Office Location: Steffee Hall B115
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 and fish. I’m also interested in using fish as indicators of 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.
Recent senior projects conducted in my lab include:
Jared Balik (2016). Effects of Climate-induced Distributional Shifts in Caddisfly Larvae on Detritus Processing and Ecosystem Function in Wetlands.
Kirsten Ressel (2014). Relative effects of watershed and riparian land use on stream biotic integrity.
Anna Zimmerman (2013). The subsidy-stress response of fish indices of biotic integrity (IBIs) to land cover for streams of Northwestern Pennsylvania
Abstracts of other senior projects that I have advised in recent years can be found at https://sites.google.com/a/allegheny.edu/scott-wissinger/senior-projects