Research Interests

  • Biodiversity and ecosystem processes
  • Impacts of floods and hurricanes on tropical stream food webs.
  • Drought impacts on terrestrial-freshwater linkages in temperate and tropical stream ecosystems.

Research Projects

Since 1988, I have worked with colleagues in Puerto Rico on the effects of urban growth, harvesting of freshwater shrimps and crabs, and intersections of road networks on river networks. We are interested in migratory species and how they move through river networks in search of their food resources following extreme disturbances such as severe droughts. I am also collaborating with Brazilian colleagues in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul on food webs in spring-fed karst streams that flow into the Pantanal. We focus on relationships between the biodiversity of riparian forest and feeding preferences among stream invertebrates and vertebrates. We are conducting studies of optimal foraging and comparing strengths of interactions among alternative food resources.

Study Organisms

I focus on predator-prey interactions among freshwater shrimps and crabs and their gastropod prey. These decapod crustaceans are “selective omnivores” that have distinct feeding preferences even though they consume a large variety of plant and animal food resources.

About Alan P. Covich

Dr. Alan P. Covich is a professor of ecology and former director of the Institute of Ecology in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, USA.  He chaired Colorado State University’s Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology and was on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma and Washington University-St Louis. 

He received a Ph.D. in Biology from Yale University and A.B. degree from Washington University. His research focuses on impacts of droughts, floods and hurricanes on freshwater ecosystem services and food webs at river-network scale. Covich is a past-president of the International Association of Ecology, the Ecological Society of America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the North American Benthological Society (now the Society for Freshwater Science).

He received the Icko Iben Award for Excellence by the American Water Resources Association, the Distinguished Service Award by the Ecological Society of America, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the Society for Freshwater Science.

Covich co-edited three editions of the Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, as well as reviews on climate change and drought impacts on ecosystems for Resources for the Future, and book chapters (Water in Crisis, Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Encyclopedia of Islands, and the Encyclopedia of Hydrologic Processes). He has served on ecosystem review panels for the U.S. National Science Foundation and several international organizations.

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