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Elizabeth A. Bergey

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Elizabeth A. Bergey

Professor of Biology

Heritage Biologist,

Oklahoma Biological Survey


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
M.S., Colorado State University
B.S., University of Oklahoma
405-325-7071 (Lab)
405-325-7702 (Fax)
SC 134

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curriculum vitae


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

Land snails. Land snails have more endemic and rare species in Oklahoma than any other group of plants or animals, yet very little has been done besides scattered surveys. Current research includes urban snail ecology, the effects of fires on land snails, 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 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.

Invertebrate surveys. As part of my position at the Oklahoma Biological Survey, my lab is involved in surveys of aquatic (and some terrestrial) invertebrates in Oklahoma. For example, we have surveyed crayfish throughout Oklahoma and are currently surveying caddisflies. 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 toxicity of cigarette butts to snails, compilation of county distribution records (an internship project) and a survey of bumble bees across the state. 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 aquatic insects in playa wetlands, and studies of algal-aquatic plant and algal-animal associations, and the biology of an endemic land snail. Graduate students can be in Biology, EEB, or Plant Biology programs.


  • Bergey EA, Whipkey BE. 2020. Climate gradients, and patterns of biodiversity and biotic homogenization in urban residential yards. PLOS ONE 15(8): e0234830.
  • Bergey, EA. 2019. Dispersal of a non-native land snail across a residential area is modified by yard management and movement barriers. Urban Ecosystems 22: 325-334.Gill, HKJ RogersB RehmanJP Moynihan, and EA Bergey. 2018. Cigarette butts may have low toxicity to soil-dwelling invertebrates: evidence from a land snail. Science of the Total Environment 628-629: 556-561.
  • Bergey, EA, N Desianti, and JT Cooper. 2017. Characterization of the diatom flora in the Lower Mountain Fork (Oklahoma, USA), a novel regulated river with a disjunct population of Didymosphenia geminata. European Journal of Phycology 52: 225-237.
  • Wu, SC and EA Bergey. 2017. Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp. dominate despite spatial variation in assemblages. PLOS ONE 12(2): e0171910.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171910
  • Bright, EG, M GillA Barrientes and EA Bergey. 2016. Fire resilience of aquatic crustacean resting stages in playa wetlands. Fire Ecology 12: 29-36.
  • Bergey, EA and LL Figueroa. 2016. Residential yards as designer ecosystems: effects of yard management on land snail species composition. Ecological Applications 26: 2538–2547.
  •  Underlined = undergraduate student author