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Barnett receives Society for Freshwater Science award

three people in a stream with sampling equipment
Zanethia Barnett (left) and colleagues sample a stream for crayfish with a technique called kick seining. USDA Forest Service photo by Zanethia Barnett.

USDA Forest Service fisheries biologist Zanethia Barnett is the winner of the 2022 Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Hynes Award for New Investigators. The Hynes Award goes to a senior author of an outstanding primary publication within the last three years.

Barnett won the award for a 2020 publication in Freshwater Biology that was the first to assess the effects of relatively large dams on crayfish population genetic structure. The publication was based largely on Barnett’s PhD dissertation research, which she received from the University of Mississippi in 2019.

In a recent publication in Freshwater Science, Barnett continues to look at the impacts of large dams on crayfish. Barnett and co-authors measured the effects of impoundments on stream crayfish assemblages, focusing on the size, density, and species distribution of crayfish species in southern Appalachian Mountain streams. Stream conditions downstream from dams were less favorable for most crayfish species, the study found.

Barnett eloquently pairs her research with strong service to both SFS and the Forest Service, including her dedication to advance equity, inclusion, and diversity in freshwater science.

Barnett is a member of the Society’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion task force and serves as a co-lead for the council of underrepresented voices. She represents the Southern Research Station on both the interagency Upper Mississippi River Aquatic Invasive Species Panel and the agency’s national Dive Control Board, and she was an organizer of the 2021 Get Black Outside events that exposed youth and their families to freshwater snorkeling and the importance of healthy streams.

SFS will formally recognize Barnett and other award winners at their annual meeting on May 18.

Read the 2020 article in Freshwater Biology. Read the 2022 article in Freshwater Science. For more information, email Zanethia Barnett at