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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

J. Todd Petty

Department Chair and Professor of Aquatic Sciences
Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department

Office: 261 Lehotsky Hall
Phone: 864-656-3302

Vita: Download CV
Personal Website:


Educational Background

PhD Forest Resources
University of Georgia 1998

MS Forest Resources
University of Georgia 1994

BA Biology
University of Virginia 1990

Courses Taught

Clemson University
- Field Training in Natural Resources
- Natural Resources Seminar

West Virginia University
- Fisheries Management
- Freshwater Ecology
- Stream Ecosystem Assessment
- Advanced Population Ecology
- Quantitative Ecology


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. 2023. Non-native species limit stream restoration benefits for brook trout. Restoration Ecology

Merriam, ER, MP Strager, and J.T. Petty. 2023. Source water vulnerability to elevated total dissolved solids within a mixed-use Appalachian River Basin. PLOS Water

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.


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