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Mather, Martha E.

Assistant Unit Leader
U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Manhattan, KS 66502
Email: mather

Primary interests

My research program is focused on fish ecology that addresses applied problems. Specifically, I am interested in problems related to the ecology of anadromous fish, processes that structure estuarine fish communities, how to use community ecology to devise fish sampling regimes that aid conservation, and integrated bio-social approaches to natural resource conflicts. These four topic areas fall under the overarching programmatic themes of applied aquatic ecology and how interdisciplinary approaches can be applied to natural resource problems. Conceptually, I approach these topic areas within these broader thematic areas by addressing the conceptual issues of how abiotic and biotic factors drive animal distribution and abundance, variations in patterns and processes across systems and through time, and the role of human impacts.

Current Projects

  • Striped bass potential for prey control in coastal ecosystems
  • Habitat use, behavior, and movements of migratory striped bass during summer residence in Plum Island Sound, MA: tracking striped bass within estuaries with acoustic tags
  • Why do fish go where they go: using acoustic tags and receiver arrays to understand fish movements and habitat use in estuarine seascapes
  • Improving strategies for coastal river restoration: tracking anadromous river herring in a coastal Massachusetts stream
  • Applying video technology to improve the accuracy of biological data collection for monitoring anadromous river herring: challenges and opportunities
  • Developing flow sensitive indices of biotic integrity to assess the health of riverine ecosystems and maintain benefits for adjacent human communities
  • A watershed model testing consequences of variations in life stage, behavior, temperature, and discharge on outmigration of Atlantic salmon in the Connecticut River
  • Summer temperature variation in the Connecticut River, across year patterns, and implications for Atlantic salmon
  • Use of a bio-social interaction web to identify causes of and potential solutions to environmental conflicts

UMass River Herring Video Monitoring Final Report (2008-2009)

Click here to go to the web page

MS Thesis Draft. 2011.  DEVELOPING STANDARDIZED METRICS TO QUANTIFY THE TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF MIGRATING ANADROMOUS HERRING: COMPARING ADULT RETURNS ACROSS COASTAL RIVERS

Click here for MS Thesis Draft

Volunteer Opportunities

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Password: umassfish

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For more information contact: Darleen Cutting

Email: Darleen_Cutting@fws.gov

Phone: 548-9138 ext. 122

Click here to see current volunteer opportunities in coastal fish ecology

Adopt-A-Bass

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Click here to see the Umass Adopt-A-Bass web page

Current Student Projects

Smith, Joseph. Examining fish community distribution and coalescence in coastal streams and estuaries using network theory. Ph. D. Dissertation
Burak, Matt. Applying video technology to improve the accuracy of biological data collection for monitoring anadromous river herring. M. S. Thesis.
Kennedy, Cristina. Hotspots and hot moments: drivers of heterogeneity in top predator distribution in an estuary ecosystem. M. S. Thesis

Selected Recent Publications

Mather, M. E., R. A. Stein, and R. F. Carline. 1986. An experimental assessment of mortality and hyperglycemia in tiger muskellunge. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 115:762-770.

Mather, M. E. and D. H. Wahl. 1989. Comparative mortality of three esocids to stocking stressors. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 46: 214-217.

Mather, M. E., and R. A. Stein. 1993. Using growth-mortality tradeoffs to explore a crayfish species replacement in stream riffles and pools. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 50: 88-96.

Mather, M. E., and R. A. Stein. 1993. Direct and indirect effects of fish predation on the replacement of a native crayfish by an invading congenor. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 50: 1279-1288.

Mather, M. E., M. J. Vanni, T. E. Wissing, S. A. Davis, and M. H. Schaus. 1995. Regeneration of nitrogen and phosphorus by bluegill and gizzard shad: effect of feeding history. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52: 2327-2338.

Mather, M. E., D. L. Parrish, R. A. Stein, and R. M. Muth. 1995. Management issues and their relative priorities within state fisheries agencies. Fisheries 20:14-21.

