Assistant Professor of Biology
(No voicemail available – please contact by email) E-Mail: [email protected] Address:
West Liberty University
208 University Drive
College Union Box 139
West Liberty, WV 26074
- BS, Environmental Studies and Biology, University of North Carolina at Asheville, 2007
- MS, Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 2010
- PhD, Ecology, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, 2017
- BIO 124 – Biological Principles
- BIO 207 – Fundamentals of Ecology/Biodiversity
- BIO 406 – Field Biology
- BIO 428 – Evolutionary Biology
Current Research Projects:
Research in my lab focuses on a variety of ecology and ecosystem topics. My lab is actively researching the ecology of the aquatic plant, Podostemum ceratophyllum (Hornleaf Rivers) to better understand the plant’s role in eastern rivers and how it responds to ecological stressors (e.g. acid main drainage, road salts, etc.). This plant is important to rivers and streams throughout eastern North America because it increases benthic complexity and provides habitat for aquatic invertebrates, thus it can increase food resources to fish and other aquatic organisms. The plant is also consumed by a variety of organisms ranging from crayfish to turtles. However, the plant appears to be declining across much of its range. Unfortunately, the causes of decline are unclear, therefore my lab is working better understand the plant’s role in lotic ecosystems (rivers and streams) and the drivers behind the apparent decline of this important aquatic species.
My lab is also involved in research on the ecology of bryophytes, the influence of land use on water quality in the Ohio River and its tributaries. Of particular interest are the impacts of urbanization on nutrient cycling in rivers (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) and the growth of hazardous algal blooms.
I am also interested in ways to utilized citizen science to engage the public with pressing environmental issues in the Ohio River Valley and throughout Appalachia.
- Wood and Freeman. 2017. Ecology of the macrophyte Podostemum certaphyllum Michx. (Horleaf riverweed), a widespread foundation species of eastern North American rivers. Aquatic Botany. 139, 65-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2017.02.009
- Wood, Pattillo, and Freman. 2016. Organic-matter retention and macroinvertebrate utilization of seasonally inundated bryophytes in a mid-order piedmont river. Southeastern Naturalist. 15(3): 403-414. https://doi.org/10.1656/058.015.0303