Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES)

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NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Andrew Casper

Event Type
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
W-109 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801
Nov 15, 2013   3:00 pm  
Dr. Andrew Casper, INHS, Director of Illinois River Biological Station
FREE  - open to the public
Dr. Cory Suski

NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Andrew Casper, INHS, Director of Illinois River Biological Station.

Title: More than Flowing Lakes: Biotic, Abiotic, and Geographic Influences on Large River Ecology

Andrew Casper's compilation image for his seminar poster

Dr. Casper’s river research involves a variety of approaches including taxonomic analysis, food webs/stable isotopes, ecophysiology, and field manipulations of macroinvertebrates and plankton in several of the Great Rivers of North America. Through on-going collaborations on a variety of projects spanning resource management questions, he explores the underpinnings of the health and productivity of river systems ranging from the temperate Ohio to the Arctic Mackenzie River Delta. A second area of research focuses on links between fish and invertebrates in the Mississippi, Ohio, and St. Lawrence Rivers and has highlighted the interplay of exotic and native species. As a whole his research is directed towards improving our understanding of how complex river systems function and most importantly how they can be best assessed, managed, and conserved.

Historically, large rivers have been thought of as well-mixed homogenous systems with relatively little habitat diversity and low potential for biological structure - at best flowing lakes, at worst as pipes that link lakes to the oceans. This simplistic view has been contradicted by a raft of recent field experiments detailing a variety of strong but often-overlooked biological interactions in large rivers like the Ohio, Mississippi, and St. Lawrence Rivers. This presentation uses studies and experiments with water quality, zooplankton, and zebra mussels (Dreissena spp.) studies to examine the influence of riverine heterogeneity on community and population structure. Results will show presence of strong biotic and abiotic constraints on river organisms, some leading to geographic differences based on source population.


If you wish to meet with this speaker, please contact host Cory Suski at

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