Parrish, D. L., M. E. Mather, and R. A. Stein. 1995. Problem-solving research for management: a perspective. Fisheries 20:6-13. Mather, M.E., D. L. Parrish, C. L. Folt, and D. M. DeGraaf. 1998. Integrating across scales: effectively applying science for the successful conservation of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55:1-8.

Mather, M. E. 1998. The role of context specific predation in understanding patterns exhibited by anadromous salmon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55: 232-246.

Wilzbach, M. A., M. E. Mather, C. L. Folt, A. Moore, R. J. Naiman, A. F. Youngson, and J. McMenemy. 1998. Proactive responses to human impacts that balance development and Atlantic salmon conservation (Salmo salar): an integrative model. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55:288-302.

Muth, R. M., D. A. Hamilton, J. F. Organ, D. J. Witter, M. E. Mather, and J. J. Daigle. 1998. The future of wildlife and fisheries policy: assessing the attitudes and values of wildlife and fisheries professionals. Transactions of the 63rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 604-627.

Whalen, K. G., D. L. Parrish, and M. E. Mather. 1999. Effect of ice formation on selection of habitats and winter distribution of post young-of-year Atlantic salmon parr. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56:87-96.

Yako, L. A., M. E. Mather, and F. Juanes. 2000. Assessing the contribution of anadromous herring to largemouth bass growth. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society: 150: 2-17.

Whalen, K. G., D. L. Parrish, M. E. Mather, and J. McMenemy. 2000. Cross-tributary analysis of parr to smolt recruitment of Atlantic salmon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 57:1607-1616.

Nitschke, P., M. E. Mather, and F. Juanes. 2001. Length-, weight-, and age-fecundity relationships for cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus). North American Journal of Fisheries Management 21:86-95.

Kosa, J. T., and M. E. Mather. 2001. Processes contributing to variability in regional patterns of juvenile river herring abundance across small coastal systems. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 130: 600-619.

Nitschke, P., M. E. Mather, and F. Juanes. 2002. The role of anthropogenic disturbance, density, habitat, and abiotic factors on recruitment of a temperate reef fish, cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) in Cape Cod Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 226:165-178.

Yako, L. A., M. E. Mather, and F. Juanes. 2002. Mechanisms for migration of anadromous herring; providing an ecological basis for an effective conservation plan. Ecological Applications 12: 521–534.

Muth, R. M., R. R. Zwick, M. E. Mather, J. Organ. 2002. Passing the torch of wildlife and fisheries management: comparing the attitudes and values of younger and older conservation professionals. Transactions of the 67th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 178-193.

Walter, J. F., A. S. Overton, K. H. Ferry, and M. E. Mather. 2003. Atlantic coast feeding habits of striped bass: a synthesis of data supporting a comprehensive coast-wide understanding of the trophic biology. Fisheries Management and Ecology 10: 1-13.

Odell, J., M. E. Mather, and R. M. Muth. 2005. Use of an interaction web to identify underlying causes and diagnose potential solutions of natural resource conflicts: an example using allocation of horseshoe crabs. BioScience 55:735-745.

Muth, R. M., R. R. Zwick, M. E. Mather, J. F. Organ, J. J. Daigle, S. A. Jonker. 2006. Unnecessary source of pain and suffering or necessary management tool: examining the attitudes of conservation professionals toward outlawing the leghold trap. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34: 34:706-715.

Carey, M. P., and M. E. Mather. 2008. Using staggered thresholds to design inventory and monitoring programs for effective conservation planning. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18: 877–890.

Mather, M. E., C. A. Campbell, J. McMenemy, D. L. Parrish, and J. M. Smith. 2008. Scope of temperature variation in the Connecticut River and implications for juvenile Atlantic salmon survival and growth. Hydrobiologia 603: 183-196.

Mather, M. E., D. L. Parrish, and J. Dettmers. 2008. Mapping the changing landscape of fish related journals: setting a course for successful communication of scientific information. Fisheries 33: 444-453.

Carey, M. P. and M. E. Mather. 2009. Identifying across-system sources of variation in a generalist freshwater fish: correlates of total and size-specific abundance of yellow perch. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 18:145-155.

