Dr. Meryl Mims

Biological Sciences

Meryl Mims will join the faculty at Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor of ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences in early 2017. She is currently a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey and completed her PhD in 2015 at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences in freshwater ecology and conservation.

Dr. Mims’s research investigates how species’ traits and environmental attributes interact to influence community and population structure of aquatic organisms. Her research integrates the fields of population, community, and landscape ecology, and she uses a suite of approaches including population and landscape genetics, spatially explicit individual-based models, traits-based inference, species distribution models, and multivariate statistical tools. The overarching goal of her research is to uncover, understand, and predict differential response of aquatic species to a changing landscape and climate. Dr. Mims works to bridge fundamental work in freshwater population and community ecology with applied conservation and management needs.

Areas of research interest in the Mims Lab will include: 1) developing and testing traits-based approaches and multispecies assessments to prioritize regional management and conservation of freshwater species; 2) assessing species’ vulnerability to climate change across levels of biological organization, from genes to communities; 3) evaluating risk and response of aquatic organisms to climate-driven spatiotemporal changes in intermittent aquatic habitat in lotic and lentic systems.

Email         Website


Recent Relevant Publications

Guderyahn, L.B., A.P. Smithers, M.C. Mims. Assessing habitat requirements of pond-breeding amphibians in a highly urbanized landscape: implications for management. In Press, Urban Ecosystems

Mims, M.C., I.C. Phillipsen, D. A. Lytle, E.E. Hartfield Kirk, and J.D. Olden. 2015. Ecological strategies predict associations between aquatic and genetic connectivity for dryland amphibians. Ecology, 96:1371-1382

Hale*, J.R., M.C. Mims, M.T. Bogan, J.D. Olden. 2015. Links between two interacting factors, novel habitats and non-native predators, and aquatic invertebrate communities in a dryland environment. Hydrobiologia, 746:313-326 (*undergraduate author mentored by M.C. Mims)

Olden, J.D., C.P. Konrad, T.S. Melis, M.J. Kennard, M.C. Freeman, M.C. Mims, E.N. Bray, K.B. Gido, N.P.  Hemphill, D.A. Lytle, L.E. McMullen, M. Pyron, C.T. Robinson, J.C. Schmidt, J.G. Williams. 2014. Are large-scale flow experiments informing the science and management of freshwater ecosystems? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12:176-185

Mims, M.C., J.D. Olden. 2013. Fish assemblages respond to altered flow regimes via ecological filtering of life history strategies. Freshwater Biology, 58: 50–62

Mims, M.C., J.D. Olden. 2012. Life history theory predicts fish assemblage response to hydrologic regimes. Ecology, 93: 35-45

Konrad, C.P., J.D. Olden, D.A. Lytle, T.S. Melis, J.C. Schmidt, E.N. Bray, M.C. Freeman, K.B. Gido, N.P. Hemphill, M.J. Kennard, L.E. McMullen, M.C. Mims, M. Pyron, C.T. Robinson, J.G. Williams. 2011. Large-scale flow experiments for managing river systems. Bioscience, 61: 948-959

Lawrence, D.J., E.R. Larson, C.A. Reidy Liermann, M.C. Mims, T.K. Pool, J.D. Olden. 2011. National parks as protected areas for U.S. freshwater fish diversity. Conservation Letters, 4: 364-371

Mims, M.C., J.D. Olden, Z.R. Shattuck, N.L. Poff. 2010. Life history trait diversity of native freshwater fishes in North America. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 19: 390-400