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
My research focuses on the ecology and conservation biology of streams, in particular the functional roles of freshwater mussels, and in quantifying the ecosystem services provided by stream organisms. Freshwater mussels are one of the world’s most imperiled faunas, largely because their life history traits make them highly vulnerable to climate change, habitat destruction and alteration, and introduction of non-native species. Until recently, most work in mussel conservation focused on documenting and propagating the rarest species. However, most mussel species are declining and it is the common species that do most of the work in ecosystems. Over the past 20 years, integrative research in my lab has demonstrated that mussels are important “biofilters” that transfer energy and nutrients in aquatic food webs and even subsidize terrestrial ecosystems. The biophysical processes performed by mussels vary with species and environmental conditions, particularly flow and temperature, and are highest in the most diverse communities.
Google scholar profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=dSAMFFQAAAAJ&hl=en