Cooperative Research Units
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Dr. Colleen Caldwell

Colleen fishing the Madison


  • Ph D University of Tennessee 1988
  • MS Texas State University 1985
  • BS Texas A&M University 1982


I received a B.S. in Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I joined the New Mexico Unit in 1994 and in 2006 stepped up to the plate to become Unit Leader.

Research Interests

Research interests are centered around ecological effects that environmental disturbances have on aquatic systems. Areas of research include aquatic contaminants and toxicology, fish physiology, and native fish conservation biology.

Teaching Interests

At New Mexico State University, I teach Environmental Biology of Fishes and Aquatic Contaminants and Toxicology (4 credit hours; both include weekly laboratory exercises). In Environmental Biology of Fishes, I ask and answer the question "what makes a fish, a fish?" In Aquatic Contaminants and Toxicology, I draw upon the enviromental toxicology literature and my research program to teach about the transport, fate and effects of contaminants in arid-lands aquatic systems.

Professional Society Service

  • American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists - Southwest Division Representative (August 2011 - August 2013)
  • American Fisheries Society - Resource Policy Committee, Member and Chair of Sub-committee for the development of the Policy Statement and Review Paper: Climate Change and Effects on North American Fisheries (approved in a membership-wide vote by Society members November 2010) (August 2008 - June 2013)
  • American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists - Member, Hubbs Student Research Scholarship Committee (August 2008 - June 2013)
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Research Publications

  • Cain, J.W. III, J.V. Gedir, C.A. Caldwell, and S. Carleton. 2018. Assessment of drought impacts on selected fish and wildlife species in the southwestern United States. Final Report to the U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. Download  | 
  • Peterson, D., R.B. Trantham, T.G. Trantham, and C.A. Caldwell. Tagging effects of passive integrated transponder and visual implant elastomer on the small-bodied White Sands pupfish (Cyprinodon tularosa). Journal of Fisheries Research (online publication completed 24 September 2017); Abstract | 
  • Alvarez, G., C.A. Caldwell, and C. Kruse. Effects of CFT Legumine (5% ROTENONE) On tadpole survival and metamorphosis of Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis), northern leopard frog (L. pipiens), and American bullfrog (L. catebeinanus). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 146:3 512-522. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2017.1285355
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Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Aquatic Contaminants and Toxicology (2017)
  • Environmental Biology of Fishes (2016)
  • Aquatic Contaminants and Toxicology (2015)
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New Mexico Other Professional Positions and Memberships

  • Colleen CaldwellMember, Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Propagation and Genetics Workgroup (January 2001 - December 2016)
  • Colleen CaldwellReviewed Promotion Packet - Montana State University (November 2011 - December 2011)
  • Colleen CaldwellMember, Research Grade Evaluation Panel, U.S. Geological Survey (October 2011 - November 2011)
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New Mexico University Committees and Workgroups

  • Colleen CaldwellDepartment Promotion and Tenure Committee (July 2014 - June 2015)
  • Colleen CaldwellAd Hoc Committee for Department Head Search (May 2012 - June 2012)
  • Colleen CaldwellChair, Departmental Facilities and Space Committee (August 2010 - August 2011)
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Technical Publications

  • Zeigler, M.P. and C.A. Caldwell. 2016. Feasibility study: Establishing native fish fauna to McKittrick Creek, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. National Park Service Natural Resource Technical Report SeriesAbstract |
  • Todd, A. S., B. N. McGee, M. P. Zeigler, and C. A. Caldwell. 2016, Water and air temperature throughout the range of Rio Grande cutthroat trout in Colorado and New Mexico; 2010-2015: U.S. Geological Survey data release: ScienceBase:
  • Cain III, J.W., C.A. Caldwell, and S.A. Carleton. 2014. Assessment of Drought Impacts on Selected Fish and Wildlife Species in the Southwestern U.S. 2014 Annual Progress Report to USGS Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.Abstract |
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 15

Phd Students: 5

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 22

Scientific Publications: 47

Presentations: 152

New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey