Departments: Biology, Environmental Science
Teaching: Organismal Physiology and Ecology, Wetlands
Research: Aquatic Ecology
Degrees: B.A., Susquehanna University
Ph.D., Purdue University
Office Location: Steffee Hall B.115
Student Office Hours: T 10 am – 1 pm
My research interests are in aquatic ecology. I am particularly interested in the functional roles of aquatic invertebrates in stream and wetland ecosystems, and their interactions with vertebrate predators such as salamander and fish. I’m also interested in fish communities as indicators of stream health in NW PA. I conduct NSF-funded collaborative research with students during summers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. 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 stream health.
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 and natural wetland habitats.
5) colonizing strategies of invertebrates that inhabit temporary wetlands.
Recent senior projects conducted in my lab include:
Catharine Gillespie (2017) Behavioral and Survival Responses of Dragonflies to Drying Cues in Temporary Ponds: Implications for Effects of Climate Change
Anna Rosswog (2017) Patterns of Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) Distribution
in Northwest Pennsylvania: a GIS Analysis
Liana Leja (2017) Separate vs. combined effects of snails, tadpoles, amphipods, and
caddisflies on detritus decomposition in wetlands
Jared Balik (2016) Effects of Climate-induced Distributional Shifts in Caddisfly Larvae on Detritus Processing and Ecosystem Function in High-Elevation Wetlands in Colorado
Recent publications with student co-authors (indicated with *):
*Kirk, M.A., S.A. Wissinger, *B.C. Goeller, and *L.O. Rieck (2017) Co-varying impacts of land use and non-native brown trout on fish communities in small streams. Freshwater Biology 62: 600-614.
*Bush, B.M. and S.A. Wissinger (2016) Beaver dam wetland invertebrate communities in Europe and North America, IN: Batzer, D.P., and D. Boix (ed.) Invertebrates in Freshwater Wetlands: An International Perspective on Their Ecology. University of California Press.
*Lund, J.O., S.A. Wissinger, and B.L. Peckarsky (2016) Caddisfly behavioral responses to drying cues in temporary ponds: Implications for effects of climate change. Freshwater Science 35(2): 619-630.