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King_Ryan_record_longnose Ryan S. King, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Director, Biology

King directs students and manages all research projects in the aquatic ecology lab.

King is a bit of a flyfishing fanatic and prone to brag about fishing experiences.

Google Scholar Profile

Department web page

CV (in PDF format)



Back_Jeff_srjs1 Jeffrey A. Back, Ph.D., Baylor Univ.

Jeff is a world-class taxonomist and maintains one of the largest personal collections of aquatic Hemiptera and Coleoptera any of us has ever seen. Jeff generated an amazing data set on nutrient stoichiometry of macroinvertebrates differing in their life history traits across developmental stages for his dissertation at Baylor, which he defended in 2013. He remains a core collaborator with our lab as instrument specialist with CRASR and QA/QC officer on the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Joint Phosphorus Study.

Hiatt_Dan_hws_2011 Daniel Hiatt, M.S.
Ph.D. student, Biology

Daniel studied water quality and its influence of biota in experimental streams for his master's thesis. Here, he is a core member of the Alaska headwater stream team and is studying the influence of nutrient availability on periphyton growth and enzyme activity in salmon-rearing streams of the Kenai Peninsula and in subtropical limestone streams in Texas.


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Moncie Wright, M.S.
Ph.D. student, Biology

Moncie's M.S. degree focused on invasive crayfish in Maryland streams. During her "free time" Moncie worked full-time as an environmental consultant. Here at Baylor, Moncie is focused on interactive effects of grazing biota and contaminants on stream periphyton. First, she is study algal and bacterial responses to titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) with and without fish and snail grazing pressure in stream mesocosms. She is also studying periphyton responses to pulsed atrazine exposures with and without fish grazers. Her third chapter will explore the mechanisms driving periphyton responses to TiO2NPs under snail grazing pressure observed in the previous TiO2NP field exposure experiment using laboratory streams.

Robbins_Caleb_srjs1 Caleb Robbins
Ph.D. student, Biology

Caleb joined the lab in Fall 2012. His first chapter of his dissertation will focus on microbial and nutrient uptake response to whole-stream dissolved organic carbon (DOC) enrichment in an Alaskan headwater stream. He is currently a core member of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Joint Phosphorus study, where the next facet of his research will involve characterizing DOC among distinct anthropogenic vs. natural sources and how these different forms of DOC may differentially affect microbial and photoautotrophic production in streams.

Cook_Stephen Stephen Cook
Ph.D. student, Biology

Stephen joined the lab in Fall 2013. He spent three years following graduation from college working on several projects ranging from harvest surveys on crabbing vessels in the Alaskan Bering Sea (yes the same ones featured on the television hit, Deadliest Catch) to collecting data on rocky intertidal communities on the Oregon coast. His first dissertation chapter will document remarkably large increases in macroinvertebrate densities following dissolved organic carbon additions to an Alaskan headwater stream, whereas his future work will focus on food webs along a steep phosphorus gradient in Ozark streams.

Housley_Lauren_250pix Lauren Housley
M.S. student, Biology

Lauren joined the lab in June 2014, leaving an environmental consulting position as a field biologist and macroinvertebrate taxonomist. Lauren is a core member of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers study. She is beginning to develop ideas for her thesis, which will likely involve biomass and production of grazing invertebrates, particularly snails, in response to phosphorus enrichment of streams. She is a Society of Freshwater Science Certified taxonomist.

Hooker_Katherine_srjs1 Katherine Hooker
Research Technician (Baylor '14)

Katherine examined the effects of stream water chemistry on grass litter chemical composition as an undergrad in our lab. She used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to characterize the relative abundance of organic molecules indicative of decomposition and microbial colonization in cooperation with Dr. Bill Hockaday's lab. She is now a research technician on our Oklahoma Scenic Rivers project and will be starting graduate school in Fall 2015. She is particularly interested in lake ecology.

Elser_Stephen_srjs1 Stephen Elser
Research Technician (Notre Dame '14)

Stephen joined us in Fall 2014 as a research technician on our Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Joint Phosphorus study. Stephen was raised in Arizona and completed several undergraduate research experiences while a student at Notre Dame. Stephen is interested in studying the intersection of science and policy in graduate or professional school, a factor that played into his interest in the Scenic River study.

Bettcher_Morgan_srjs1 Morgan Bettcher
Research Technician (North Carolina-Chapel Hill '14)

Morgan joined us in Fall 2014 as a research technician on our Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Joint Phosphorus study. Morgan has a strong interdisciplinary background in ecology and environmental science, including an undergraduate research fellowship that took him to study streams in the Andes of South America. Despite his UNC diploma, he is a good guy #GoDuke. Morgan is interested in graduate school following completion of the Scenic Rivers Study.

Hamilton_Jacob_250px Jacob Hamilton
Biology undergraduate student

Jacob is an undergrad from Abilene, Texas. He joined the lab the end of Spring 2014 as a student worker. He is studying biology at Baylor and wishes to attend graduate school to study toxicology and the effects on aquatic ecology. Jacob has been assisting the lab with various projects to help facilitate research and to grow his knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

Sorensen_Kaitie_250pix Kaitie Sorenson
Biology undergraduate student

Kaitie is an undergrad from San Antonio, Texas. She started working in the lab in the Spring 2014 semester. She helped collect and process samples in two field studies involving TiO2NPs and atrazine. She is studying Environmental Science at Baylor and hopes to continue studying the effects of environmental toxins on freshwater ecosystems in Graduate School.

McCluskey_Jemima_250pix Jemima McCluskey
Biology undergraduate honors student

Jemima is an undergraduate from Canton, Michigan. She is studying biology and biochemistry at Baylor, and plans to attend graduate school to study microbiology and aquatic ecology. She joined the lab at the end of Fall 2013 and is studying the effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on periphyton in stream ecosystems.

Watson_Sam Sam Watson
Biology undergraduate University Scholar

Sam is a junior studying biology who joined the lab in Fall 2014. He is considering thesis ideas geared towards studying anthropogenic affects on ecosystems and is pursuing graduate school for aquatic or marine ecology. Sam is currently assisting the Scenic River Joint Study team sort and document aquatic invertebrate samples