Alex Huryn

Alex Huryn

Chair of Tenure and Promotion/Retention Committee

  • (205) 348-4136
  • 2107-A Bevill Building
  • Not Accepting Students


  • Postdoctoral research, The University of Alabama, 1991
  • PhD, Entomology, University of Georgia, 1986

Research Interests

I am a freshwater ecologist with a strong interest in how local, landscape, and regional factors affect the structure and productivity of stream communities. These factors may be physical, such as stream channel form, water temperature or periods of wetting, drying and freezing, or biological, such as differences in food sources or food-web structure. I have found that stream productivity is usually controlled by several factors that operate simultaneously, often in complex and surprising ways. A predictive understanding of such factors and their interactions is critical for making sound decisions concerning the management and restoration of stream communities. In addition to my academic interests, I am also a committed field naturalist who has been lucky enough to have worked extensively in some truly spectacular streams in the caves of northern Alabama, the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, Maine, Arctic Alaska, Iceland, New Zealand, and Panama.

Selected Publications

  • Parker, S.M.& A.D. Huryn.  2013. Disturbance and productivity as codeterminants of stream food web complexity in the Arctic. Limnology & Oceanography 58:2158-2170.
  • Whiles, M.R., R.O. Hall, W.K. Dodds, P. Verburg, A.D. Huryn, A. Rugenski, C.M. Pringle, K.R. Lips, S.S. Kilham, S. Peterson, C. Colon-Gaud & S. Connelly. 2013. Disease-driven amphibian declines alter biogeochemical cycling and energy flow in streams. Ecosystems 16:146-147.
  • Venarsky, M.P., A.D. Huryn & J.P. Benstead. 2012. Re-examining extreme longevity of the cave crayfish Orconectes australis using new mark-recapture data: a lesson on the limitations of iterative size-at-age models.  Freshwater Biology 57:1471-1481.
  • Huryn, A.D. & J.E. Hobbie. 2012. Land of extremes: a natural history of the arctic North Slope of Alaska. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks. xvi+311 pp.
  • Benstead, J.P. & A.D. Huryn. 2011. Extreme seasonality of litter breakdown in an arctic spring-fed stream is driven by shredder phenology, not temperature. Freshwater Biology 56:2034-2044.
  • Huntsman, B., M.P. Venarsky, J.P. Benstead & A.D. Huryn. 2011. Effects of organic matter availability on the life history and production of a top vertebrate predator (Plethodontidae: Gyrinophilus palleucus) in two cave streams. Freshwater Biology 56:1746-1760.
  • Parker, S.M. & A.D. Huryn. 2011. Effects of natural disturbance on stream communities: a habitat template analysis of Arctic headwater streams. Freshwater Biology 56:1342-1357.
  • Benke, A.C. & A.D. Huryn. 2010. Benthic invertebrate production–facilitating answers to ecological riddles in freshwater ecosystems. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29:264-285.
  • Gaenzle Schilling, E., C. Smith Loftin & A.D. Huryn 2009. Effects of introduced fish on native macroinvertebrates in two types of historically fishless lakes. Conservation Biology 142:3030-3038.
  • Whiles, M.R., A.D. Huryn, B.W. Taylor & J.D. Reeve. 2009. The influence of handling stress and fasting on estimates of ammonium excretion by tadpoles and fish: recommendations for designing excretion experiments. Limnology & Oceanography Methods 7:1-7.
  • Gaenzle Schilling, E., C. Smith Loftin & A.D. Huryn 2009. Macroinvertebrates as indicators of fish absence in naturally fishless lakes in Maine. Freshwater Biology 54:181-202.
  • Connelly, S., C.M. Pringle, R.J. Bixby, R. Brenes, M.R. Whiles, K.R. Lips, S. Kilham & A.D. Huryn 2008. Changes in stream primary producer communities resulting from large-scale catastrophic amphibian declines: can small-scale experiments predict effects of tadpole loss? Ecosystems 11:1262-1276.
  • Gaenzle Schilling, E., C. Smith Loftin, K.E. DeGoosh, A.D. Huryn & K.E. Webster. 2008. Predicting the locations of naturally fishless lakes. Freshwater Biology 53:1021-1035.
  • Chadwick, M.A. & A.D. Huryn 2007 Role of habitat in determining macroinvertebrate production in an intermittent-stream system. Freshwater Biology. 52:240-251.
  • Chadwick, M.A., D.R. Dobberfuhl, A.C. Benke, A.D. Huryn, K. Suberkropp & J.E. Thiele2006 Urbanization regulates stream ecosystem function via changes to flow regimes, invertebrate richness, and water chemistry. Ecological Applications 16:1796–1807.
  • Parker, S.M. & A.D. Huryn 2006 Food web structure and function in two Arctic streams with contrasting disturbance regimes. Freshwater Biology 51:1249-1263.
  • Whiles, M.R., K. Lips, C. Pringle, S. Kilham, R. Brenes, S. Connelly, J.C. Colon Gaud, M. Hunt, A.D. Huryn, C. Montgomery & S. Peterson 2006. The effects of amphibian population declines to the structure and function of Neotropical stream ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology 4:27-34.
  • Huryn, A.D. K.A. Slavik, R.L. Lowe, S.M. Parker, D.S. Anderson & B.J. Peterson 2005. Landscape heterogeneity and the biodiversity of Arctic stream communities: a habitat template analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62:1905-1919.
  • Chadwick, M. & A.D. Huryn. 2005. Response of stream macroinvertebrate production to atmospheric nitrogen deposition and channel drying. Limnology & Oceanography 50:228-236.