Smith, J. S., M. E. Mather, H. J. Frank, R. M. Muth, J. T. Finn, S. D. McCormick. 2009. Evaluation of a gastric radio tag insertion technique for anadromous alewives. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 29:367-377

Mather, M. E, J. T. Finn, K. H. Ferry, L. A. Deegan, G. A. Nelson. 2009. Use of non-natal estuaries by migratory striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in summer. Fishery Bulletin 107: 329-337.

Mather, M. E., D. L. Parrish, and J. M. Dettmers. 2009. The extensive and complex landscape of fish-related journals authors response. Fisheries 34:144-145.

Frank, H. F, M. E. Mather, J. M. Smith, R. M. Muth, J. T. Finn, S. D. McCormick. 2009. What is ‘fallback’?: metrics needed to assess telemetry tag effects on anadromous fish behavior. Hydrobiologia. “Online first” August 24 2009, DOI 10.1007/s10750-009-9917-3.

Frank, H. F, M. E. Mather, R. M. Muth, S. M. Pautzke, J. M. Smith, J. T. Finn. 2009. The Adopt-a-Herring program as a fisheries conservation tool. Fisheries 34 (10):496-507.

Pautzke, S. M., M. E. Mather, J. T. Finn, L. A. Deegan, R. M. Muth. 2010. Seasonal use of a New England estuary by foraging contingents of migratory striped bass. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139: 257–269.

Hewitt, D, A., J. S. Link, D. H. Wahl, S. J. Cooke, and M. E. Mather. 2009. Maintaining the competitiveness of the American Fisheries Society journals: an assessment based on influence and cost-effectiveness. Fisheries 34: 598-606.

Mather, M. E, J. T. Finn, S. M. Pautzke, D. Fox, T. Savoy, H. M. Brundage III, L. A. Deegan, R. M. Muth. 2010. Destinations, routes, and timing of adult striped bass on their southward fall migration: implications for coastal movements. Journal of Fish Biology 77: 2326–2337.

Frank, H. F, M. E. Mather, J. M. Smith, R. M. Muth, J. T. Finn. 2011. Role of origin and release location in pre-spawning movements of anadromous alewives. Fisheries Management and Ecology 18:12–24.

Mather, M. E., D. L. Parrish, J. M. Dettmers. 2011. Now that you have great results, where should you submit your manuscript? Accepted – Writing for Natural Resources Professions (Bruce Vondracek, Cecil Jennings, editors), American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Ferry, K. H., and M. E. Mather. 2011. Spatial and temporal diet patterns of young adult and subadult striped bass feeding in Massachusetts estuaries: trends across scales. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science. In Press.

Marschall, E. A., M. E. Mather, D. L. Parrish, G. W. Allison, J. McMenemy. 2011. Migration delays caused by anthropogenic barriers: dams, temperature, and success of migrating salmon smolts. Ecological Applications. In press.

Smith, J. S., and M. E. Mather. 2011. Using assemblage data in ecological indicators: a comparison and evaluation of commonly available statistical tools. In Press. Ecological Indicators.

Finn, J. T., M. E. Mather, M. K. Burak, R. M. Muth, J. B. Kim. Evaluating new approaches to modeling data sets with many zeros: an example using upriver counts of a schooling anadromous fish. In Revision.

Mather, M.E., H. J. Frank. J. M. Smith, R. D. Cormier, R. M. Muth, and J. T. Finn. Assessing freshwater habitat of adult anadromous alewives at multiple scales: a common challenge for fish and watershed restoration. In Review.

Burak, M. K., M. E. Mather, J. T. Finn, J. B. Kim, and R. M. Muth. How standardized metrics that quantify the temporal distribution of migrating anadromous herring can facilitate comparisons of adult returns across coastal rivers. In Review

Mather, M. E., M. K. Burak, J. T. Finn, R. M. Muth, J. B. Kim, K. H. Ferry. Counting anadromous fish at remote fishways in small coastal streams: a review of past uses of video monitoring with an evaluation of a new system. In Review

Updated: September 9, 2011