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James Rice

Professor and Ext. Fisheries Specialist

David Clark Labs 255



Ph.D., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1985)

Research Interests

Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Biology

Broadly defined, I am an aquatic ecologist. My research focuses 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 is with fishes and their associated habitats and communities. I use 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 always consider the “So what?” question. We try to formulate our research in ways that will not only increase our ecological understanding, but will also generate applications, or at least implications, for management to address real-world problems. For more information on current or recent projects please visit our lab research page.

Web Resources

Selected Publications

(* indicates graduate student)

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. In Press.

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.

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.

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.

Complete Publication List (PDF)