Welcome Traci Popejoy, new PhD student

I am interested in conservation biology, biogeography and community ecology in freshwater systems. I believe multiple forms of evidence are essential to support conservation discussions. For my master’s thesis, I compared freshwater mussel shells from two archaeological sites to a contemporary survey and discussed the conservation implications of this comparison, such as potential habitat change. I look forward to adding to my ‘conservation tool box’ by researching nutrient cycling in Oklahoma streams.traciweb2

Carla Atkinson wins 2015 Hyne’s Award

Two Hyne's Award Winners

Two Hyne’s Award Winners

We are VERY proud of Dr. Carla Atkinson for winning the Hynes Award at the Society for Freshwater Science meeting in May. We are also proud of Dr. Daniel Allen for bringing home this award last year. #vaughnlab


SFS 2015 Hynes Award: Dr. Carla L. Atkinson

Dr. Carla Atkinson is a community and ecosystem ecologist who is interested in how species traits maintain essential ecosystem functions and how land use and climate change may interact to impact a species’ role and its survival within the ecosystem. Her research has focused on the importance of species traits on ecosystem processes, effects of species loss on ecosystem function (i.e. nutrient cycling and storage), and the consequences of land use change on aquatic ecosystems. Dr. Atkinson worked with Dr. Alan Covich at the University of Georgia for her masters studying trophic niche overlap of native and invasive bivalves. In 2013 she obtained her PhD from the University of Oklahoma under the advisement of Dr. Caryn Vaughn where her dissertation research focused on the impact of freshwater mussels, one of the world’s most imperiled faunal groups, on nutrient cycling in streams. As a postdoc under Dr. Alexander Flecker at Cornell University from 2013-2014, she examined the functional traits of tropical and temperate stream insects including body stoichiometry, trophic ecology, and excretion rates under physiological stress due to simulated climate change. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama.