Baylor University
Department of Biology
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Ryan S. King

King, Ryan S. Associate Professor of Biology and Graduate Program Director

Office: C.414 Baylor Sciences Bldg.
Lab: C.453R Baylor Sciences Bldg.
Office: (254) 710.2150
Lab: (254) 710-2372

Associate Professor of Biology
Graduate Program Director, Biology

B.S., Biology, Harding University, AR
Master of Environmental Management, Duke University, NC
Ph.D., Ecology, Duke University, NC
Ecologist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, MD

Aquatic Biology (BIO 4406)
Analysis of Ecological Communities (BIO 5413)
Stream Ecology (BIO 5405)
Modern Concepts of Bioscience II (BIO 1306)
Visualizing Data in R (BIO 5100)

Research Interests

My research lab group is interested broadly in aquatic ecosystems, whether they be marine or freshwater, flowing or still. Our primary focus is understanding environmental factors that influence the structure and functioning of aquatic communities--that is, interacting assemblages of species. We are interested in fundamental questions in ecology but apply our basic understanding of aquatic communities to evaluate and predict how human alterations may affect ecosystems.

We have particular expertise in (1) modeling responses of organisms to novel environmental gradients (e.g., urbanization, nutrient overenrichment) in freshwater and estuarine ecosystems, (2) using landscape theory and geospatial tools to link watershed patterns to aquatic ecosystem processes across broad spatial scales, and (3) coupling experiments with field studies to identify causal linkages between stressors and biological responses.

Our lab is a dynamic group and we interact with faculty in several other labs and departments at Baylor. We also collaborate heavily with scientists from other institutions, ranging from state agencies, federal research labs, and other universities. We are always interested in developing collaborative relationships with researchers from other institutions and actively seek funding to participate on multi-disciplinary integrative projects with the goal of generating scientific evidence for sound management of aquatic ecosystems.

Recent Publications (2010-2012)

Lang, D.A.*, R.S. King, and J.T. Scott. 2012. Divergent responses of biomass and enzyme activities suggest differential nutrient limitation in stream periphyton. Freshwater Science 31:1096-1104.

Husemann, M.*, J. W. Ray*, R. S. King, E. Hooser*, and P.D. Danley. 2012. Comparative biogeography reveals differences in population genetic structure of five species of stream fishes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01973.x

Bernhardt, E. S., B. D. Lutz, R. S. King, A. M. Helton, C. A. Carter, J. P. Fay, D. Campagna, J. Amos. 2012. How many mountains can we mine? Assessing the regional degradation of Central Appalachian rivers by surface coal mining. Environmental Science & Technology 46: 81158122

Ray, J.W.*, M. Husemann*, R. S. King, and P. D. Danley. 2012. Genetic analysis reveals dispersal of Florida bass haplotypes from reservoirs to rivers in central Texas. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:12691273

Stanley, C. E.*, J. M. Taylor*, and R. S. King. 2012. Coupling fish community structure with instream flow and habitat connectivity between two hydrologically extreme years. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:1000-1015.

Taylor, J. M.*, J. A. Back*, T. W. Valenti*, and R. S. King. 2012. Fish-mediated nutrient cycling and benthic microbial processes: Can consumers influence stream nutrient cycling at multiple spatial scales? Freshwater Science 31:928-944.

Studds, C. E., W. V. DeLuca, M. E. Baker, R. S. King, and P. P. Marra. 2012. Land cover and rainfall interact to shape waterbird community composition. PLoS One 7.e35969, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035969.

King, R. S., C. M. Walker, D. F. Whigham, S. J. Baird, and J. A. Back*. 2012. Catchment topography and wetland geomorphology drive macroinvertebrate community structure and juvenile salmonid distributions in southcentral Alaska headwater streams. Freshwater Science 31:341-364

Walker, C. M., R. S. King, Whigham, D. W.,and S. J. Baird. 2012. Landscape and wetland influences on headwater stream chemistry in the Kenai Lowlands, Alaska. Wetlands 32:301-310

Taylor, J. M.*, J. A. Back*, and R. S. King. 2012. Grazing minnows increase benthic autotrophy and enhance the response of periphyton elemental composition to experimental phosphorus additions. Freshwater Science 31:451-462

Whigham, D. W., C. M. Walker, R. S. King, and S. J. Baird. 2012. Multiple scales of influence on wetland vegetation associated with headwater streams in Alaska, USA. Wetlands 32:411-422

Dekar, M. P.*, R. S. King, C. M. Walker, D. F. Whigham, and J. A. Back*. 2012. Allochthonous inputs from grass-dominated wetlands support juvenile salmonids in headwater streams: evidence from stable isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Freshwater Science 31:121-132.

Shaftel, R. S.*, R. S. King, and J. A. Back*. 2012. Alder cover drives nitrogen availability in Kenai Peninsula headwater streams, Alaska. Biogeochemistry 107:135-148

Pease, A. A.^, J. M. Taylor*^, K. O. Winemiller, and R. S. King. 2011. Multiscale environmental influences on fish assemblage structure in central Texas streams. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 140:1409-1427. ^equal contributors

King, R. S., M. E. Baker, P. F. Kazyak, and D. E. Weller. 2011. How novel is too novel? Stream community thresholds at exceptionally low levels of catchment urbanization. Ecological Applications 21:1659-1678

Valenti, T. W.*, J.M. Taylor*, J.A. Back*, R.S. King, and B. W. Brooks. 2011. Influence of drought and total phosphorus on diel pH in wadeable streams: Implications for ecological risk assessment of ionizable contaminants. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 7:636-647

Shaftel, R. S.*, R. S. King, and J. A. Back*. 2011. Breakdown rates, nutrient quality, and macroinvertebrate colonization of bluejoint grass litter in headwater streams of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:386-398.

King, R. S.^ and M. E. Baker^. 2011. An alternative view of ecological community thresholds and appropriate analyses for their detection. Ecological Applications 21:2833-2839 ^equal contributors

Baker, M. E.^ and R. S. King.^ 2010. A new method for detecting and interpreting biodiversity and ecological community thresholds. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1:25-37. ^equal contributors

King, R. S. and M. E. Baker. 2010. Considerations for analyzing ecological community thresholds in response to anthropogenic environmental gradients. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29:998-1008.

Dodds, W. K., W. H. Clements, K. Gido, R.H. Hilderbrand, and R. S. King. 2010. Thresholds, breakpoints, and non-linearity in freshwater systems as related to management. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29:988-997

*Baylor students

Department of Biology