Kit Wheeler

Ph.D., Utah State University, 2014

315 Pennebaker; (931) 372- 3780

Kit is an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Tennessee Tech University. His research interests broadly include freshwater fish conservation, flow ecology, population and community modeling, and relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. He is currently in denial that Alabama, and not Tennessee, has the largest number of freshwater fishes of any state - whatever. It's always subject to change, but Kit currently thinks the most interesting fish in Tennessee is the Southern Cavefish (Typhlichthys subterraneus).

CV | Google Scholar | ResearchGate

graduate students

Jennifer Caudle

A.S.S., Surry Community College, 2002

A.S.A., Surry Community College, 2002

B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Tennessee Tech University, 2018

B.S., Animal Science, North Carolina State University, 2005

Jennifer is an MS student working with fish communities at Arnold Air Force Base in middle Tennessee. She is studying changes in fish community composition over time, as well as evaluating springs to locate potential habitat for experimental populations of Barrens Topminnow. She received two Associate degrees from Surry Community College in 2002, followed by a Bachelors degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University. Jennifer returned to school and finished a second Bachelors degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Tennessee Tech University in 2018. While at Tech, she has been volunteering with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, gaining experience in a myriad of management techniques for fisheries management of freshwater lotic and lentic systems. She was involved on a project for Pygmy Madtoms in the summer of 2017. In the summer of 2018, she was a technician for a Bluemask Darter snorkel survey in the Collins and Calfkiller Rivers. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys fishing, photography, hiking/camping, kayaking, and chilling with her two cats: Loco and Mini.

Mack White

B.S., Marshall University, 2017

Mack is an M.S. student working with the buffalo migration at Citico Creek in East Tennessee. Prior to Tennessee Tech, he had the opportunity to attend Marshall University (Go Herd!) where he received his bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. Mack had the opportunity to work as a watershed restoration technician with Trout Unlimited in the Monongahela National Forest building brook trout habitat and monitoring their populations. Most recently, he was a seasonal biologist with ORSANCO in Cincinnati, monitoring the health of aquatic biota in the Ohio River and its tributaries between New York and Illinois. When not wrangling buffalo in East Tennessee, he enjoys fly-fishing, reading, and hanging out with other students in the department.

Abbey Holsopple

A.A.S., Finger Lakes Community College, 2015

B.T., SUNY Cobleskill, 2017

Abbey is an M.S. student studying the conservation status of the Striated Darter in the Duck River Watershed in Middle Tennessee. She started her academic career at Finger Lakes Community College where she received her associate degree in Fish and Wildlife Technologies. She then moved on to earn her bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill. She has studied microhabitat preferences of the Laurel Dace at the Tennessee Aquarium Conversation Institute, was part of a USGS crew that conducted stream electrofishing surveys throughout New York, and worked as a technician for the Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Science Department at SUNY Cobleskill. In her free time, Abbey enjoys fly-fishing, exploring the outdoors, and traveling to new places!

Adam Walker

B.S., Grand Valley State University, 2017

Adam is a native of Michigan where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology from Grand Valley State University (Go Lakers!). He will be co-advised by Dr. Carla Hurt and joining the lab in the spring of 2020 to begin work on eDNA detection with the Striated Darter and assessing the overall genetic health of the species. During his undergrad, he conducted research to investigate the impact culverts had on displacing fish and insect communities. After graduation, he moved to Colorado where he was able to assist various biologists with native species, game fish, and data management projects for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. From there he moved across the country to Virginia where he spent a field season as a bio-tech for Shenandoah National Park to monitor an array of native fish species and aquatic insects. Just before arriving at Tennessee Tech he spent a field season in Great Smoky Mountains National park as a bio-tech to assist with annual monitoring surveys for fish while also leading a few annual projects for 2019. When he's not in the field or office for work, he continues to be outside to fly-fish, hunt, and snorkel for any species he can photograph.


Ryan Hudson

B.S., The Ohio State University, 2017

As of 2020, Ryan is our new lab technician, and his primary focus will be helping graduate students with their field work. Ryan's career in fisheries began when he received his bachelor's degree in Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University in 2017. Soon thereafter, he started as a seasonal biologist for the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and was then kept on to be the lead fish taxonomist for ORSANCO's National Rivers and Streams Assessment work. This work required him to perform electrofishing surveys throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In his free time Ryan loves exploring the local waterways collecting and photographing native fish species. Additionally, he enjoys cooking, playing basketball, and watching movies!


more information coming soon