Advisor: Dr. Matt Whiles
Globally, over half of the world’s streams are intermittent, but intermittent streams are understudied with most research focusing on perennial streams. Intermittent prairie streams are one of the harshest riverine environments as they are subject to frequent flooding and drying, with low predictability about the timing and duration of these events. Prairie streams are ideal for testing how stream biota will respond to disturbance and drought, which will be important as the number of streams shifting from perennial to intermittent continues to grow.
I am studying the effects of extreme drought on aquatic invertebrate communities living in isolated pools in a perennial prairie stream. I am trying to determine if drought enhances the effects of fishes as a biological filter in structuring aquatic invertebrate communities and how the fluxes of aquatic invertebrates to terrestrial systems may change with extreme drought.