Kiza K. Gates
PhD Montana State University
I am interested in the ecology and conservation of freshwater organisms experiencing multiple anthropogenic stressors. I use theory, observations, and experiments to address the response of aquatic communities to various forms of disturbance. Much of my research in the past has focused on understanding the effects of river regulation and invasive species on freshwater communities. This work led me to explore the broader question of how humans alter aquatic systems through engineering, nutrient releases, and recreational use. My most recent work is exploring how climate induced temperature changes and regulated flows affect the interactions between mussel and fish communities.
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.
Brent M. Tweedy
B.S. Oklahoma Baptist University
M.S. Texas Christian University
Freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to the buildup of toxic chemicals. Toxins deposited in low levels across a watershed become concentrated in the streams, lakes, and rivers they wash into, adversely affecting the health of aquatic organisms. Freshwater mussels stand out among these organism due to their pivotal role in many important ecosystem functions and because many North American species are threatened or endangered. While at OU, I plan to investigate how sublethal concentrations of toxins affect mussels and how these effects might cascade throughout the ecosystem.
B.S. University of Minnesota Duluth
I grew up in west-central Minnesota and earned my B.S. degree in biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I have worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources surveying, monitoring, translocating, and researching host-suitability in freshwater mussels. I am broadly interested in freshwater ecosystems and specifically interested in freshwater mussels, effects of invasive species, stream ecology, and conservation.
B.S University of Wisconsin-Superior
My interests include community ecology and the conservation of freshwater communities. Specifically, I am interested in freshwater mussels and the organization of the species within mussel beds. I received my B.S. from the University of Wisconsin- Superior, and worked for the Minnesota department of Natural Resources for several years. During that time I was involved in surveys of mussel beds, relocation efforts, as well as efforts to raise and release mussels to repopulate historical mussel beds.