Stream Acidification and Fish Species Diversity

In 2012, 4-VA awarded Dr. Christine May $5,000 for a grant called Virginia Trout Streams Research Collaboration to conduct Mountain Stream Symposium II, a one-day seminar held 10 years after UVA hosted the original Mountain Stream Symposium. The conference brought together scientists, agency representatives, policy makers and educators to provide a state-of-the-science update on mountain stream ecosystems in the central Appalachians and to formalize a research partnership focused on Virginia trout streams.

It was at the symposium that Dr. May first met Dr. Todd Scanlon from UVA. Then in 2015, 4-VA awarded Dr. May $4,900 to work with Dr. Scanlon and Ami Riscassi on a grant called Revealing the current relation between stream acidification and fish species richness: What is the trend after almost two decades of recovery?

The project launched a collaboration between UVA’s long-term water quality monitoring program and JMU’s Department of Biology with the initial research effort assessing current status and trends in the biological health of watersheds in Shenandoah National Park. This information will aid decision makers at the local, state and federal level by providing valuable insight into the recovery trends of highly valued aquatic resources that have been impaired by acid rain.

Partnering with the Shenandoah Watershed Study & Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study (SWAS-VTSSS) was an ideal opportunity for JMU to collaborate on a local and high-profile research endeavor with UVA at Shenandoah National Park.

Dr. Christine May
Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Todd Scanlon
Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences

Ami Riscassi
Projects Coordinator, Shenandoah Watershed Study & Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study, Department of Environmental Sciences

Grant Info

  • 2012 – 4-VA awarded Dr. Christine May $5,000 for a grant called Virginia Trout Streams Research Collaboration to conduct Mountain Stream Symposium II, a one-day seminar held 10 years after UVA hosted the original Mountain Stream Symposium.

  • 2015 – JMU and UVA were awarded $4,900 for Revealing the current relation between stream acidification and fish species richness: What is the trend after almost two decades of recovery?

  • 2016 – In May, the Shenandoah National Park Trust awarded Dr. May $12,315 to study changes in the acid neutralizing capacity of streams in the Shenandoah National Park, and assess any correlation with fish species richness.

  • 2017 – In March, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries awarded Dr. May $24,280 to quantify detection probabilities of the James Spiny Mussel and to determine the effects of flow, temperature and substrate on the surface expression of mussels.