Fisheries Management & Ecology
At the broadest level, research in the Farmer Lab intersects the basic and applied fields of fisheries ecology and aquatic resource management. Generally, our research efforts seek to understand how fish, at both the individual and population levels, respond to management actions and environmental change. Recent research in the lab seeks to better understand factors affecting fish movement, habitat selection, and passage success at migration barriers. Knowledge gained from these research efforts will inform management actions aimed at improving fish habitat and passage success.
December 2023 - New lab publication: A case study of epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) caused by Amphanomyces invadans in eastern mosquittofish (Gambusia holbrooki) from the headwaters of Charleston Harbor, SC. in the Journal of Fish Diseases. with co-authors Time Bruce, Zach Noel, Carl Trettin, Craig Rohair, Kylie Warden, and Alex Chow is published online!
August 2023 - Congrats to Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB) for being selected for two travel awards to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Grand Rapids, MI. Aaron received both John E. Skinner Memorial Award and the AFS Estuaries Section Travel Award. Congrats, Aaron!
July 2023 - Congrats to Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB) for being award a Doctoral Dissertation Completion grant from Clemson University! These awards are a collaborative effort by the Offices of the Senior Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
June 2023 - New lab publication: Seasonal migration cues differ for dual-spawning Atlantic Sturgeon in the Great Pee Dee River in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society with Brandon Peoples, Colby Denison, Bill Post, Ellen Waldrop, David Hood, Amy Cottrell, Dewayne Fox, & Greg Sorg, is in press.
February 2023 - Jared Chrisp (MS WFB) successfully published his thesis research focused on Southern Flounder life history diversity in Marine & Coastal Fisheries. Congrats, Jared!
February 2023 - The Farmer Lab attends AFS Southern Division in Norfolk, VA. Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB), Deon Kerr (MS WFB) and undergrad students Isabel Tiller, Madison Byers, Brittany Darrington, and Andrew Peel presented talks & posters.
January 2023 - Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB) successfully published the first chapter of his dissertation research, focused on American Shad acoustic telemetry tagging techniques, in Fisheries Research.
January 2023 - The Farmer Lab welcomes Maggie Gaither as a new MS student in WFB! Maggie comes to Clemson FEC after working with SCDNR Region III Freshwater Fisheries and recently completing her BS in Biology at the University of South Carolina. Welcome, Maggie!
December 2022 - Congrats to Deon Kerr (MS WFB) who successfully defended his MS thesis AND accepted an Assistant Fisheries Biologist position with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission!
August 2022 – Congrats to Deon Kerr (MS WFB) who was awarded the AFS Annual Meeting Travel Award for Students and Early-Career Professionals by the Fish Habitat Section of AFS The award supported Deon’s travel to Spokane, Washington to present his thesis research at the 2022 AFS Annual Meeting.
July 2022 – Congrats to Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB) who was recently awarded the CAFLS Wade Stackhouse Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year. Congrats, Aaron!
January 2022 – The latest issue of Bassmaster magazine features Deon Kerr’s (MS WFB) thesis research project on Lake Hartwell, SC. Deon’s MS project works closely with SCDNR biologists to understand Largemouth and Alabama Bass habitat use and movement to inform habitat enhancement activities. https://www.bassmaster.com/conservation-news/news/hartwells-habitat-enhancement/
January 2022 – Congrats to Farmer Lab grad students and undergraduate CI students who recently presented their research as oral presentations or posters at the 2022 Annual Southern Division Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Charleston, SC. Students presenting included Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB), Deon Kerr (MS WFB), and CI students Isabel Tiller, Madison Byars, Andrew Peel, Lexi Thomason, Madalynn Binkerd, Emily Davidson, and Conner Specht.
October 2021 – Congrats to Aaron Bunch (PhD WFB) who was in the first cohort of Clemson University grad students, faculty, and staff to complete the Strategic Inclusive Excellence Certificate! Aaron was recently honored at a luncheon at the Madren Center, along with President Clements and Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer Lee Gill.
August 2021 - New lab publication: Assessing the effects of sub-tropical winter thermal conditions on coolwater fish reproduction in Ecology of Freshwater Fish by former Farmer Lab MS student John Cannaday (WFB MS). Congrats, John!
May 2021 - New lab publication: A Bayesian multistate approach to evaluate movements of an invasive freshwater estuarine-opportunist in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences led by Aaron Bunch (WFB PhD). Congrats, Aaron!
March 2021 - New lab publication: Ecosystem change as a driver of fish recruitment dynamics: A case study of two Lake Erie yellow perch populations in Freshwater Biology, with Ben Marcek, Libby Marschall, Stu Ludsin, and Giovanni Petris is in press.
March 2021 - New lab publication on Southern Flounder declines: Changing climate associated with the range-wide decline of an estuarine finfish in Global Change Biology with Kenneth Erickson, Joe West, Mike Dance, Joey Ballenger, and Steve Midway is in press.
January 2021 - The Farmer Lab welcomes Deon Kerr (WFB MS) as a new MS student in the lab. Deon's research will focus on habitat selection by Largemouth and Alabama Bass in Lake Hartwell, South Carolina. Welcome, Deon!
