-Fernández, Texas A&M University (2006-2007) Associate Professor and Ichthyological Curator, University of Michigan

Michael Tobler, University of Zürich (2008-2010) Associate Professor at Kansas State University

David Hoeinghaus, Texas A&M University (2009) Associate Professor at the University of North Texas

Nathan Lujan, Auburn University (2009-2012) Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

John Baker, University of Florida (2008-2015) Research Director, Catalina Island Preserve, CA

Ph.D.

Luke Bower, Ph.D. 2013-2018. TAMU Diversity Fellowship; TAMU Tom Slick Fellowship; Presented papers at 3 scientific conferences; Author/co-author of 9 peer-reviewed scientific publications; NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant; presented papers at 5 scientific conferences; Award for Research Excellence by Graduate Student from Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society (2018); currently an Assistant Coop Unit Leader for Fisheries, Clemson University in Clemson, SC.

Edwin Lopez Delgado, Ph.D. 2013-2018. COLCIENCIAS Fellowship for doctoral study; Presented papers at 3 scientific conferences; Author/co-author of 18 scientific publications; currently an Environmental Consultant and Instructor at the Universidad del Tolima, Colombia.

David Saenz, Ph.D. 2013-2020. TAMU Diversity Fellowship; TAMU Tom Slick Fellowship; Presented papers at 5 scientific conferences; Author or co-author of 4 peer-reviewed scientific publications; currently a Postdoc Research Associate in the Aquatic Ecology Lab, Texas A&M University, College Station.

Friedrich Keppeler, Ph.D. 2015-2020. Brazil CAPES Fellowship for doctoral study, Author or co-author of 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications; TAMU Tom Slick Fellowship; currently a Postdoc at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI.

Thethela Bokhutlo, Ph.D. 2015-2020. BUIST Fellowship for doctoral study; Author or co-author of 9 peer-reviewed scientific publications; Presented papers at 3 scientific conferences; currently an Instructor at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology.

Caroline Arantes (2012-2017) Ph.D.; ABS-IGERT Traineeship; Brazil CNPq Fellowship for doctoral study; first author/co-author of 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters; Presented papers at 8 scientific conferences; WFSC award for outstanding Ph.D. student (2015); TAMU Tom Slick Fellowship (2016); TAMU college award for outstanding graduate student research (2105); Currently she is a postdoc at Michigan State University.

Daniel Fitzgerald (2011-2016) Ph.D.; Merit Fellowship; NSF IGERT Traineeship; Tom Slick Fellowship, First author or co-author of 9 peer-reviewed scientific publications; Presented papers at numerous scientific conferences; TAMU college award for outstanding graduate student research (2106); Received Haldane Award from British Ecological Society (2018); Formerly an ecologist with Harpeth Conservancy, Nashville, TN; Currently a Postdoc at USGS Leetown Science Center in West Virginia.

Chouly Ou (2008-2013) Ph.D.; Researched aquatic biodiversity and production dynamics in the Stung Treng-Mekong River RAMSAR site, Cambodia; U.S. Fulbright Fellowship for Graduate Study; Presented papers at 4 scientific meetings; First author of one and coauthor of two peer-reviewed scientific publications; Instructor for the School for Field Studies – Cambodia Environmental Science and Conservation; Currently teaching at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA.

Carmen Montaña (2007-2012) Ph.D.; Researching comparative ecology of cichlid fishes in Venezuela; Presented papers at 8 scientific meetings; First author of 14 and co-author of 8 peer-reviewed publications; Awarded Outstanding Ph.D. student in Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, 2009; Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Graduate Student Research, 2011; Tom Slick Fellowship, 2011; Currently an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

Katherine Roach (2007-2012) Ph.D.; Researched river hydrology, production, food web ecology, and river conservation challenges; TAMU Merit Fellowship, 2007-08; NSF IGERT ABS Traineeship, 2008-2010; First author of 8 peer-reviewed scientific publications and co-author of 2 publications; Presented papers at 5 scientific meetings; Received one National Geographic Society Young Investigator grant; Tom Slick Fellowship, 2011; Postdoctoral research associate, University of Montreal-Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada; Currently teaching in Wisconsin.

Sandra Bibiana Correa (2005-2012) Ph.D.; Researched community ecology of frugivorous fishes in the Amazon River Basin; TAMU Regent’s Fellowship, 2005-06; First author of 4 peer-reviewed publications and coauthor of 1 publication; Awarded research grant from Wildlife Conservation Society; Awarded Outstanding Ph.D. student in Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, 2008; Tom Slick Fellowship, 2010; postdoctoral research associate at University of Georgia; Currently an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University.

