J. Todd Petty

Department Chair and Professor
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department

Office: 261 Lehotsky Hall
Phone: 864-656-3302
Email: jtpetty@clemson.edu
Vita: Download CV


 Educational Background

PhD Forest Resources
University of Georgia 1998

MS Forest Resources
University of Georgia 1994

BA Biology
University of Virginia 1990

 Courses Taught

First Year Seminar
Academic Mindset
Introduction to Fisheries and Wildlife
Fisheries Management
Freshwater Ecology
Advanced Population Ecology
Quantitative Ecology
Advanced Fisheries Management
Stream Ecosystem Assessment


I joined the Clemson University faculty in 2020 and currently serve as chair of the department of forestry and environmental conservation. Prior to coming to Clemson, I taught and conducted research in the department of wildlife and fisheries resources at West Virginia University for 21 years. My lab specializes in watershed scale dynamics of fish populations and riverine ecosystems and the influence of climate change. I also conduct research on river restoration and effectiveness in recovering fish populations. I teach courses in freshwater ecology, fisheries management, and vertebrate population dynamics.

I'm originally from Richmond, VA. I graduated with a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia in 1990. I then worked for both the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as a fisheries technician in the Chesapeake Bay. I returned to graduate school and earned an MS (1994) and a PhD (1998) in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia.

 Research Interests

Stream and River Ecology
Watershed Dynamics
Fish Population and Community Ecology
Effects of Landscape and Climate Change on Aquatic Ecosystems
River Restoration


Huntsman, B.M., Merriam, E.R., Rota. C., and J.T. Petty. 2022. Non-native species limit stream restoration benefits for brook trout. Restoration Ecology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/rec.13678

Michaels, Eliason, Kuzniar, Petty, Strager, Ziemkiewicz and Morrissey. 2022. Microbial communities reveal impacts of unconventional oil and gas development on headwater streams. Water Research 212:1-11.

Huntsman, B.M., H. Kim, Q. Phelps and J.T. Petty. 2020. Limestone remediation of an acidic stream creates a microchemical batch mark for Brook Trout within an Appalachian watershed. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 40:1523-1531.

Merriam, E. R.*, J. T. Petty, M. O’Neal, and P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2020. Flow-mediated vulnerability of source waters to elevated TDS in an Appalachian river basin. Water 12:384-397.

Merriam, E. R. *, J. T. Petty, and C. T. Trego. 2019. Incorporating predictive spatial models into a resilient fisheries management framework. in Multispecies and Watershed Approaches to Freshwater Fish Conservation; Dauwalter, D. C., T. W. Birdsong, and G. P. Garrett (editors).

Merriam, E. R. *, and J. T. Petty. 2019. Stream channel restoration increases climate resiliency in a thermally vulnerable Appalachian river. Restoration Ecology 27:1420-1428.

Trego, C. T. *, E. R. Merriam, and J. T. Petty. 2019. Non-native trout limit native brook trout access to space and thermal refugia in a restored large-river system. Restoration Ecology 27:892-900.

Merriam, E. R., J. T. Petty, J. Clingerman, T. Wagner. 2019. Conservation planning at the intersection of landscape and climate change: a case study with brook trout in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Ecosphere 10: e02585.

Merriam, E. R.*, J. T. Petty, K. O. Maloney, J. A. Young, S. P. Faulkner, E. T. Slonecker, L. E. Milheim, A. Hailegiorgis, and J. Niles. 2018. Brook trout distributional response to unconventional oil and gas development: landscape context matters. Science of the Total Environment 628:338-349.

Wood, D. M., A. B. Welsh, and J. T. Petty. 2018. Genetic assignment of brook trout reveals rapid success of culvert restoration in headwater streams. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 38:991-1003.

Tri, A., J. Edwards, M. Strager, C. Ryan, C. Carpenter, M. Ternent, P. Carr, and J. T. Petty. 2017. Harvest rates and cause-specific mortality of American black bears in the wildland-urban interface of the mid-Atlantic region, USA. Ursus 28:1-13.

Halley, Y., E. Merriam, A. Welsh, J.T. Petty. J. Anderson. 2017. Using environmental DNA to assess hellbender populations in the West Fork Greenbrier River, WV. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Sciences 89: 1-20.

Merriam, E. R.*, J. T. Petty, Nicolas Zegre. 2017. Can brook trout survive climate change in large rivers? If it rains. Science of the Total Environment 607:1225-1236.

