Jay Stauffer, Jr., Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology
Endangered fishes; freshwater fish behavior; impact of introduced fishes; systematics and zoogeography of freshwater fishes
Graduate faculty, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology.
Ichthyology, Systematics and Evolution of Fishes, Ecology of Fishes, Systematics
Chair, University Committee of Systematic Collections
Fulbright Research Fellow to Malawi, Africa
Recent Research/Educational Projects:
Biological Control of the Human Disease Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) by Lake Malawi Molluscivores Bilharzia, which adversely effects some 200 million people in the tropical regions of the world, was once thought to be absent from the open waters of Lake Malawi. Over fishing has drastically reduced the snail-eating fishes in the in-shore areas of the lake, which in turn has permitted the invasion of bilharzia vector snails into these areas. As a result, bilharzia has increased dramatically in both the expatriate and native populations in Malawi. My colleagues and I are investigating strategies to protect these valuable fishes and consequently eliminate bilharzia from the open waters of the lake.
Effects of Introduced Species on the Distribution, Ecology, and Biology of Indigenous Fishes The incidence of introduced fish species is increasing throughout the Appalachian Mountains. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of an introduced darter species, Etheostoma zonale on the native darter fauna of the Susquehanna River. Habitat partitioning of darters in diverse communities (e.g., Allegheny River) and depauperate communities (e.g., Susquehanna River, Potomac River) is being compared. Both in situ and laboratory studies are being used to evaluate reproductive success, food preference, and habitat selection in these different communities.
Determination of Biodiversity in Complex Ecosystems There exists between 1000-1500 species of freshwater fishes in Lake Malawi, of which less than 500 have been described. The freshwater resources of Lake Malawi provide some 70% of the animal protein consumed by Malawians. There is no doubt that this important resource is being overexploited; however, it is virtually impossible to implement effective management strategies to protect this resource when the majority of species cannot be identified. My colleagues and I are searching for congruence among morphological, genetic, and behavioral data to effectively delimit and describe these species.