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James Rice

Emeritus Faculty

Note: Dr. Rice retired January 1, 2019 and is no longer accepting new students or postdocs.


Ph.D., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1985)
M.S., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1981)
B.A., Biology, St. Louis University (1978)

Research Interests

Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Biology

Broadly defined, I am an aquatic ecologist. Throughout my career I have focused my research on questions at the interface of basic and applied ecology with the intent to advance our collective knowledge of how aquatic ecosystems function, while also contributing to our ability to effectively manage and restore them. Most, but not all, of my work has been with fishes and their associated habitats and communities. I have used a variety of approaches in my research including field studies, experiments, lab analyses and simulation modeling, and find it most effective to combine multiple approaches whenever feasible. My interests are oriented more to questions than to particular species or systems. As a result, my students and I have worked with a wide variety of organisms and life stages (larval to adult) in systems ranging from ponds, reservoirs and the Great Lakes to streams, large rivers and coastal estuaries. My research often begins with trying to understand how individuals respond behaviorally or physiologically to their environment or community, then considers the cumulative consequences of those interactions at the population level, and sometimes for the whole food web or community. Areas of particular interest to me include predator prey interactions and food web dynamics in aquatic systems; direct and indirect fish responses to hypoxia; bioenergetics modeling of predation and habitat effects; impacts and management of introduced species; factors driving variation in fish tissue mercury concentration, and intersex condition in fishes. Regardless of the topic, my students and I have always considered the “So what?” question. We have formulated our research in ways that would not only increase our ecological understanding, but would also generate applications, or at least implications, for management to address real-world problems.

Web Resources

Selected Publications

(* indicates graduate student)

Honeycutt*, J.L., C.A.  Deck, S.C. Miller, M.E. Severance, E.B. Atkins, J.A. Luckenbach, J.A. Buckel, H.V. Daniels, J.A. Rice, R.J. Borski, and J. Godwin.  2019.  Warmer waters masculinize wild populations of juvenile southern flounder. Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 6527. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42944-x. View article

Bradley*, C.E. J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2018. Modeling the Effects of Vital Rate Manipulation and Management Scenarios to Predict Population Impact of Restoration Programs on an Unrecovered Coastal Population of Striped Bass. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 38:639-649. DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10062. View PDF

Bradley*, C.E., J.A. Rice, D.D. Aday, J.E. Hightower, J. Rock, and K.J. Lincoln. 2018. Juvenile and adult Striped Bass mortality and distribution in an unrecovered coastal population. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 38:104-119. DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10036. View PDF

Henson*, M.N., D.D. Aday, J.A. Rice, and C.A. Layman. 2018. Assessing the influence of Tilapia on sport species in North Carolina reservoirs. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147:350–362. DOI: 10.1002/tafs.10031. View PDF

Henson*, M.N., J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2018. Thermal tolerance and survival of Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus and Blue Tilapia Oreochromis aureus under rapid and natural temperature declination rates. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147:278–286. DOI: 10.1002/tafs.10023. View PDF

Campbell, L.A. and J.A. Rice. 2017. Development and field application of a model predicting effects of episodic hypoxia on short-term growth of Spot Leiostomus xanthurus. Marine and Coastal Fisheries Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 9:504–520. DOI: 10.1080/19425120.2017.1362492. View PDF

Deslauriers, D., S.R. Chipps, J.E. Breck, J.A. Rice, and C.P. Madenjian. 2017. Fish Bioenergetics 4.0: An R-based modeling application. Fisheries 42:11, 586-596. DOI: 10.1080/03632415.2017.1377558. View PDF

Owensby*, D.P, J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2017. Mortality, Dispersal, and Habitat Use of Stocked Juvenile Muskellunge Esox masquinongy in Two Western North Carolina Rivers. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 37(1):108-121, DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2016.1245222. View PDF

Lee Pow*, C., M. Law, T. Kwak, W.G. Cope, J.A. Rice, S. Kullman, and D.D. Aday. 2017. Endocrine Active Contaminants in Aquatic Systems and Intersex in Common Sport Fishes. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 36(4):959–968. DOI: 10.1002/etc.3607. View PDF

Brown*, D.T., D.D. Aday, and J.A. Rice. 2015. Responses of coastal Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides to episodic hypoxia. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144:655–666. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2015.1024801.

Campbell*, L.A. and J.A. Rice. 2014. Effects of hypoxia-induced habitat compression on growth of juvenile fish in the Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina. Marine Ecology Progress Series 497: 199–213. DOI: 10.3354/meps10607.

Cerino*, D., A.S. Overton, J.A. Rice, and J.A. Morris Jr. 2013. Bioenergetics and Trophic Impacts of the Invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:1522-1534. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2013.811098.

Bulak, J. S., C. C. Coutant, and J. A. Rice, editors. 2013. Biology and management of inland striped bass and hybrid striped bass. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 80, Bethesda, Maryland.

Rice, J. A., J. S. Thompson, J. A. Sykes, and C. T. Waters. 2013. The role of metalimnetic hypoxia in striped bass summer kills: consequences and management implications. Pages 121-145 in J. S. Bulak, C. C. Coutant, and J. A. Rice, editors. Biology and management of inland striped bass and hybrid striped bass. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 80, Bethesda, Maryland.

Feiner*, Z.S., J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2013. Trophic niche of invasive white perch and potential interactions with established reservoir species. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:628–641. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2013.763854.

Sackett*, D.K, D.D. Aday, J.A. Rice and W.G. Cope. 2013. Validation of a predictive model for fish tissue mercury concentrations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:380-387. DOI:10.1080/00028487.2012.747990.

Morris*, J.A. Jr, K.W. Shertzer and J.A. Rice. 2011. A stage-based matrix population model of invasive lionfish with implications for control. Aquatic Invasions. 13:7-12.


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