Christopher L. Higgins, PhD
Director, Biological Field Station at Timberlake Ranch
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
- Ph.D., Texas Tech University, 2005
- M.S., Texas Tech University, 2001
- B.S., Angelo State University, 1999
Office: SCI 227
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
|Ecology and Evolution (BIOL 3353)||Ecology and Evolution (BIOL 3353)||Tropical Ecology (BIOL 4390)|
|Ecology (BIOL 4401)||Ichthyology (4462)||Ecology (BIOL 4401)|
|Research Design and Analysis (BIOL 5398)||Measuring Biological Diversity (BIOL 5340)|
Student Research Opportunities
Research is a vital part of a student's education! In addition to personal satisfaction, students gain academic motivation, develop critical thinking abilities, learn problem solving skills, enhance communication proficiency, and increase their scientific understanding. If you are interested in conducting undergraduate research, follow the link below for an application to be a research assistant in my lab. You can also see what other students have done as well.
Various pictures of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park
Dr. Higgins holding a Neotoma micropus
Most of my research focuses on how local processes (e.g., behavior, competition, hybridization, parasitism) combine with regional processes (e.g., colonization, environmental filtering, extinction) to determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. It combines experimental and observational approaches, and often uses computer simulations to determine whether empirical observations deviate from null expectations. Currently, there are three foci to my research:
- Biological Diversity - I am interested in understanding how various dimensions of biodiversity (abundance, functional, and phylogenetic) interact to provide insight into underlying structuring mechanisms.
- Metacommunity Structure - I am interested in uncovering broad-scale patterns of metacommunity structure and elucidating the underlying mechanisms that give rise to those patterns.
- Cyprinid Conservation - I am interested in understanding the abiotic factors and biotic interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of North American minnows.
* - student authors
- Higgins, C.L., A.R. Love-Snyder*, W.W. Wiegreffe*, and R.S. Pfau. 2015. Lack of hybridization between red and blacktail shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis and C. venusta) in two Texas rivers, but evidence of introgression among three lineages of the C. lutrensis species group. Copeia 103-272-280.
- De la Sancha, N.U., C.L. Higgins, S.J. Presley, and R.E. Strauss. 2014. Metacommunity structure in a highly fragmented forest: has deforestation in the Atlantic Forest altered historic biogeographic patterns? Diversity and Distributions 20:1058-1070.
- Munz, J.T.* and C.L. Higgins. 2013. The influence of discharge, photoperiod, and temperature on the reproductive ecology of cyprinids in the Paluxy River, Texas. Aquatic Ecology 47:67-74.
- Higgins, C.L. 2010. Patterns of functional and taxonomic organization of stream fishes: inferences based on α, β, and γ diversities. Ecography 33:678-687.
- Presley, S.J., C.L. Higgins, and M.R. Willig. 2010. A comprehensive framework for the evaluation of metacommunity structure. Oikos 119:908-917.
See Publications page for complete list of publications.
* - student authors
- de la Sancha, N.U., R. Maestri, S.J. Presley, and C.L. Higgins. 2015. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in a highly fragmented forest system. 95th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists. Jacksonville, FL
- Medina Torres, K.M.* and C.L. Higgins. 2015. Taxonomic and functional changes in the metacommunity strcuture of stream-fish assemblages in Texas from 1988-2009. 62nd Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. San Diego, CA
- Ruehle, B.*, C.L. Higgins, and K. Herrmann. 2015. The relationship between parasitic infection and reproductive potential of two cyprinids with different reproductive strategies. 62nd Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. San Diego, CA
- Pyle, C.S.* and C.L. Higgins. 2015. Mammals of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park: the initiation of a long-term survey. 62nd Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. San Diego, CA
- Munz, J.T.* and C.L. Higgins. 2011. Reproductive ecology of cyprinids in the Paluxy River. 58th Annual of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. Tyler, TX
See Presentations page for complete list of presentations.