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K. David Hambright

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K. David Hambright

Professor of Biology and Director, Environmental Studies

Ph.D., Cornell University
M.Sc., Texas Christian University
B.Sc., University of North Carolina, Charlotte
405-325-7435 (Phone)
405-325-7440 (Fax)
SH 304

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Ecological interactions between freshwater consumer and prey species are the primary foci of my lab group, the Plankton Ecology and Limnology Laboratory (PEL Lab). Our studies have covered a broad range of aquatic organisms, from bacteria to fish, with emphases on lake and reservoir ecosystems. We are particularly interested in understanding how consumers affect community and ecosystem level dynamics through direct and indirect effects on planktonic microbial assemblages via mechanisms such as selective consumption, alteration of competitive forces, and changes in nutrient cycling dynamics. Laboratory and field experimentation play key roles in PEL Lab research, and we typically employ multiple but separate approaches to both basic and applied questions. Graduate and undergraduate students working in the PEL lab are free to explore any topic in aquatic ecology and evolutionary biology. Current student research includes the investigation of factors that affect distributional patterns of the harmful algal bloom (HAB) species Prymnesium parvum across the regional landscape using qPCR and biogeochemical surveys; analysis of the effects of environmental variation, including HABs, on population dynamics, abundances, and reproductive strategies of monogonont rotifers; behavioral and life history characterization of crustacean zooplankton (Daphnia) cyanobacterial interactions; the study and metagenomic documentation of microbial diversity across environmental and global gradients; study of the ecology of invasive Zebra mussels and potential their interactions with the invasive Harris mud crab in Lake Texoma; genomic sequencing, gene expression, toxicity regulation, and cell physiological studies in Prymnesium; and the use of, and development of novel, remote sensing technologies for quantification of water quality and HABs in regional lakes.


  • Beyer, J.E. and K.D. Hambright. 2016. Persistent and delayed effects of toxic cyanobacteria exposure on life history traits of a common zooplankter. Limnology and Oceanography 61: 587-595. (DOI: 10.1002/lno.10239).
  • Acosta, F., R.M. Zamor, F.Z. Najar, B.A. Roe, and K.D. Hambright. 2015. Dynamics of an experimental microbial invasion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: 11594-11599.
  • Hambright, K.D., J.E. Beyer, J.D. Easton, R.M. Zamor, A.C. Easton, and T.C. Hallidayschult. 2015. “The niche of an invasive marine microbe in a subtropical freshwater impoundment.” The ISME Journal 9:256-264.
  • Remmel, E.J. and K.D. Hambright. 2012. Toxin-assisted micropredation: Experimental evidence shows that contact micropredation rather than exotoxicity is the role of Prymnesium toxins. Ecology Letters 15: 126-132.
  • Zamor, R.M., K.L. Glenn, and K.D. Hambright. 2012. Incorporating molecular tools into routine HAB monitoring programs: using qPCR to track invasive PrymnesiumHarmful Algae 15:1-7.

  • Remmel, E.J., N. Kohmescher, J.H. Larson, & K.D. Hambright. 2011. An experimental analysis of harmful algae-zooplankton interactions and the ultimate defense. Limnology and Oceanography 56:461-470.

  • Henrikson, J.C. M.S. Gharfeh, A.C. Easton, J.D. Easton, K.L. Glenn, S.L. Mooberry, K.D. Hambright, R.H. Cichewicz. 2010. Reassessing the ichthyotoxin profile of cultured Prymnesium parvum (Golden Algae) and comparing it to samples collected from recent freshwater bloom and fish kill events in North America. Toxicon 55:1396-1404.

  • Hambright, K.D., T. Zohary, W. Eckert, S. Schwartz, C.L. Schelske, and P.R. Leavitt. 2008. Human engineered hydrological changes: exploitation and destabilization of the Sea of Galilee. Ecological Applications 18:1591-1603.

  • Hambright, K.D., T. Zohary, and H. Güde. 2007. Microzooplankton dominate carbon flow and nutrient cycling in a warm subtropical freshwater lake. Limnology and Oceanography 52:1018-1025.
  • Hambright, K.D., F.J. Ragep, and J. Ginat (eds.). 2006. Water in the Middle East: Cooperation and Technical Solutions in the Jordan Valley, with foreward by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and preface by David L. Boren, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, U.K