Watson, A. S.*, G. T. Merovich, J. T. Petty, and J. B. Gutta. 2017. Evaluating expected outcomes of acid remediation in an intensively mined Appalachian watershed. Journal of Environmental Management. 2017:189-339.

Huntsman*, B. M., J. T. Petty, S. Sharma, and E. R. Merriam*. 2016. More than a corridor: use of a main stem stream as supplemental foraging habitat by a brook trout metapopulation. Oecologia 182:463-473.

Merriam, E. R. *, and J. T. Petty. 2016. Under siege: isolated tributaries are threatened by regionally impaired metacommunities. Science of the Total Environment 560: 170-178.

Merriam, E. R. *, J. T. Petty, and M. P. Strager. 2016. Watershed planning within a quantitative scenario analysis framework. Journal of Visualized Experiments, e54095-e54095.

Tri, A. N., J. W. Edwards, M. P. Strager, J. T. Petty, C. W. Ryan, C. P. Carpenter. 2015. Habitat use by American black bears in the urban-wildland interface of the mid-Atlantic, USA. Ursus 27:45-56.

Aunins, A., J. T. Petty, T. King, and P. Mazik. 2015. River mainstem thermal regimes influence population structuring in Appalachian brook trout populations. Conservation Genetics 16:15-29.

Fulton, J. B., E. R. Merriam*, J. T. Petty, S. T. Grushecky, S. Harouff, K. J. Hartman, D. McGill, and B. Spong. 2015. Natural and anthropogenic controls over suspended sediments within a mountainous Appalachian watershed: implications for watershed restoration. International Journal of Forest Engineering 26:24-35.

Mazotta, M., L. Wainger, S. Sifleet, J. T. Petty, and B. Rashleigh. 2015. Benefit transfer with limited data: an application to recreational fishing losses from surface mining. Ecological Economics 119:384-298.

Merriam, E. R.*, J. T. Petty, M. P. Strager, A. E. Maxwell, and P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2015. Complex contaminant mixtures in multi-stressor Appalachian watersheds. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 34:2603-2610.

Merriam, E. R.*, J. T. Petty, M. P. Strager, A. E. Maxwell, and P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2015. Landscape-based cumulative effects models for predicting stream response to mountaintop mining in multi-stressor Appalachian watersheds. Freshwater Science 34:1006-1019.

Anderson, J. T., R. L. Ward, J. T. Petty, J. S. Kite, and M. P. Strager. 2014. Culvert effects on stream and stream-side salamander habitats. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development 5:274-281.

Huntsman, B.*, and J. T. Petty. 2014. Density-dependent regulation of brook trout populations along a core-periphery distribution continuum. PLoS One 9:1-15.

Petty, J. T., D. Thorne*, B. Huntsman*, and P. Mazik. 2014. The temperature-productivity squeeze: constraints on brook trout growth along an Appalachian river continuum. Hydrobiologia 727:151-166.

Maxwell, A. E., M. P. Strager, C. B. Yuill, and J. T. Petty. 2013. Mapping mine land disturbance in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. Proceedings ESRI 2013:1-22.

Merriam, E.*, J. T. Petty, M. P. Strager. A. E. Maxwell, and P. Ziemkiewicz. 2013. Scenario analysis predicts context-dependent stream response to land use change in a heavily mined central Appalachian watershed. Freshwater Science 32:1246-1259.

Merovich, G. T*., J. T. Petty, and M. P. Strager. J.B. Fulton. 2013. Hierarchical classification of aquatic ecosystem condition: quantifying the riverscape in intensively developed watersheds. Freshwater Science 32:874-891.

Petty, J. T., M. P. Strager, E. M. Merriam*, and P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2013. Scenario analysis and the Watershed Futures Planner: predicting future aquatic conditions in an intensively mined Appalachian watershed. in Environmental Considerations in Energy Production. Edited by J. R. Craynon. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. Englewood, CO.

Petty, J. T., G. Gingerich*, J. T. Anderson, and P. F. Ziemkiewicz. 2013. Ecological function of constructed stream channels on reclaimed surface mines in West Virginia. Hydrobiologia 720:39-51.

Maxwell, A. E., M. P. Strager, C. B. Yuill, and J. T. Petty. 2012. Modeling critical forest habitat in the south central Appalachians USA. International Journal of Ecology doi:10.1155/2012/182683.

Petty, J. T., and E. P. Merriam*. 2012. Brook trout restoration. Nature Education Knowledge 3:17. http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/brook-trout-restoration-83031062

Petty, J. T., J. L. Hansbarger*, B. M. Huntsman*, and P. M. Mazik. 2012. Brook trout movement in response to temperature, flow, and thermal refugia within a complex Appalachian riverscape. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:1060-1073.

