Scott Wissinger

Scott WissingerTitle: Professor
Department: Biology
Other Departments: Environmental Science
Degrees: B.A., Susquehanna University; Ph.D., Purdue University

Contact Info

Phone: (814) 332-2387
Website: Click here

Office Info

Office Location: Steffee Hall B115
Office Hours:

Research Interests

My research interests are mainly in aquatic ecology. I am particularly interested in aquatic invertebrates, their functional roles in stream and wetland ecosystems, and their interactions with vertebrate predators such as salamander & fish.  I’m also interested in using fish as indicators or stream health in NW PA. Projects often involve field studies in the fall and follow-up lab experiments and data analysis during winter.  Topics that my students and I have been working on in recent years for which there are opportunities for ongoing studies by comp students include:

  1. using fish and invertebrate communities to assess the ecological health of stream.
  2. understanding the effects of beaver dams on invertebrate & fish communities.
  3. processing of detritus by wetland invertebrates, especially caddisflies.
  4. comparing communities in restored wetlands to those in natural wetland habitats.
  5. colonizing strategies of invertebrates that inhabit temporary wetlands.

Some recent senior projects conducted in my lab include:

  • Mark Kirk (2011) Effects of Stream Size on Fish and Macroinvertebrate Diversity and Biomonitoring Indices in the Sugar Creek Subdrainage of French Creek
  • Emily Thorton (2010) Excreting where they’re eating: An investigation of the ecological role of Limnephilus externus caddisfly larvae in subalpine ponds
  • Alan Messenger (2009) Using Biological Indicators to Determine the Ecological Status of an Urban Stream in Northwestern Pennsylvania
  • Amanda Klemmer (2008) Top-down effects of caddisfly shredders on detritus processing and nutrient flux in subalpine ponds in Colorado
  • Cassandra Hamilton (2007)  Effects of predators on phenotypic plasticity in larval salamanders.

Abstracts of other senior projects that I have advised in recent years can be found at