Derek Aday

Contact Information

Office Address
253 David Clark Laboratory

Phone Number


D. Derek Aday

Professor, Applied Ecology


2002 – Ph.D., University of Illinois

Research Interests

Research in my laboratory group focuses broadly on aspects of aquatic ecology, conservation biology, fishery science, and environmental toxicology. We work at the interface of basic and applied ecology, addressing issues related to conservation and management of game and nongame fish species, invasive species dynamics, population dynamics and community ecology of freshwater and marine fishes, and the impact of aquatic contaminants on fish, wildlife, and human health. In general, our research relies on strong theoretical underpinning and contemporary tools to address current problems and issues in aquatic systems. Recent research has focused on mercury dynamics, ecosystem-level impacts of invasive species in impounded systems, movement patterns and habitat use of fishes in response to environmental stressors, and endocrine disrupting compounds associated with intersex fish.

Web Resources

Fisheries Ecology and Aquatic Science

Graduate Students

Caitlin Bradley, M.S.
Research: ecology, habitat use, and movement of coastal striped bass.

Dan Brown, M.S.
Research: movement patterns of coastal largemouth bass in response to episodic hypoxia and angling tournaments.

Mary Henson, M.S.
Research: life history of invasive tilapiine species and interactions with native sport fishes.

Kelsey Lincoln, M.S.
Research: ecology, habitat use, and seasonal, non-spawning movement patterns of white bass.

Dylan Owensby, M.S.
Research: life history and movement patterns of muskie.

Crystal Lee Pow, Ph.D.
Research: endocrine disrupting compounds and intersex fish.

Selected Publications

Feiner, Z.S., J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2013. Trophic niche of invasive white perch and potential interactions with representative reservoir species. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:628-641.

Sackett, D.K., W.G. Cope, J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2013. The influence of fish length on tissue mercury dynamics: Implications for natural resource management and human health risk. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10:638-659.

Feiner, Z.S., J.A. Rice, A.J. Bunch, and D.D. Aday. 2013. Trophic niche and diet overlap between invasive white perch and resident white bass in a southeastern reservoir. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

Sackett, D.K., D.D. Aday, J.A. Rice, and W.G. Cope. 2013. Maternally transferred mercury in wild largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides. Environmental Pollution 178:493-497.

Aday, D.D. and B.D.S. Graeb. 2012. (Invited) Stunted fish and ponds: An overview and management perspective. Chapter 7 In: W. Neal and D. Willis, eds., Small Impoundment Management in North America.

Feiner, Z.S., D.D. Aday, J.A. Rice. 2012. Phenotypic shifts in white perch life history strategy across stages of invasion. Biological Invasions 14:2315-2329.

May, CM, EA Marschall, D.D. Aday, RS Hale, JCS Denlinger. 2012. Modeling habitat selection of a top predator: considering growth and physical environments in a spatial context. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:215-223.

Petre, S.J., D.K. Sackett., D.D. Aday. 2012. Do national advisories serve local consumers: an assessment of mercury in economically important North Carolina fishes. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 14:1410-1416.

Money, E.S., D.K. Sackett, D.D. Aday, M.L. Serre. 2011. Using river distance and existing hydrography data can improve the geostatistical estimation of fish tissue mercury at unsampled locations. Environmental Science and Technology 45:7746-7753.

Donaldson, M., D.D. Aday, and S.J. Cooke. 2011. (Invited) A call for mini-reviews: an effective but underutilized method of synthesizing knowledge to inform and direct fisheries management, policy, and research. Fisheries 36:123-129.

Sackett, D. K., D. D. Aday, J. A. Rice, W. G. Cope, and D. Buchwalter. 2010. Does proximity to coal-fired power plants influene fish tissue mercury? Ecotoxicology.

Midway, S. R., T. J. Kwak, and D. D. Aday. 2010. Habitat suitability of the Carolina madtom, an imperiled, endemic stream fish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139: 325-338.

Midway, S. R., D. .D. Aday, T. J Kwak, K. Gross. 2010. Cover preference of the Carolina madtom (Noturus furiosus), an imperiled, endemic southeastern stream fish. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 25: 151-154.

Aday, D.D., J.J. Parkos, and D.H. Wahl. 2009. (Invited) Population and community ecology of centrarchids Pages 134 – 164 In: S.J. Cooke and D.P. Philipp, eds., Centrarchid Fishes: Diversity, Biology, and Conservation