Allison Pease (2005-2010) Ph.D.; TAMU Regent’s Fellowship, 2005-06; Researched comparative and evolutionary ecology of Central Texas and Neotropical fish assemblages in streams; Presented papers at 7 scientific meetings; Author of 4 peer-reviewed publications (first author of 2); Awarded NSF Doctoral Dissertation Grant 2008; Tom Slick Fellowship, 2009; Postdoctoral research associate at the University of Missouri; Currently an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University.

Sandra Bibiana Correa (2005-2012) Ph.D.; Researched community ecology of frugivorous fishes in the Amazon River Basin; TAMU Regent’s Fellowship, 2005-06; First author of 4 peer-reviewed publications and coauthor of 1 publication; Awarded research grant from Wildlife Conservation Society; Awarded Outstanding Ph.D. student in Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, 2008; Tom Slick Fellowship, 2010; Currently a postdoctoral research associate at University of South Carolina.

Jose Vicente Montoya (co-advisor with D. Roelke, 2001-2008) Ph.D.; Researched benthic ecology of a Neotropical floodplain river; First author on 2 and coauthor on 3 peer-reviewed publications; Presented papers at several international conferences. Jose currently is a research scientist at the Centro de Ecología, InstitutoVenezolano de InvestigacionesCientificas (IVIC) in San Antonio de los Altos, Venezuela.

Steven Zeug (2003-2008) Ph.D.; TAMU Merit Fellow, 2003-2004; TWRI Mills Scholarship 2003-2004; Tom Slick Fellowship, 2006-2007; Researched the response of fish populations with divergent life-history strategies to hydrological variation in a Texas floodplain river; Best paper award at student research symposium; Presented papers at 3 scientific meetings; First author of 5 and coauthor of 5 peer-reviewed publications. He currently is a fisheries biologist with Cramer Fish Science in Sacramento, CA.

David Hoeinghaus (2002-2006) Ph.D.; Researched community and food web ecology of tropical river fishes in Brazil; Presented papers at 4 scientific meetings; 3 invited presentations; Best paper at TAMU student research week symposium, Best paper at TAMU-WFSC student symposium (twice); Received grants from Society of Wetland Scientists (twice), American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, TAMU Office of Graduate Studies, Texas Water Resources Institute; First author on 9 peer-reviewed publications. He did postdoctoral research at Kansas State University. David currently is an assistant professor at the University of North Texas.

Craig A. Layman (1999-2004) Ph.D.; TAMU Regents Fellow, 1999-2001; EPA STAR Fellowship, 2000-2003; Tom Slick Graduate Fellowship 2002; Researched determinants of community structure and food web dynamics of a tropical floodplain river; Presented 7 papers at professional meetings; Author/coauthor on 18 peer-reviewed publications; Best paper award TAMU student research week symposium 2002; Fulbright Fellowship (Venezuela) 2003; Vice-Chancellors’s award for graduate student research 2004; NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant 2004. He did postdoctoral research at Yale University with David Post. Craig currently is a faculty member at North Carolina State University.

Hernán Lopéz-Fernández (co-advisor Rodney Honeycutt; 1998-2004) PhD.; Researched evolutionary ecology of geophagine cichlid fishes; Received travel grant from American Museum of Natural History; Research Grant from the American Cichlid Association; Presented 10 papers at professional meetings; Author/coauthor on 9 peer-reviewed publications; NIA Best Student Paper Award 2003, 2004; WFSC Ph.D. Student of the Year 2004. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin with Dan Bolnick and Texas A&M with Kirk Winemiller. He currently is Curator of Fishes at the Royal Ontario Museum.

D. Albrey Arrington (1997-2002) Ph.D.; Aquatic ecologist formerly worked for the South Florida Water Management District on the restoration of the Kissimee River; Jordan Fellow 1998; Graduate Student Scholarship Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society 2000; NIA Best Student Paper Award 2000; Tom Slick Graduate Fellowship 2001; WFSC Ph.D. Student Award 2001; NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant 2001; researched the effects of food web structure and seasonality on fish community and ecosystem dynamics in a tropical floodplain river; Author/coauthor on 15 peer-reviewed publications. He was an assistant professor at the University of Alabama from 2002-2004. Albrey currently is Research Director for the Loxahatchee River District, Jupiter, FL.

Bonnie J. Ponwith (co-advisor with W. Neill, 1997-1999) Ph.D.; NSEP Fellowship, Jordan Fellowship, Sea Grant Intern with NOAA/NMFS in Washington, DC; Dissertation: “Assemblage Structure, Trophic Ecology and Life History of Fishes in a Tropical Estuary”; Author/coauthor on 2 peer-reviewed publications. She served as the Deputy Director of NOAA Fisheries Service’s Office of Science and Technology in Silver Spring, MD. Bonnie currently is the Science and Research Director for the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, FL.

Gregory W. Stunz (co-advisor with T. Minello, 1997-1999) Ph.D.; GCCA fellow, 1996; co-PI Texas Sea Grant project (P. Levin, PI) to fund dissertation research; Dissertation– “Causes and Consequences of Recruitment Patterns in Newly Settled Red Drum (Sciaenopsocellatus)”; Presented papers at 3 professional meetings; First author on 4 peer-reviewed publications; He worked for 3 years for the National Marine Fisheries Service, Galveston, and he currently is a professor and endowed chair of the Harte Institute for Marine Biology at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

Senol Akin (1997-2001) Ph.D.; Received multi-year fellowship for graduate study from the Turkish government; Graduate Student Scholarship Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society 2001; researched seasonal variation in aquatic food webs along salinity gradients in a Texas coastal marsh (TNC- Mad Island Marsh); Presented 4 papers at professional meetings; Author/co-author of 3 peer-reviewed journal articles; Faculty member at Huston Tillotson College, Austin, TX (2001-2002). He currently is an assistant professor of the Sürmene Institute of Marine Science, Turkey.

Soner Tarim (1994-2002) Ph.D.; Dissertation– “Interactions between White Crappie, Gizzard Shad, and Threadfin Shad on a Heterogeneous Floodplain Landscape”; Presented papers at 2 professional meetings; Faculty member of the Ataturk University, Turkey; Coauthor of one peer-reviewed journal article; He is currently Principal at Houston Science Academy.

Allison A. Anderson (1993-1999) Ph.D.; Dissertation– “Ecological Response to Removal of a Natural Disturbance Regime: the Impacts of a Flood-Control Dam on Its Tailwater Fish Assemblage”; Regent’s Fellow, 1993-1994; EPRI Fellow, 1994-1997; Chair of WFSC Graduate Enhancement Fund Committee, 1994-1995; First-author of 3 peer-reviewed publications; Presented papers at several professional conferences; 1998 TAMU-WFSC Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year Award; She currently works in the private industry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

David B. Jepsen (continued graduate study for a Ph.D. under my advisorship, 1995-1999); researched the inputs to production and biomass flow in floodplain rivers using stable isotopes; Jordan Fellow 1998; Tom Slick Fellow 1998-99; Presented papers at several professional conferences; 3 peer-reviewed first-authored and 2 co-authored journal articles from his research at TAMU; 1999 TAMU-WFSC Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year Award; Formerly Research Scientist, Fishery Coop Unit, Oregon State University; Currently recovery planning specialist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

M.Sc.

Anthony Rodger (2013-2015) M.Sc.; Merit Fellowship; Presented papers at several scientific conferences; First authored of 2 peer-reviewed scientific publications; Currently he is a fishery ecologist with the Oklahoma Department of Natural Resources.

Rebecca Pizano (2011-2013) M.Sc.; Researching fish community ecology along the fluvial gradient of the lower Neches River in response to flow; TAMU Diversity Fellowship, NSF Louis Stokes Fellowship; WFSC Outstanding MSc Student Research 2013; Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society Outstanding Graduate Student Research 2013; Presented a paper at one scientific conference; Currently an ecologist with the Texas General Land Office.

Andrew Jackson (2010-2012) M.Sc.; Researched community and food web structure of fish assemblages in the Oueme River and floodplain in Benin, West Africa; Presented papers at two scientific meetings; First author of 2 peer-reviewed publications; Currently a research technician in at the University of Montreal- Trois Rivieres, Canada.

Elizabeth Carrera (2009-2012) M.Sc.; Researched genetic variation in African bonytongue populations in West Africa; First author of one peer-reviewed scientific publication: Presented papers at two scientific meetings; Currently working as a landscape architect in Austin, TX.

Crystal Watkins (2009-2011) M.Sc.; Researched effects of pollution on phenotypic variation and ecology of western mosquitofish; Mills Scholarship 2010; Presented papers at two scientific meetings; Currently a technician with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Dallas, TX.

