Freshwater Studies Director Announced

Dr. Alex Huryn
Dr. Alex Huryn

From the November 2014 edition of Desktop News | Dr. Alex Huryn, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been named director of the Center for Freshwater Studies in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“Alex Huryn, a freshwater ecologist, has been a member of the Center for Freshwater Studies executive committee for a number of years and is well versed in the mission and research priorities of the center,” said Dr. Robert Olin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“As director, he will coordinate campus-wide efforts to facilitate research and educational activities that are focused on freshwater ecosystems,” Olin said. “I’m confident he will build on the center’s strong, longstanding national reputation and research productivity.”

Huryn said he plans to put most of his efforts into fostering multidisciplinary collaborations among junior faculty.

“The current national funding climate is hampering the development of transformational ideas,” Huryn said. “I hope to be able to provide ways to help good ideas metamorphose into research projects that develop to the point where competitive proposals can be produced.”

Researchers in the Center for Freshwater Studies include faculty from UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, Culverhouse College of Commerce, College of Engineering, and School of Law.

Huryn’s research interests include looking at how local, landscape and regional factors affect the structure and productivity of communities of organisms in freshwater, particularly in stream communities.

He also has been involved in a number of collaborative studies addressing the relationship between ecosystem productivity and geomorphology, regional geology, invasive species, Neotropical amphibian declines, river-floodplain linkages, regional nitrogen deposition and climate change.

He has worked intensively in stream and river systems in southeastern Ohio, western North Carolina, northern and central Alabama, the South Island of New Zealand, Maine, Panama, the North Slope of Alaska and Iceland.

He has authored more than 95 journal articles and book chapters and has given numerous presentations at both national and international professional meetings. He is a co-author of the book, “Land of Extremes: A Natural History of the Arctic North Slope of Alaska.”

He is an associate editor for the journal Limnology & Oceanography and serves on the editorial advisory committee for Southeastern Naturalist.

He served as a member of the editorial board of the journal Freshwater Biology. He is also a member of the North American Benthological Society, the Ecological Society of America, the American Society of Limnologists and Oceanographers, and the National Speleological Society.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University and his doctorate from the University of Georgia.

Huryn replaces the former director, Dr. Amy Ward, professor emeritus of biological sciences.

More information about the center is available at