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Dr. Martha Mather

Martha Mather


  • Miami University 1991
  • Ph D Ohio State University 1990
  • MS Ohio State University 1985
  • BS Denison University 1978


I was trained in fish ecology at The Ohio State University where I obtained my Ph.D. My job experience in the Unit program includes the Massachusetts and Kansas Units.

Research Interests

My research interests are in using fish ecology to address applied conservation problems, especially patterns and consequences of movement. Specifically, I am interested in problems related to (1) the ecology of freshwater and anadromous fishes; (2) processes that structure freshwater and estuarine fish communities; (3) patterns, mechanisms, consequences of fish movements; (4) how to use community ecology to devise fish sampling regimes that aid conservation, management, and restoration; (5) spatial patterns and processes; (6) quantitative tools; and (7) integrated bio-social approaches to natural resource conflicts.

Teaching Interests

As a Ph.D student, I taught lab sections in zoology, ecology, and behavior. As a new Ph.D, I was completely responsible for two field ecology classes at Ohio State University’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie and at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station. At University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I was solely responsible for one graduate course in fish ecology and one graduate course in experimental design using examples from the literature. At UMASS, I also cotaught two other graduate seminars, one on natural resource conflicts and one on anadromous fish. I have guest lectured at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and other universities on philosophy of science, aquatic community structure, invaders in freshwater systems, restoration of the Atlantic salmon to the Connecticut River, natural resource conflicts, the role of biophysical science in natural resource conflicts, dam removal, ecological restoration in coastal systems, and relationships between the built and natural environment. At Kansas State University, I team-teach a course called "Professional Skills" required of all incoming graduate students. I also team-teach a graduate seminar entitled "River Regimes."

Professional Society Service

  • American Fisheries Society - Membership Committee, Kansas Chapter American Fisheries Society, 2012-2015, Member
    (January 2012 - December 2018)
  • Estuarine Research Federation - Member (January 2002 - December 2018)
  • Ecological Society of America - Member (January 1990 - December 2018)
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Research Publications

  • Fencl, J., M. Mather, J. Smith, and S. Hitchman. 2017. The blind men and the elephant examine biodiversity at low-head dams: are we all dealing with the same dam reality? Ecosphere 8 (1): 1-17; DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1973;
  • Hitchman, S.M, M. E. Mather, J. Smith, and J. Fencl. 2017. Identifying keystone habitats with a mosaic approach can improve biodiversity conservation in disturbed ecosystems. Global Change Biology 2017;1–14. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13846;
  • Hitchman, S. M., M. E. Mather, J. M. Smith, J. S. Fencl. 2017. Habitat mosaics and path analysis can improve biological conservation of aquatic biodiversity in ecosystems with low-head dams. Science of the Total Environment 619–620: 221–231;
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Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Professional Skills (2017)
  • Professional Skills (2016)
  • Professional Skills (2015)
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Kansas Other Professional Positions and Memberships

  • Martha MatherPlum Island Long Term Ecological Research Site All Scientists Meeting ( 1999 - 2017)
  • Martha MatherNational Science Foundation Review Panel (March 2013 - November 2017)
  • Martha MatherInvited Tenure Reviewer, University of Wyoming (July 2017 - October 2017)
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Kansas University Committees and Workgroups

  • Martha MatherSeminar Committee (January 2014 - December 2015)
  • Martha MatherSearch Committee, Vertebrate Ecologist, KSU Biology (January 2012 - April 2012)
  • Martha MatherMember, School of Marine Sciences (September 2004 - December 2010)
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Technical Publications

  • Mapes, R.L., 2017. Young of year largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) relative abundance and diet: role of habitat type, spatial context, and size. Final Report.Abstract |
  • Mather, ME, Gerber, KM, Peterson, Z. Assessing distribution and movement of Blue Catfish in Kansas reservoirs. Final ReportAbstract |
  • Parrish, D. L., M. E. Mather, and E. A. Marschall. 2010. Population modeling of Atlantic salmon in Vermont tributaries of the Connecticut River. Progress report to NMFS.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 4

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 26

Scientific Publications: 59

Presentations: 227


Contact Information

Tel: (785) 532 - 6522

Current Students

Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
  2. Kansas State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute