Department of Zoology    North Carolina State University  
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  October, 2005

Two new ecologist join Department of Zoology faculty

Dr. Derek Aday, an aquatic ecologist, joined us from the Ohio State University.  Dr. Aday completed his PhD in 2002 at the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey, then moved to a faculty position in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at OSU before coming to NC State.  Derek’s research focuses on understanding individual life histories of fish and using that information to quantify patterns in fish populations and aquatic communities and ecosystems.  His research tends to have application to management of commercially- or recreationally-harvested species, though recent and ongoing projects have focused on conservation issues associated with protected species and habitats as well.  Current projects include quantifying latitudinal influences on individual life history strategies in different fish species, measuring stock structure and population dynamics of walleye in Lake Erie, and assessing the influence of male reproductive behaviors on bluegill population structure.

Dr. Rob Dunn joins the Department of Zoology following a post-doctoral position in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, where he was located after finishing his PhD in 2003 at the University of Connecticut.  Rob’s research focuses on ant-mediated dispersal and its effects on plant diversity, patterns of ant diversity in the Americas, and the dynamics of global extinction.  This work carries Rob to remote field locations; in November, he traveled to Australia, where he worked with his postdoc Aaron Gove to study the importance of ant species identity to dispersal distance and seed fate. Current projects of students working with Rob include, the study of the role of behavioural interactions to local patterns of diversity in ants (JP Lessard), the importance of seed morphology to seed handling by ants (Sarah Dalrymple), and the importance of long-distance dispersal for plant and ant migration during climate change (Matt Fitzpatrick).