Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Steven Kohler

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Malcolm


Studies have shown that disease may play an important role in population regulation in a variety of habitats. Freshwater aquatic systems may be one of the least studied habitats in this area of research. Kohler and Hoiland (2001) suggest that maybe only two long term studies in the area had been done up until the time of their study. However, the conclusions of the research that has been done appear consistent with that from other systems (Kohler and Hoiland 2001). Kohler and Hoiland (2001) found that larvae of the aquatic caddisfly Brachycentris americanus in several midwestern streams are infected with a microsporidian parasite and that, in at least the population they studied, disease dynamics and Brachycentrus population dynamics appeared to be strongly related. In that same study, they note that the population of another species in the stream, Glossosoma nigrior, was decimated by a microsporidian infection in the early 1990s (Kohler and Wiley 1992). These examples demonstrate the significance of the role disease can play in aquatic populations and the necessity for further study of infections and their effects in this system.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only