Dr. Meryl Mims

Biological Sciences

Meryl Mims joined the faculty at Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor of ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences in early 2017. She was previously 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.


Lab Website

Recent Relevant Publications

Mims, M.C., E.E. Hartfield Kirk, D.A. Lytle, J.D. Olden. 2018. Traits-based approaches support the conservation relevance of landscape genetics. Conservation Genetics, 19:17-26.

Mims, M.C., E.H. Hodgson, L.M. Kuehne, M.C. Siple. 2016. The benefits of workshopping graduate fellowships: a how-to guide for students and early career scientists. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution, 9:24-39.

Guderyahn, L.B., A.P. Smithers, M.C. Mims. 2016. Assessing habitat requirements of pond-breeding amphibians in a highly urbanized landscape: implications for management. Urban Ecosystems, 19:1801-1821.

Mims, M.C., L. Hauser, C.S. Goldberg, J.D. Olden. 2016. Genetic differentiation, isolation-by-distance, and indications of a metapopulation of the Arizona treefrog (Hyla wrightorum) in an isolated portion of its range. PLoS One.

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.