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 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.