Office Location: Steffee Hall B115
Office Hours: M-T-W-F 11:00-12:00; W 1:30-3:30
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:
- using fish and invertebrate communities to assess the ecological health of stream.
- understanding the effects of beaver dams on invertebrate & fish communities.
- processing of detritus by wetland invertebrates, especially caddisflies.
- comparing communities in restored wetlands to those in natural wetland habitats.
- 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 https://sites.google.com/a/allegheny.edu/scott-wissinger/senior-projects