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Meryl Mims

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
263E Steger Hall
1015 Life Science Circle
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dr. Mims’s research investigates how species’ traits and environmental attributes interact to influence community and population structure of aquatic organisms. Her research integrates the fields of population, community, and landscape ecology, and she uses a suite of approaches including population and landscape genetics, spatially explicit individual-based models, traits-based inference, species distribution models, and multivariate statistical tools. The overarching goal of her research is to uncover, understand, and predict differential response of aquatic species to a changing landscape and climate. Dr. Mims works to bridge fundamental work in freshwater population and community ecology with applied conservation and management needs.

Areas of research interest in the Mims Lab include: 1) developing and testing traits-based approaches and multispecies assessments to prioritize regional management and conservation of freshwater species; 2) assessing species’ vulnerability to climate change across levels of biological organization, from genes to communities; 3) evaluating risk and response of aquatic organisms to climate-driven spatiotemporal changes in intermittent aquatic habitat in lotic and lentic systems.

  • Postdoctoral Research, U.S. Geological Survey, Advised by Dr. Jason Dunham 2015 – 2016
  • Research: Riverscape Genetics: Simulated Bull Trout Reintroduction to the Pend Oreille River 2014 - 2017
  • Ph.D., School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington 2011 - 2015
  • Master of Science, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington 2008 - 2010
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology with High Honors, Georgia Institute of Technology 2003 - 2007
  • 2019: Outstanding Research Award, VT Department of Biological Sciences
  • 2015: Project of the Year in Resource Conservation and Climate Change, U.S. Department of Defense, Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
  • 2013: Exceptional Promise in Graduate Research Award, Ecological Society of America, Aquatic Ecology Section
  • 2012: Graduate Dean’s Medalist, College of the Environment, University of Washington
  • 2010: Outstanding Student Research Award, Trout Unlimited Washington Council
  • 2005: President’s Undergraduate Research Award, Georgia Tech