Biology: Dr. Miner
Dr. Jeffrey G. Miner (Dept. Chair)


Dr. Jeffrey G. Miner
Ph. D., The Ohio State University
Office:     217 & 336 Life Sciences Building
Phone:   (336 LSC) 1-419-372-8330
(217 LSC) 1-419-372-2332
Aquatic community ecology; Fishery biology




Research Interests:

I focus my research at the interface of population-community-ecosystem ecology. In particular, my lab focuses on the effects of abiotic variables and perturbations from invasive species on aquatic community structure. Therefore, we conduct experiments on the effects of environmental variables and heterogeneity on predator-prey and competitive interactions, using primarily fish, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrates as our model organisms. This work focuses on the concept that biotic interactions are critical forces regulating abundance and distribution of species, and that environmental conditions mediate the intensity of these interactions. Thus, we are interested in how spatial and temporal variation in resources mediates biotic regulatory mechanisms.

I have demonstrated how suspended sediments influence the foraging abilities of larval fish preying on zooplankton. I have clearly shown that turbidity from these sediments differentially affects survival and growth of juveniles fishes typically found in reservoirs. Measures of growth and mortality in a range of habitats can be used to explain habitat use by these species and can suggest mechanisms for observed distribution and abundance patterns for some lake fish species. Through this work, I have demonstrated an important linkage between terrestrial and aquatic systems in Ohio. Only by managing the entire watershed and its inputs to the aquatic ecosystem can we effectively manage fishery resources and attain other benefits from our lakes and reservoirs.

Environmental factors also affect distribution and abundance of prey resources (zooplankton) for the early life stages of many important fishes. Much research on this critical life stage for fishes centers around the concept that mortality is very high and is size dependent. Thus, mortality of young fish is tightly coupled with growth and availability of resources. With the introduction of individual-based modeling, ecologists have been able to demonstrate the importance of early growth. All of these modeling efforts however, assume only Poisson processes for prey availability and growth. In my lab, we are testing the effects of spatial heterogeneity of prey resources on growth of larval bluegill Lepomis macrochirus. We have found significant spatial heterogeneity of zooplankton prey in Ohio reservoirs. Incorporating habitat-specific growth into individual-based models is expected to demonstrate the importance of unique habitats for growth, survival, and recruitment through these early life stages.

Finally, in the dynamic Lake Erie aquatic community, I am conducting experiments to understand the importance of an invading species (round goby Neogobius melanostomus) on the benthic and fish communities. My students and I are conducting the only manipulative experiments in situ designed to quantitatively address the impacts of this fish on the aquatic community. This species preys almost exclusively on zebra mussels and a dramatic reduction in zebra mussels may lead to changes in the food web and environmental conditions (increased algal growth and decreased water clarity). Our experiments will help us to predict the effect of this invader and suggest implications for fisheries in the Lake.

We recognize the importance of global interactions, and thus, we have collaborations with scientists from Sweden and Canada, as well as from Auburn University, Kansas State, and the University of Maryland. Finally, we have worked to develop a fine complement of ecologists, geologists (GIS and remote sensing), and environmental statisticians here at Bowling Green, who offer excellent opportunities for collaboration and intellectual stimulation.

Selected Publications:

Winslow, C.J., L. Goshe, J.G. Miner and D.D. Wiegmann. In prep. Behaviors of young-of-year largemouth bass from northern and southern distribution limits: insights into differential selection pressures. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

Hayden, T.A., and J.G. Miner. In review. Nocturnal vertical migration of early juvenile round gobies: New mechanism for dispersal and invasion. Biological Invasions

Smith, K.L., J.G., Miner, D.D. Wiegmann and S.P. Newman. Accepted. Individual differences in exploratory and antipredator behavior in juvenile smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Animal Behavior

Vincent, R.K., X. Qin, R.M.L. McKay, J.G. Miner, K. Czajkowski, J. Savino , and T. Bridgeman. 2004. Phycocyanin Detection from LANDSAT TM data for mapping cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Erie. Remote Sensing of Environment 89:381-392.

Garvey, J.E., D.R. DeVries, R.A. Wright, and J.G. Miner. 2003. Energetic Adaptations Regulate Community Assembly Along a Latitudinal Gradient. Bioscience 53:141-150.

Stewart, T.W., J.G. Miner, and R.L. Lowe. 1999. A field experiment to determine Dreissena and predator effects on zoobenthos in a nearshore rocky habitat of western Lake Erie. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18: 488-498.

Stewart, T.W., J.C. Gafford, J.G. Miner, and R.L. Lowe. 1999. Dreissena-shell habitat and antipredator behavior: combined effects on survivorship of snails co-occurring with molluscivorous fish. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18: 274-283.

Stewart, T.W., J.G. Miner, and R.L. Lowe. 1998. Macroinvertebrate communities on hard substrates in western Lake Erie: structuring effects of Dreissena. Journal of Great Lakes Research 24: 868-875.

Stewart, T.W., J.G. Miner, and R.L. Lowe. 1998. An experimental analysis of crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) effects on a Dreissena-dominated benthic macroinvertebrate community in western Lake Erie. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 55: 1043-1050.

Stewart, T.W., J.G. Miner, and R.L. Lowe. 1998. Quantifying mechanisms for zebra mussel effects on benthic macroinvertebrates: organic matter production and shell-generated habitat. Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 17: 81-94.