January 2021 - The Farmer Lab welcomes Jessie Kriner as the new lab manager! Jessie comes to Clemson after spending time with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Georgia Department of Natural Resources and will assist with a variety of field and lab-based projects.
December 2020 - John Cannaday successfully defended his MS Thesis: "Assessing climate effects on yellow perch (Perca flavescens) reproduction and growth". John leaves Clemson for a position on the west coast with Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Congrats, John!
September 2020 - Creative Inquiry students Olivia Balkcum, William Sims, and Hannah Mulligan were awarded the AFS Water Quality Sections Best Student Poster Award at the 2020 AFS Annual Meeting for their poster "How Do Warm Winters Affect Energy Allocation Trade-offs in Cool-Water Fish?" Congrats to Hannah, Olivia, and William and to their CI mentor, John Cannaday!
September 2020 - Congrats to Aaron Bunch (WFB PhD) for receiving the AFS Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service contributions to the American Fisheries Society. Well done, Aaron!
August 2020 - Farmer Lab member Aaron Bunch (WFB PhD) and future lab member Deon Kerr (to begin MS studies Jan. 2021) have started the Fisheries Diversity and Inclusion Podcast. The podcast is aimed at fostering open dialog about diversity, inclusion, and equity in fisheries science. Learn more here: https://students.fisheries.org/2020/08/aaron-and-deon-host-the-fisheries-diversity-and-inclusion-podcast/
May 2020 - Clemson fisheries students Logan Bodiford (WFB BS), Rachel Moore (WFB BS), Hannah Mulligan (WFB BS), and Aaron Bunch (WFB PhD) led a national effort to conduct virtual meetings for AFS divisions and chapters that had their annual meetings cancelled due to COVID-19. Read more here:
August 2020 - Congrats to Meghan Angelina for defending her MS Thesis: "Environmental drivers of Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) growth, condition, and juvenile recruitment along the northern Gulf of Mexico." Meghan is moving on a joint position with GA DNR and GA Sea Grant. Congrats, Meghan!
August 2020 - Congrats to Jared Chrisp for defending his MS Thesis: "Assessing residency patterns and trophic ecology of Southern Flounder (Paralichthys
lethostigma) in Alabama’s coastal waters." Jared moves on to a position with GA DNR Marine Fisheries. Congrats, Jared!
May 2020 - Congrats to John Cannaday (WFB MS) for being selected as the 2020 Phil and Mary Bradley Graduate Student Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry! This award recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding mentorship of undergraduate creative inquiry students. https://news.clemson.edu/graduate-researcher-receives-2020-phil-and-mary-bradley-graduate-student-award-for-mentoring-in-creative-inquiry/
January 2020 - The Farmer Lab welcomes new graduate student, Aaron Bunch (WFB PhD) who will be studying diadromous fish passage issues in coastal rivers of the Carolinas.
October 2019 - Congrats to Creative Inquiry student researchers Mason Collins and Jacob Moreland who presented their poster on "Lake Erie hypoxia reduces yellow perch growth" at the joint meeting of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society in Reno, NV this month.
October 2019 - Congrats to Creative Inquiry student researchers Hannah Mulligan, Taylor Skipper, and Noel Slater who presented their poster on "Latitudinal variation in yellow perch growth across North America" at the joint meeting of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society in Reno, NV this month.
October 2019 - Congrats to graduate students John Cannaday, Meghan Angelina, and Jared Chrisp (all WFB MS students) who presented their MS research as oral presentation at the joint meeting of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society in Reno, NV this month.
August 2018 - The Farmer Lab welcomes John Cannaday, new MS student who will be studying coolwater fish reproduction in sub-tropical climates.
February 2019 - Thanks to everyone from SC DNR and the AFS Student Sub-section at Clemson University who made hosting the South Carolina AFS chapter meeting at the Clemson Outdoor Laboratory a success! We had a great turn-out of students and professionals from across SC and beyond for the meeting.
June 2018 - New Clemson University boat electrofisher arrives! Thanks, Oquawka Boats!
May 2018 - The Farmer Lab welcome Clemson Creative Inquiry summer interns Alicia Rivera (BS WFB), Jacob Corbett (BS WFB), and Harrison Bedenbaugh (BS FNR, WFB)
April 2018 - New paper with collaborator Matt Catalano (Auburn University) investigating trends in reservoir largemouth bass growth and condition is published in North American Journal of Fisheries Management: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/nafm.10016
March 2018 - The Farmer Lab welcomes undergraduate research assistant Mason Collins (BS WFB) who will be assisting with the southern flounder research project.
March 2018 - Congratulations to Meghan Angelina (MS WFB) who placed 3rd in the Clemson Biological Sciences Annual Student Symposium (CBASS) oral presentation competition.
January 2018 - The Farmer Lab welcomes new MS students Meghan Angelina and Jared Chrisp. Jared and Meghan will be studying southern flounder in coastal Alabama for their thesis research.