Jennifer Cochran (2005-2008) M.Sc.; Thesis research on the comparative ecology of cichlid fishes in Belize; Presented papers at 2 scientific meetings; Published 1 first-authored paper from her thesis research; Currently on the faculty at Winona State Univesity, Minnesota and a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota.

Clint Robertson (2005-2008) M.Sc.; TAMU Graduate Diversity Fellowship, 2005-2007; Researched species assemblage structure in natural and restored tidal marshes on the Texas Gulf coast, Presented papers at 3 scientific meetings; First author of one submitted (pending) peer-reviewed publication. He currently is employed as a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in San Marcos, TX.

Jenny Birnbaum (2002-2005) M.Sc.; TAMU Merit Fellow, 2002-2003; Researched river/stream fish community ecology and responses of populations to environmental change; Presented papers at 3 scientific meetings; First author on 1 and coauthor on 1 peer-reviewed publication. She currently works with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Archis Grubh (1999-2002) M.Sc.; Researched community ecology of fishes and aquatic food web associated with floodplain wetlands of the Western Ghats in southwestern India; First author on 1 peer-reviewed publication; He currently is employed as a biologist at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Michael S. Robertson (1997-1999) M.Sc.; TAMU Former Association of Students Fellowship, 1997; co-PI on a grant from The Nature Conservancy of Texas; researched the influence of an exotic piscivore on fish assemblage of the Devils River, Texas; Graduate Student Scholarship- Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society; Presented papers at 2 professional meetings; First author on 2 peer-reviewed publications from this thesis research; He currently is a fishery biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Christopher C. Peterson (1995-1997) M.Sc.; Thesis– “Effects of Seasonal Hydrology on Fish Food Webs in Clear-water Rivers in Venezuela”; Regent’s Fellow, 1995-1996; First-author of 2 peer-reviewed publications; He now is an M.D.

John D. Williams (1993-1995) M.Sc. December 1995; Thesis– “Comparative Ecology of Large Piscivorous Fishes in Guri Reservoir, Venezuela, with Notes on Fish Community Structure”; TAMU Travel Abroad Scholarship, 1993; Presented papers at 2 professional conferences; First author of 1 journal article; Formerly, he was a researcher working on marine food webs for the Prince William Sound Science Center in Alaska; Currently, he is K-12 Education Coordinator at the Univ. of Texas Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas. http://www.utmsi.utexas.edu/outreach.html

Tamara L. McGuire (1993-1995) M.Sc. December 1995; Thesis– “Site Fidelity and Habitat Affiliation of the Tonina, Inia geoffrensis, in the Cinaruco River, Venezuela”; Willie May Harris Fellow, 1993-1994; First-author of 1 technical report; Presented papers at 3 professional conferences; First author of 2 journal articles; She continued to study for a Ph.D. at TAMU under Dr. Bernd Wursig.

David B. Jepsen (1993-1995) M.Sc. December 1995; Thesis– “Seasonality and Midscale Spatial Effects on Cichla Ecology and Fish Species Diversity in a Neotropical Floodplain River”; TAMU Jordan International Study Fellowship, 1995; Author of 2 technical reports; Vice-president of TAMU-American Fisheries Society, 1994-1995; Presented papers at 4 professional conferences as an MSc student; He continued Ph.D. study at TAMU.

Alphonse Adite (1993-1995) M.Sc. December 1995; Thesis– “Fisheries Ecological Survey of Inland Aquatic Habitats of Benin”; Advanced Training in Leadership for Africans Fellowship, 1992-1995; Conservation Biology Scholarship, 1993-1995; Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, 1994; First author on 3 and second author on 1 peer-reviewed publication; First author of 2 technical reports; Presented papers at several professional conferences; He received his Ph.D. from the Universite du Abomey-Calavi, Benin where he now is a faculty member.

Loren J. Moriarty (1992-1995) M.Sc. August 1995; Thesis– “Spatial and Temporal Variation in Fish Assemblage Structure at Village Creek”; Regent’s Fellow, 1992-1993; First author on 1 peer-reviewed publication from her thesis; Currently a faculty member at Salisbury University, Maryland.

Nora E. Valdes (1992-1995) M.Sc. May 1995; Thesis– “Composition, Structure, and Habitat Associations of Fish Assemblages of the Dolan Falls Reserve”; First author on 1 peer-reviewed publication from her thesis; Currently works for PEMEX.

Comments are closed.