Pitchford, J. L., C. Wu, L. Lin, J. T. Petty, R. Thomas, W. E. Veselka IV, D. Welsch, N. Zegre, and J. T. Anderson. 2012. Climate change effects on hydrology and ecology of wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands. Wetlands DOI 10.1007/s13157-011-0259-3.

Merriam, E.*, J. T. Petty, G. T. Merovich, Jr.*, J. B. Fulton, and M. P. Strager. 2011. Additive effects of mining and development in a central Appalachian watershed. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:399-418.

Petty, J. T., J. B. Fulton, M. Strager, G. T. Merovich*, J. Stiles, and P. Ziemkiewicz. 2010. Landscape indicators and thresholds of stream ecological impairment in an intensively mined Appalachian watershed. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29:1292-1309.

Grossman, G. D., R. J. Ratajczak, Jr., M. D. Farr, C. M Wagner, and J. T. Petty. 2010. Why there are more fish downstream. In Community Ecology of Freshwater Fishes. American Fisheries Society Symposium, 73:63-81.

Grossman, G. D., R. J. Ratajczak, Jr., C. M. Wagner, and J. T. Petty. 2010. Dynamics and population regulation of southern brook trout in an Appalachian stream. Freshwater Biology 55:1494-1508.

Hansbarger, J. L.*, J. T. Petty, and P. M. Mazik. 2010. Brook trout movement within a high-elevation watershed: consequences for watershed restoration. Proceedings from the conference on the ecology and management of high-elevation forests in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-64. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Pg. 74-84.

Hense, Z.*, R. W. Martin*, and J. T. Petty. 2010. Electrofishing capture efficiencies for common stream fishes in a central Appalachian watershed. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30:1041-1050.

Johnson, J. B., M. A. Menzel, J. W. Edwards, W. M. Ford, J. T. Petty. 2010. Predicting foraging habitat of Gray Myotis in Georgia. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of SE Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 64:61-67.

Merovich, G. T.*, Jr, and J. T. Petty. 2010. Continuous response of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages to a discrete disturbance gradient: consequences for diagnosing stressors. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29:1241-1257.

Petty, J. T., and G. D. Grossman. 2010. Giving-Up Densities and Ideal Pre-Emptive Distribution of a benthic predator in a southern Appalachian stream. Freshwater Biology 55:780-793.

Strager, M. P., J. J. Fletcher, J. M. Strager, C. B. Yuill, R. N. Eli, J. T. Petty, and S. J. Lamont. 2010. Watershed analysis in GIS: the Watershed Characterization and Modeling System Software application. Computers and Geosciences 36:970-976.

Martin, R. W.*, and J. T. Petty. 2009. Local temperature and thermal topology interact to influence the distribution of brook trout and smallmouth bass in a central Appalachian watershed. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 23:497-508.

Poplar-Jeffers, I.*, J. T. Petty, J. A. Anderson, and S. J. Kite. 2009. Culvert replacement and stream habitat restoration: Implications from brook trout management in an Appalachian watershed, U.S.A. Restoration Ecology 17:404-413.

Strager, M. P., J. T. Petty, J. M. Strager, and J. B. Fulton. 2009. A spatially explicit framework for quantifying downstream hydrologic conditions. Journal of Environmental Management 90:1854-1863.

Hansbarger, J. L.*, J. T. Petty, and P. M. Mazik. 2008. Microhabitat use by brook trout in small tributaries and a large river main stem: implications for stream channel restoration in the upper Shavers Fork, WV. Proceedings of the S.E. Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Petty, J. T., Brady Gutta, Richard Herd, Jennifer Fulton, James Stiles, Michael Strager, Julie Svetlick, and Paul Ziemkiewicz. 2008. Identifying cost-effective restoration strategies in mining impacted West Virginia watersheds. Proceedings of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation 25:837-855.

Strager, M.P., Vishesh Maskey, J. Todd Petty, Brady Gutta, Jenifer Fulton, Richard Herd, James Stiles, Julie Svetlik, and Paul Ziemkiewicz. 2008. A hydrologically networked watershed model for evaluating AMD treatment scenarios. Proceedings of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation 25:1217-1231.

Ward, R. L., J. T. Anderson, and J. T. Petty. 2008. Effects of road crossings on stream and streamside salamanders. Journal of Wildlife Management 73:760-771.


Overview of Research Interests - video
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