Kansas Biological Survey
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
James H. Thorp
Aquatic community and ecosystem ecology
Dr. Thorp earned his Ph.D. in Zoology/Ecology from North Carolina State University in 1975.
Dr. Jim Thorp's research interests focus on the ecology of rivers (primarily), smaller streams, and other aquatic ecosystems where he works mostly at the community through landscape levels. He enjoys using diverse research approaches (conceptual, field experimental, and descriptive techniques) to answer fundamental and applied environmental questions. Within the fundamental research area, he is most interested in food web ecology and the effects of hydrogeomorphic fluctuations on the structure and functioning of riverine landscapes from the community to the full landscape level (e.g., see The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis, Thorp et al. 2008). Within the applied research area, he has always been most intrigued by how human interactions with the natural environment have altered basic ecosystem structure and functioning. At present, he is working closely with colleagues in several universities in the USA and overseas, federal agencies (primarily the EPA), state environmental agencies, and non-government agencies (especially the Nature Conservancy) on two primary topics: ecosystem services and a national classification system for rivers. As part of those endeavors, he currently has an appointment as a national EPA expert.