MMNS Ichthyology Research

Ichthyology research at MMNS focuses primarily on the status, general ecology and taxonomy of the fishes found within Mississippi. Information on these basic elements provides the necessary framework to direct conservation strategies and assist with management decisions.  Much of our research is directed towards baseline sampling and general survey work. Target specific research projects are often dictated from the results of previous baseline studies, which note the need for additional information on the species. Research activities are conducted by MMNS Staff or guided collaboratively with personnel from other state and federal agencies. Material stemming from MMNS based-research is often integrated within the MMNS Ichthyology Collection. 


Contact Matt Roberts


Research Interestsresearch_photocaption_darterFish

Examples of past and current research topics:

  • Movement and habitat use of sub-adult and adult gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhinchus desotoi) in the Pascagoula drainage.
  • Distribution and abundance of the pearl darter (Percina aurora) in the Pascagoula River drainage.
  • The occurrence of tilapia and the potential interaction with gamefishes in Mississippi's coastal waters (co-PI with M. Peterson).
  • Habitat affinities and movement of juvenile Gulf sturgeon in coastal Mississippi (co-PI with M. Peterson).
  • Taxonomic assessment of  Fundulus sp. (cf.  F. olivaceus), a possible Mississippi endemic (co-PI with M. Dugo, B. Kreiser).
  • Morphometric and meristic variation in  Notropis sabinae with an emphasis on Mississippi populations in the Big Black River system.
  • Survey for  Percina aurora (Pearl darter) in the Pearl River system.
  • Molecular analysis of the Pearl darter (Percina aurora) and potential surrogate darter species for assessment of propagation program (co-PI with M. Dugo).
  • Assessing effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on populations of non-indigenous Nile tilapia in southern Mississippi (co-PI with M. Peterson, P. Schofield).
  • Molecular systematics, phylogeography and population genetics of Fundulus dispar and  Fundulus blairae (co-PI with M. Dugo).
  • Update on distribution and population aspects of  Noturus gladiator  and Percina phoxocephala in Mississippi.
  • Floodplains and utilization by fishes: Pearl River swamps/sloughs in the Jackson-Metro area.



Links of Interest
Regional Biological Collections




Useful regional field guides

  • The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. 2001. S.T. Ross. University Press  of Mississippi.
  • Sharks, skates and rays of the Gulf of Mexico: a field guide. 2006. G.R. Parsons. University Press of Mississippi.
  • A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico.  1991. L.M. Page and B.M. Burr.  Houghton  Mifflin Company.
  • Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile basin. 1996. M.F. Mettee, P.E. O'Neil and J.M. Pierson. Oxmoor House.
  • Fishes of Alabama. 2004. H.T. Boschung, Jr. and R.L. Mayden. Smithsonian Books.
  • Fishes of Arkansas. 1984. H.W. Robison and T.M. Buchanan. The University of Arkansas Press.
  • Freshwater fishes of Louisiana. 1974. N.H. Douglas. Claitor's Publishing Division.
  • The fishes of Missouri. 1997. W.L. Plieger. Missouri Department of Conservation, revised edition.
  • The fishes of Tennessee. 1993. D.A. Etnier and W.C. Starnes. The University of Tennessee Press.
  • Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and adjacent waters. 1998. H.D. Hoese and R.H. Moore. Texas A&M University Press, 2nd edition.