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Petty, J. Todd

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Professor of Wildlife & Fisheries Resources

Dr. Petty is a Professor of Aquatic Sciences in the Wildlife & Fisheries Resources program at West Virginia University and serves as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Design.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia (1990), and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Forest Resources and Ecology from the University of Georgia (1994, 1998).  Todd joined the WVU faculty in 2000, where he teaches courses in freshwater ecology, watershed restoration, and vertebrate population dynamics. Dr. Petty studies watershed scale processes influencing water quality and river ecosystems.  Through this research, Dr. Petty’s lab has developed an analytical process used to target high priority areas for protection and restoration of aquatic diversity. Statistical tools and data are now available through an on-line analytical system at  This research is being applied to efficient restoration of fisheries throughout the Great Plains, Lake Superior, the Ohio River basin, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the Appalachian region. Dr. Petty’s research has been funded in recent years by the USEPA, the USFWS, USGS, the WV Department of Environmental Protection, the North Atlantic Land Conservation Consortium, and the National Science Foundation.

Select Publications

  1. Merriam, E. R., J. T. Petty, K. O. Maloney, J. A. Young, S. P. Faulkner, E. T. Slonecker, L. E. Milheim, A. Hailegiorgis, and J. Niles. 2018. Brook trout distributional response to unconventional oil and gas development: landscape context matters. Science of the Total Environment 628:338-349.
  2. Merriam, E. R., J. T. Petty, Nicolas Zegre. 2017. Can brook trout survive climate change in large rivers? If it rains. Science of the Total Environment 607:1225-1236.
  3. Huntsman, B. M., J. T. Petty, S. Sharma, and E. R. Merriam. 2016. More than a corridor: use of a main stem stream as supplemental foraging habitat by a brook trout metapopulation. Oecologia182:463-473.
  4. Merriam, E. R., and J. T. Petty. 2016. Under siege: isolated tributaries are threatened by regionally impaired metacommunities. Science of the Total Environment 560:170-178.
  5. Petty, J. T., D. Thorne, B. Huntsman, and P. Mazik. 2014. The temperature-productivity squeeze: constraints on brook trout growth along an Appalachian river continuum. Hydrobiologia 727:151-166.
  6. Petty, J. T. , J. L. Hansbarger, B. M. Huntsman, and P. M. Mazik. 2012. Brook trout movement in response to temperature, flow, and thermal refugia within a complex Appalachian riverscape. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:1060-1073.
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