Photo of Susan B. Adams

Susan B. Adams

Team Leader / Research Fisheries Biologist
1000 Front Street
Oxford, MS 38655-4915
Phone: 662-234-2744 x267
Fax: 662-234-8318

Current Research

I conduct research on the biology and community ecology of native, warmwater fishes and crayfishes at various spatial and temporal scales. Research is directed toward understanding mechanisms contributing to the structure of aquatic communities, quantifying the effects of disturbance on aquatic systems, and improving knowledge about the taxonomy, distribution, and life history of crayfishes. Much of my current work focuses on how press (e.g., stream warming, dams, land use changes) and pulse (e.g., major storms) disturbances influence communities. I am also involved in long-term research on sculpin distributions and their changes with stream warming in streams of western Montana.

Past Research

Past research has included:

-Habitat correlates of bull trout in Idaho streams

-Mechanisms of invasion by brook trout in Montana and Idaho

-Movements by sculpin, Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, and boreal toads in western streams

-Life history, habitat use, diet, and population genetics of Alabama shad

-Seasonal and interannual variation in warmwater fish assemblages

-Phylogenetics of crayfishes in the Trisellescens subgenus of the genus Orconectes

-Effects of anthropological disturbances on crayfishes

-Life history and phylogenetics of crayfishes


Ph.D. in Organismal Biology and Ecology, 1999
The University of Montana, Missoula
M.S. in Fisheries Resources, 1994
University of Idaho, Moscow
B.A. in Biology, 1986
Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Professional Organizations

  • University of Alabama, Member Of Graduate School (2012—Current)
  • Freshwater Crayfish, Journal of the International Assoc. of Astacology, Editorial Board (2010—Current)
  • Society of Freshwater Science, Member (2010—Current)
  • International Association of Astacology, Member And Past-President (2004—Current)
  • University of Mississippi, Adjunct Faculty (2001—Current)
  • American Fisheries Society, Member (1991—Current)
  • Louisiana State University, Graduate School Affiliate (2012—2016)
  • University of Southern Mississippi, Adjunct Faculty (2002—2013)

Awards and Recognition

Outstanding Professional Presentation Award, 2018
For Adams (presenter) and Hereford: "Burning down the house: effects of prescribed burning and mechanical vegetation treatments on primary burrowing crayfish densities" presented at the 22nd International Assoc. of Astacology meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.
Outstanding Student Presentation Award, 2018
For Z. Barnett (presenter) et al. "Detectable Effects of Impoundments on the Genetic Structure of Crayfish (Faxonius spp.) in Alabama 43 Years After Dam Closure" presented at the 22nd International Assoc. of Astacology meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.
Runner-Up Award for Best Oral Presentation in Applied Research, 2018
For Barnett, Z.C. (presenter), S.B. Adams, and C.A. Ochs. 2018. Environmental impacts to crayfish and fish populations in impounded and unimpounded streams in Alabama. Society for Freshwater Science annual meeting. May 21-24. Detroit, MI.
2018 Jim Sedell Excellence in Research Award, 2018
National FS award as part of the Rise to the Future program. Honors outstanding contributions in aquatic research.
Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment Award, 2015
Awarded by the USFS Southern Research Station Director as part of the Inspiring Women Awards Program.
USDA Certificate of Merit, 2011
for valuable contributions to the Climate Change Resource Center
Southern Research Station Civil Rights Committee Award, 2010
For establishing a community garden in Oxford, MS.
Best Professional Paper Award, 2009
For D.A Schmetterling (presenter) et al.: "Climate change mediates the spatial partitioning of sculpin and longnose dace leading to trophic cascades in riverine ecosystems of western Montana" presented at the Montana Chapter American Fisheries meeting.
Rise to the Future, Professional Excellence in Research Award, 2006
A national FS award recognizing outstanding research accomplishments by a FS aquatic scientist.
US Forest Service Southern Research Station Director’s Award, 2004
Awarded to the to the Aquatic and Terrestrial Fauna Team for Maintaining and Enhancing the Nation’s Natural Resources.
Best Student Paper Award, 1997
for research presented at the Montana Chapter American Fisheries Society annual meeting

Featured Publications and Products


Research Highlights

Global Conservation Status of Freshwater Crayfish (2015)
SRS-2015-233 The southeastern U.S. is a major hotspot of freshwater crayfish diversity, says a new global assessment of crayfish conservation status. The report also finds that a fifth of North American crayfish species (and almost a third of the world's species) are threatened with extinction. The study found that in the U.S., only two percent of threatened species occur in protected areas, which further highlights the imperiled status of freshwater species in the U.S.