Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Elise Irwin

Elise Irwin


  • Ph D North Carolina State University 1994
  • MS Tennessee Technological University 1989
  • BS Delaware State College 1987


Elise Irwin has been the Assistant Unit Leader for Fisheries at the ALCFWRU since January 1995.

Research Interests

Dr. Irwin is the leader of a broad research program in fisheries ecology with emphasis on reduction of uncertainty regarding how anthropomorphic changes in riverine and other aquatic environments affect biological processes of aquatic species. Thematically her research has primarily investigated how management, landscape patterns and disturbance regimes affect biological processes in aquatic systems, with two main areas of focus: 1) effects of spatial and temporal arrangement of riverine habitat on population parameters of fishes and, 2) definition and reduction of uncertainty regarding functional relations between hydrologic and chemical characteristics of riverine environments and fish distribution, abundance and/or growth of fish and invertebrates.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Irwin teaches a course on management of river systems at Auburn University. The course is inter-disciplinary and covers topics related to managing rivers for multiple uses. Dr. Irwin also teaches courses on Structured Decision Making and Adaptive Management at the National Conservation Training Center.

Professional Society Service

  • American Fisheries Society - History Section Secretary-Treasurer (August 2004 - August 2006)
  • American Fisheries Society - Chair, Catfish Technical Committee (October 2003 - January 2006)
  • American Fisheries Society - Chair, Ballot Committee (January 2003 - December 2004)
  • See All ...

Research Publications

  • Counihan, T. D., I. R. Waite, A. F. Casper, D. L. Ward, J. S. Sauer, E. R. Irwin, C. G. Chapman, B. S. Ickes, C. P. Paukert, J. J. Kosovich, and J. M. Bayer. 2018 Can data from disparate long-term fish monitoring programs be used to increase our understanding of regional and continental trends in large river assemblages? PLoS ONE

  • Irwin, ER and MC Lloyd. 2017. Experimental stocking of sport fish in the regulated Tallapoosa River to
    determine critical periods for recruitment. Cooperator Science Series 128-2017.
  • Irwin, E.R and J. Terhune. Solving problems in fisheries management: proof of concept using structured decision making at the undergraduate level. Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 4:25–30.
  • See All ...

Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Special Problems-Restoration Ecology (2017)
  • Ecology and Management of Riverine Systems (2017)
  • Ecology and Management of Riverine Systems (2016)
  • See All ...

Technical Publications

  • Irwin, E. R., K. D. M. Kennedy, T. P. Goar, B. M. Martin, M. M. Martin. 2011. Adaptive management and monitoring for restoration and faunal recolonization of Tallapoosa River shoal habitats. Final Report to Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Kennedy, K.D. and E.R. Irwin. Patterns of fish and disease occupancy in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama. ACFWRU Report 2009-3. Final Report Submitted to USFWS, October 2009 2007
  • Irwin,E.R., G.T. Turner, K.D.Kennedy and T. Piper. ACT Aquatic Gap and Water Quality Monitoring. Fnal Report submitted to Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. April 2007.
  • See All ...

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 1

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 6

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 29

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 14

Scientific Publications: 30

Presentations: 88

Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 
  2. Auburn University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute