Richard Walker

Richard is a doctoral student in the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming. His research interests cover a broad spectrum within the field of aquatic ecology, ranging from population and community ecology, conservation biology to ecosystem processes. His current research focuses on understanding the individual and interactive effects of multiple stressors on ecological responses in headwater streams. In particular, he is trying to better understand the effects of stressors associated with oil and natural gas development, livestock grazing, and natural variability in hydrology on fish physiology and immunology, as well as the quality and quantity of fish food resources, and the implications for freshwater fish populations.

Richard began working with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 2014. Prior to his attendance at the University of Wyoming, he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Environmental Science (2008) and Biology (2011) from the University of Central Arkansas. Between degrees, Richard worked as a fisheries technician with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in St. George, Utah sampling and monitoring fishes in the Virgin River. Following graduate school, he spent some time working as an Environmental Scientist in Arkansas consulting with clients on several aquatic issues, mostly natural gas development best management practices and rapid bioassessments of aquatic organisms. After consulting, he traveled around the western U.S. as a fisheries/aquatic technician working for Trout Unlimited, Utah State University’s Fish Ecology Lab, and the USU/BLM National Aquatic Monitoring Center (a.k.a. The BugLab). During his travels, Richard worked on projects focused on 1) native cutthroat trout monitoring and conservation (Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah), 2) invasive species ecology (Utah: Burbot in Flaming Gorge Reservoir), 3) land-use, land-cover impacts to chemical, physical, and biological processes in streams (California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah).

 

Gallery

Professional Preparation and Appointments

Education

2011                   M.S., Biology, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR.

                             Thesis: Movement patterns of fishes in intermittent streams.

2008                  B.A., Environmental Science, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR.

                             Thesis: Differences in diet and feeding ecology of similar-sized gar during flooding of a south-eastern US                                    river.

Professional Appointments

2013-2014        Aquatic Ecology Technician. National Aquatic Monitoring Center (a.k.a. The BugLab), Utah State University,                                   Logan, UT

2012-2013        Fisheries Technician. Fish Ecology Lab, Utah State University, Logan, UT

2012                  Fisheries Technician. Trout Unlimited, Boise, ID

2011-2012        Environmental Scientist. GBMc & Associates: Environmental Consultants, Bryant, AR.

2008                 Fisheries Technician. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George, Utah.

Professional Certifications

2013:                 Western EPT Taxonomic Certification. Society for Freshwater Science

Publications

Walker, R.H., Orr, M.C., and Miller, S.W. In prep. Mechanisms of leaf decomposition in two streams of the intermountain west, Utah: an experimental examination of an extirpated marcoinvertebrate shredder on decomposition rates.

Leigh, C., Boulton, A.J., Courtwright, J.L., Frit, K., May, C.L., Walker, R.H., Datry, T. 2015. Ecological research and management of intermittent rivers: an historical review and future directions. Freshwater Biology.  doi: 10.1111/fwb.12646.

Wurtsbaugh, W. A., Heredia, N.A., Laub, B.G., Meredith, C.S., Mohn, H.E., Null, S.E., Pluth, D.A., Roper, B.B., Saunders, C., Stevens, D.K., Walker, R.H., and Wheeler, K. 2014. Approaches for studying fish production: do river and lake researchers have different perspectives?. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 72: 149-160.

Walker, R.H. and G.L. Adams. 2014. Ecological factors influencing movement of creek chub in an intermittent stream of the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. doi: 10.1111/eff.12201.

Walker, R.H., Kluender, E., Inebnit, T.E., and Adams, S.R. 2013. Differences in diet and feeding ecology of similar-sized spotted (Lepisosteus oculatus) and shortnose (Lepisosteus platostomus) gars foraging during flooding of a southeastern USA river. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. 22: 617-625.

Walker, R.H., G.L. Adams, & R. Adams. 2012. Movement patterns of southern redbelly dace, Chrosomus erythrogaster, in a headwater reach of an Ozark stream. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. 22: 216-227.

 

Selected Presentations

Oral Presentations

Walker, R.H. and Walters, A.W. 2015. Shifts in population dynamics related to energy development and hydrology. Western Division American Fisheries Society Student Colloquium. Garden City, Utah.

Walker, R.H. and Adams, G.L. 2013. Ecological factors influencing movement of creek chub in an intermittent stream of the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas. American Fisheries Society National Annual Meeting, Little Rock, AR.

Walker, R.H., Adams, G.L, and Adams, R.S. 2013. Movement patterns of southern redbelly dace, Chrosomus erythrogaster, in a headwater reach of an Ozark stream. Utah American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Lake Powel, UT.

Walker, R.H., Adams, G.L, and Adams, R.S. 2010. Movement patterns and environmental Influences of two cyprinids in an intermittent reach of an Ozark stream. American Fisheries Society National Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

Walker, R.H., Adams, G.L, and Adams, R.S. 2010. Environmental influences and movement patterns for two cyprinids in an intermittent reach of an Ozark stream: concepts and methods. Joint Arkansas-Oklahoma American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. Fort Smith, AR.

Walker, R.H., Benton, J., Inebnit, T., Adams, R.S. 2009. Food habits of sympatric spotted (Lepisosteus oculatus) and shortnose (Lepisosteus platostomus) gar during flooding of an Arkansas River tributary. Arkansas Academy of Science. Clarksville, AR.

 

Poster Presentations

Walker, R.H., Orr, M.C., and Miller, S.W. 2009. Mechanisms of leaf decomposition in two streams of the intermountain West: examining the functional role of an extirpated shredding invertebrate. University of Wyoming’s Program in Ecology’s Student Symposium. Laramie, WY.

Walker, R.H., Adams, G.L, and Adams, R.S. 2009. Environmental influences on movement patterns two cyprinids in an intermittent reach of an Ozark stream. Southeastern Fishes Council Annual Meeting. Chattanooga, TN.

Walker, R,H., Benton, J., Inebnit, I., and Adams, R.S. 2009. Food habits of sympatric spotted (Lepisosteus oculatus) and shortnose (Lepisosteus platostomus) gar during flooding of an Arkansas River tributary. Southern Division American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.

Blackburn, C., Burkard, L., Patrick, L., Scroggins, S., Walker, R.H., Adams, G.L. 2008. Effects of erosion and sedimentation on fish populations within the Middle Fork Saline River. Advisor: Dr. Ginny Adams. University of Central Arkansas Research Symposium. Conway, AR.

Inebnit, T., Hartman, J., Driver, L., Walker, R,H., and Adams, R.S. 2008. Fishy explorations on the Fourche LaFave River: who were the beneficiaries of an extensive summer flood. University of Central Arkansas Research Symposium. Conway, AR.

Walker, R.H., Benton, J., Inebnit, T., Adams, R.S. 2007. An initial examination of diet in spotted and shortnose gar from the Fourche LaFave River, Arkansas. Southeastern Fisheries Council Annual Meeting. Chattanooga, TN.

 

Scholarships & Fellowships

Scholarships

2015: Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation Dennis Andersen Memorial Scholarship

2008: Arkansas Game and Fish Conservation Scholarship

 

Awards

2015: Best Student Poster. University of Wyoming’s Program in Ecology’s Student Symposium. Laramie, WY.

2011: Best Professional Paper. Arkansas American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. Little Rock, AR.

2010: Outstanding Student Award. Arkansas American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting.

2008: Best Abstract Award, Southern Division American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting.

Projects