Elizabeth A. Bergey
Associate Professor of Biology
Associate Heritage Biologist, Oklahoma Biological Survey

Lab: (405)325-7071
Fax: (405)325-7702


Bergey lab web page

Randall S. Hewes

Current Research Interests and Subject Areas Available for Research

I have broad interests in the ecology and conservation biology of land snails and freshwater macroinvertebrates and algae. Here are my main current areas of research:

Land snails. This is a new research area in my lab. Land snails include more endemic and rare species in Oklahoma than any other group of plants or animals, yet very little has been done in the state besides scattered surveys. Current research includes the effects of wildfires and controlled burns on land snails, the horticultural trade as a mechanism of (non-native) snail movement, and dietary overlap of co-occurring species. Land snail research is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Effects of disturbance on freshwater macroinvertebrates and algae. Disturbances in streams include spates (from freshets to floods), scraping by grazers during feeding, and effects of aerial exposure; all of which result in mortality of stream organisms. Most of my disturbance work is done with algae (especially diatom-dominated communities) and uses a combination of field and laboratory experiments to investigate substrate roughness as a disturbance refuge. I also have an ongoing collaborative project on the ecological impacts of dams in Thailand.

Invertebrate surveys. As part of my position at the Oklahoma Biological Survey, my lab is involved in surveys of aquatic (and recently also terrestrial) invertebrates in Oklahoma. For example, we have surveyed the distribution of crayfish throughout Oklahoma and the aquatic invertebrates in over 100 springs and seeps. Intensive, localized surveys have been conducted on state and federal lands. I am interested in pursuing ecological spin-off projects from these surveys.

Undergraduate research and internships. I welcome Honors researchers, independent study students, and interns in conservation biology in my lab. Projects are jointly selected, according to the interests of the students. Research on land snails is encouraged, but other projects are possible. Examples of recent projects include post-fire survival of snails, effects of diet on snail growth, and compilation of county distribution records of snails (an internship project). Undergraduates have been senior authors or co-authors on publications.

Graduate research. Graduate students in my laboratory choose their own projects that may or may not be related to ongoing research projects. Examples of recent graduate research include: the ecology of a rare Oklahoma-endemic crayfish, biogeography of diatoms in granite rock pools, ecology of aquatic insects in playa wetlands, and studies of algal-aquatic plant associations. Graduate students can be in Biology, EEB, or Plant Biology programs.

To learn more about this research, visit the Bergey lab web page.

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

M.S., Colorado State University

B.S., University of Oklahoma







Back to Biology Faculty

Selected publications: (* = undergraduate student)

  • Bergey, E. A., P. Bunlue, S. Silalom, D. Thapanya, and P. Chantaramongkol. 2010. Environmental and biological factors affect desiccation tolerance of algae from two rivers (Thailand and New Zealand) with fluctuating flow. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 725-736.
  • Bergey, E. A., J. T. Cooper, and B. C. Phillips*. 2009. Substrate characteristics affect colonization by the bloom-forming diatom Didymosphenia geminata. Aquatic Ecology. DOI: 10.1007/s10452-009-9247-6.
  • Bergey E. A. 2008. Does rock chemistry affect periphyton accrual in streams? Hydrobiologia 614: 141-150.
  • Bergey, E. A., W. J. Matthews, and J. E. Fry*. 2008. Springs in time: fish faunal changes in springs over a 20-year interval. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18: 829-838.
  • *Abbott, L. L. and E. A. Bergey. 2007. Why are there so few algae on snail shells? The effects of grazing, nutrients and shell chemistry on the algae on shells of Helisoma trivolvis. Freshwater Biology 52: 2112-2120.





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