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Caryn C. Vaughn

College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology, The University of Oklahoma website wordmark
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Dr. Caryn Vaughn

Caryn C. Vaughn

Presidential Professor of Biology

George Lynn Cross Research Professor


Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
M.S., University of Oklahoma
 B.S., University of Oklahoma
405-325-0513 (Phone)
405-325-6202 (Fax)
OBS 149

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curriculum vitae

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My research interests are in the areas of freshwater ecology and conservation biology. Within these two broad areas my students and I are pursuing a variety of basic and applied ecological questions using benthic organisms as models. Much of my recent work focuses on freshwater mussels, a group where 70% of the North American species are considered threatened. Mussels are keystone species in many rivers and their catastrophic decline may lead to the decline of other faunas and the alteration of river ecosystem processes. In my research I am combining experimental and comparative approaches to examine the functional role of mussels in rivers, to determine the mechanisms underlying their distribution and abundance, and to quantify the ecosystem services they provide.


Representative Publications

  • Vaughn, C.C.  & T.J. Hoellein. 2018. Bivalve impacts in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. In press
  • Vaughn, C.C. 2018. Ecosystem services provided by freshwater mussels. Hydrobiologia 810:15-27
  • Atkinson, C.L., B.J. Sansom*, C.C. Vaughn & K.J. Forshay. 2017. Consumer aggregations
  • drive nutrient dynamics and ecosystem metabolism in nutrient-limited systems. Ecosystems DOI: 10.1007/s10021-017-0166-4
  • Castro, A.J., C.C. Vaughn, M. Garcia-Llorente, J.P. Julian & C. L. Atkinson. 2016. Willingness to pay for ecosystem services among stakeholder groups in a south- central U.S. watershed with regional conflict. Journal of Water Resource Planning and Management 142:05016006
  • Vaughn, C.C., C.L. Atkinson & J.P. Julian. 2015. Drought-induced changes in flow regimes lead to long-term losses in mussel-provided ecosystem services. Ecology and Evolution 5:1291-1305.
  • Gates, K.K., C.C. Vaughn & J.P. Julian. 2015. Incorporating species traits in a guild approach to develop environmental flow recommendations for freshwater mussels. Freshwater Biology 60:620-635.
  • Atkinson, C.L. & C.C. Vaughn. 2015. Biogeochemical hotspots: temporal and spatial scaling of the impact of a multispecies community of freshwater mussels on ecosystem function. Freshwater Biology 60:563-574.
  • Atkinson, C.L., J.F. Kelly & C.C. Vaughn. 2014. Tracing consumer-derived nitrogen in riverine food webs. Ecosystems 17:485-496.
  • Vaughn, C.C. 2012. Life history traits and abundance can predict local colonization and extinction rates of freshwater mussels. Freshwater Biology 57:982-992
  • Vaughn, C.C. 2010. Biodiversity losses and ecosystem function in freshwaters: emerging conclusions and research directions. BioScience 60:25-35.