James A. Rice
Professor, Applied Ecology
Extension Fisheries Specialist, Pond and Reservoir Management
1978 – BA, Biology, St. Louis University
1981 – M.S., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1985 – Ph.D., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries BiologyBroadly defined, I am an aquatic ecologist. My research focuses on questions at the interface of basic and applied ecology with the intent to advance our collective knowledge of how aquatic ecosystems function, while also contributing to our ability to effectively manage and restore them. Most, but not all, of my work is with fishes and their associated habitats and communities. I use a variety of approaches in my research including field studies, experiments, lab analyses and simulation modeling, and find it most effective to combine multiple approaches whenever feasible. My interests are oriented more to questions than to particular species or systems. As a result, my students and I have worked with a wide variety of organisms and life stages (larval to adult) in systems ranging from ponds, reservoirs and the Great Lakes to streams, large rivers and coastal estuaries. My research often begins with trying to understand how individuals respond behaviorally or physiologically to their environment or community, then considers the cumulative consequences of those interactions at the population level, and sometimes for the whole food web or community. Areas of particular interest to me include predator prey interactions and food web dynamics in aquatic systems; direct and indirect fish responses to hypoxia; bioenergetics modeling of predation and habitat effects; impacts and management of introduced species; factors driving variation in fish tissue mercury concentration, and intersex condition in fishes. Regardless of the topic, my students and I always consider the “So what?” question. We try to formulate our research in ways that will not only increase our ecological understanding, but will also generate applications, or at least implications, for management to address real-world problems. For more information on current or recent projects please visit our lab research page.
Kelsey Lincoln, MS in Fisheries Wildlife and Conservation Biology: Reservoir white bass mortality movements and potential interactions with invasive white perch.
Daniel Brown, MS in Zoology: Coastal largemouth bass responses to hypoxia and tournament displacement.
Caitlin Bradley, MS in Fisheries Wildlife and Conservation Biology: Mortality distribution and movements of juvenile and adult striped bass in the Neuse River NC.
Mary Henson, MS in Fisheries Wildlife and Conservation Biology: Assessing the influence of tilapia on sport fishes in NC reservoirs.
Dylan Owensby, MS in Fisheries Wildlife and Conservation Biology: Mortality movement and habitat selection of stocked juvenile muskellunge in the New River NC.
Bulak, J. S., C. C. Coutant, and J. A. Rice, editors. 2013. Biology and management of inland striped bass and hybrid striped bass. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 80, Bethesda, Maryland.
Rice, J. A., J. S. Thompson, J. A. Sykes, and C. T. Waters. 2013. The role of metalimnetic hypoxia in striped bass summer kills: consequences and management implications. Pages 121-145 in J. S. Bulak, C. C. Coutant, and J. A. Rice, editors. Biology and management of inland striped bass and hybrid striped bass. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 80, Bethesda, Maryland.
Feiner, Z.S., J.A. Rice, and D.D. Aday. 2013. Trophic niche of invasive white perch and potential interactions with established reservoir species. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:628–641. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2013.763854.
Thompson, J.S. and J.A. Rice. 2013. The relative influence of temperature and forage availability on growth of age 1-5 striped bass in two southeastern reservoirs. Pages 93-120 in J. S. Bulak, C. C. Coutant, and J. A. Rice, editors. Biology and management of inland striped bass and hybrid striped bass. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 80, Bethesda, Maryland.
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. DOI:10.3390/ijerph10020638.
Sackett, D.K, D.D. Aday, J.A. Rice and W.G. Cope. 2013. Validation of a predictive model for fish tissue mercury concentrations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:380-387. DOI:10.1080/00028487.2012.747990.
Feiner, Z.S., D.D. Aday and J.A. Rice. 2012. Phenotypic shifts in white perch life history strategy across stages of invasion. Biological Invasions 14(11): 2315-2329. DOI 10.1007/s10530-012-0231-z.
Morris, J.A. Jr, K.W. Shertzer and J.A. Rice. 2011. A stage-based matrix population model of invasive lionfish with implications for control. Aquatic Invasions. 13:7-12.