STRIVE Lab and Olentangy River Wetlands partnering with USFWS and ODW to study and conserve wetland fishes

The Strive Lab has partnered with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Ohio Division of Wildlife on a new project related to the ecology and conservation of rare wetland fishes. In the first phase of the study, we will be working with multiple species (see photos below) that currently exhibit low populations with restricted ranges in Ohio. Propagation activities will take place at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, where new rearing ponds are currently being constructed. Research and reintroduction sites will initially be in wetlands of Battelle Darby Metro Park.

For additional information, see recent WSFWS post:



Pugnose Minnow



Iowa Darter



Lake Chubsucker



Blacknose Shiner


Ben Rubinoff defends honors thesis, accepted into PhD in Ecology at UC-Davis!

Ben Rubinoff presented and successfully defended his honors thesis – “An Urban Migraine: The Influence of Artificial Light at Night on Aquatic Primary Productivity” – last Friday (April 8th). Ben has been an active member of the Stream and River Ecology (STRIVE) lab during his undergraduate career and we wish him the best as he starts a Ph.D. program in Ecology at the University of California, Davis, autumn semester 2016!

Lab Set Up for Ben’s experiment in which he measured primary productivity of diatoms over 67 days under no light, low light, and high light treatments and found that even low light levels (~2 lux) were associated with significant increases in gross primary productivity.

ALAN Lab Setup

Congrats to Reina Tyl on acceptance into MS program at WVU

Reina will be starting at West Virginia University this fall where she’ll be working with Dr. Chris Rota in the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program in the Davis College School of Natural Resources.  Reina’s MS research will focus on the population ecology of eastern wild turkeys in northeastern South Dakota.  She will be working with Dr. Chad Lehman and other members of the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department while completing her field research.  Congratulations to Reina on this great opportunity!

Congrats to Adam Kautza on new position with Massachusett’s Dept. of Fish & Game

Adam has recently accepted a position as the Coldwater Fishery Resources Project Leader with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Among other duties, Adam will be responsible for writing coldwater fishery resource management plans, analyzing fishery and other aquatic resource data, developing recommendations, and undertaking actions to identify, protect, maintain and restore coldwater fishery resources and their habitats. Adam is currently completing a postdoc at the University of Minnesota (Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology). Congrats to Adam!

Riparian Patchiness Plays Important Role in Ant Trophic Dynamics

New article from STRIVE lab links riverine landscape heterogeneity to ant trophic position and breadth:

Tagwireyi, P. and S.M.P. Sullivan. 2016. Riverine landscape patches influence trophic dynamics of riparian ants. River Research and Applications. doi: 10.1002/rra.3009

ABSTRACT: Food webs in riparian corridors are increasingly viewed as embedded in complex riverine landscapes characterized by an amalgam of aquatic, semi-aquatic, and terrestrial habitats. However, the influence of riverine landscape pattern on trophic dynamics of riparian consumers remains largely unknown. We used naturally abundant stable isotope ratios (δ15N) to compare trophic structure of ants (Formica subsericea) among riparian patch types (crop, grass/herbaceous, gravel bar, lawn, mudflat, shrub, swamp, and woody vegetation) at 12 riverine landscapes distributed along an urban-rural landscape gradient of the Scioto River, Ohio, USA. We expected that the diet of F. subsericea, a common generalist consumer, would reflect local prey availability and thus differences in trophic dynamics among patch types. Mean ant δ15N was higher in crop patches than in any other patch type, and was lowest in grass/herbaceous, lawn, shrub, and woody vegetation patches, sugges- ting that patch type was associated with trophic position of F. subsericea. We also found that the range of δ15N, and thus trophic breadth, was significantly different by patch type, with woody vegetation exhibiting the greatest spread. Variability in canopy, tree and shrub cover, and the degree of urban development was positively correlated with δ15N range (R2 = 0.78), pointing to the role of habitat structure in mediating trophic breadth of riparian ants. These findings provide evidence that riverine landscape pattern can strongly influence trophic dynamics of riparian arthropods.

New STRIVE Publication Urges Physicochemical Research/Monitoring in E. European Rivers

Check out recent publication with colleagues from the Nature Research Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 188(109): 1-16, “Influences of hydrogeomorphology and chemical water quality on fish assemblages in the Nevėžis River, Lithuania: implications for river basin management plans in the Baltics“.

Abstract. Further resolving physicochemical-fish associations would be of considerable benefit to advancing both scientific research and monitoring programs in the Baltic states. We collected 3 years of coordinated hydrogeomorphic, water-chemistry, and fish assemblage data at 11 study reaches along the Nevėžis River of central Lithuania and assessed their relative influence on fish assemblages. Of the 23 fish species surveyed in the Nevėžis River, omnivorous and tolerant species were most common. Both water chemistry and physical, hydrogeomorphic characteristics emerged as predictors of fish assemblage descriptors. The strength of evidence for biological oyxgen demand as a strong environmental driver was compelling for both the Lithuanian Fish Index (LFI) and percentage of simple lithophils. Channel substrate emerged in multiple models as a strong predictor variable (LFI, % intolerant species, % simple lithophils, % omnivores). Measures of channel size (drainage area, mean depth) contributed to models for multiple fish metrics including percentage of lithophils, percentage of omnivores, and percentage of intolerant species. This research represents novel work in the region, and our results are an important step in supporting the development of a comprehensive physicochemical research and monitoring program in Lithuania.


OIA Supports Research in Amazon River

OSU’s Office of International Affairs has contributed funding to research by the STRIVE lab in the Amazon River: “Linking environmental change and aquatic biodiversity in Amazon River floodplains”. The study area is a dynamic region of the Amazon where Colombia, Perú, and Brazil converge.

IMG_4151 IMG_6977