Dr. Jessica E. Rettig
|Title:||Associate Professor and Henry Chisholm Chair in the Natural Sciences & Department Chair, Aquatic Ecologist|
|Office:||215 Talbot Hall|
Ph.D. in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior from Michigan State University, 1999
B.A. in Biology from Earlham College, 1991
Associate Professor, Department of Biology at Denison University, 2006 - present
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology at Denison University, 2000 - 2006
Assistant Professor, Biology Department at William Jewell College, Liberty, MO, 1997 - 2000
Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology Department at Earlham College, Richmond, IN, 1996 - 1997
I am interested in understanding the interactions between different
life stages of an organism (e.g., larva, juveniles, adults) and how
these interactions, such as competition or predation, affect population
dynamics. In addition I exmaine the effects that each life stage has on
the community in which it lives and the overall role the species plays
in a community. I am an aquatic ecologist and to address these issues I
use bluegill sunfish, a common fish in local lakes and ponds. Bluegill
have four distinct life stages: egg, larval, juvenile, and adult. My
research examines the interactions between larval and adult bluegill
and the effects of larvae on their prey community (zooplankton, tiny
crustaceans). I use a combination of field surveys and experiments to
understand the factors that affect larval growth and survival, such as
food availability (i.e., zooplankton), competition, or predation by
invertebrates, and how adult bluegill may influence these factors, for
instance by consuming animals that typically prey on larvae.
I routinely have students working in my lab,
either assisting me or working on their own research projects. Click here for Student Research in the Rettig Lab
the abundance and species composition of zooplankton and
macroinvertebrates through time in two Ohio ponds. Zooplankton and
macroinvertebrates serve as food for larval and adult bluegill.
-- Comparing diets of adult and larval bluegill to
look for evidence of competition for zooplankton prey or evidence for
adult consumption of larval predators.
-- Estimating biomass of certain macroinvertebrates through length-mass regression analysis.
spawning patterns for adult bluegill in Middleton and Ebaugh ponds. How
does timing of reproduction relate to larval success?
Dibble, C.J.*, J.E. Kauffman*, E.M. Zuzik*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. MS. Effects of potential predator and competitor cues and sibship on wood frog (Rana sylvatica) embryos. Amphibia-Reptilia. p. in press
Rettig, J.E. and G.R. Smith. MS. Class research projects in ecology courses: Methods to un-"can" the experience. Journal of College Science Teaching. p. In press
Russo, G.*, A. Chou*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2008. Foraging responses of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to items of different sizes and colors. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. v. 23 p. 677-678
Smith, G.R., J.B. Iverson, and J.E. Rettig. 2006. Changes in a turtle community from a northern Indiana lake: a long-term study. Journal of Herpetology. v. 40 p. 150-185
Rettig, J.E, L.S. Schuman*, and J.K. McCloskey*. 2006. Seasonal patterns of abundance: do zooplankton in small ponds do the same thing every spring-summer?. Hydrobiologia. v. 556 p. 193-207
Michajliczenko, A.H.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2004. Effect of diet on bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpole growth and development. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society. v. 40 p. 42-46
Johnson, L.D.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2004. Summer activity of small snakes in four habitats in northwestern Missouri. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society. v. 40 p. 47-52
Garvey, J.E., J.E. Rettig, R.A. Stein, D.M. Lodge, and S.P. Klosiewski. 2003. Scale-dependent associations among fish predation, littoral habitat, and distributions of crayfish species. Ecology . v. 84 p. 3339-3348
Taylor, M.*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2003. Diet of re-introduced river otters, Lontra canadensis, in north-central Arizona. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. v. 18 p. 337-338
Rettig, J.E. 2003. Rettig, J.E. 2003. Zooplankton responses to predation by larval bluegill: an enclosure experiment. Freshwater Biology. v. 48 p. 636-648
Smith, G.R., A. Todd*, J.E. Rettig, & F. Nelson*. 2003.
Microhabitat selection by northern cricket frogs, Acris crepitans, along a west-central Missouri creek: Field and experimental observations.
Journal of Herpetology. no. 37 p. 383-385
Rettig, J.E. and G.G. Mittelbach. 2002 .
Interactions between adult and larval bluegill sunfish: positive and negative effects.
Oecologia. v. 130 p. 222-230
Golden*, D.R., G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig.
2001. Effects of age and group size on habitat selection and activity levels of Rana pipiens tadpoles.
Herpetological Journal. v. 11 p.
Smith, G.R., M.A. Waters*, and J.E. Rettig. 2000.
Consequences of embryonic UV-B exposure on the growth and development of plains leopard frog tadpoles (Rana blairi).
Conservation Biology. v. 14 p. 1903-1907
Smith, G.R., J.E. Rettig, A.M. Frahm, and P.W. Gabrielson. 2000.
Prediction Generation and Testing: An Exercise Using Plant Distributions.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching. v. 26 no. 3 p. 19-21
Golden*, D., G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2000. Effects of age and group size on habitat selection and activity levels of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Science. v. 26 p. 23-27
Smith, G.R., J.A. Dilts, P.W. Gabrielson, D.P. Heruth, J.E. Rettig, and A.F. Strautman. 1999. Using laptops in the biology classroom and laboratory. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teachinh. v. 25 p. 11-12
Smith, G.R., J. E. Rettig, G.G. Mittelbach, J.L. Valiulis*, and S.R. Schaack*. 1999 . The effects of fish on assemblages of amphibians in ponds: a field experiment.
Freshwater Biology. v. 41 p. 829-837
Smith, G.R. and J.E. Rettig. 1998. Observations on egg masses of the American toad (Bufo americanus).
Herpetological Natural History. v. 6 p. 61-64
Rettig, J.E. .
1998. Variation in species composition of larval assemblages: using electrophoresis to identify larval sunfish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. v. 127 p. 661-668
Rettig, J.E., R.C. Fuller, A.L. Corbett, and T. Getty. 1997. Fluctuating asymmetry indicates levels of competition in an even-aged poplar clone. 80. p.
Smith, G.R. and J.E. Rettig. 1996. Effectiveness of aquatic funnel traps for sampling amphibian larvae. Herpetological Review. v. 27 p. 190-191
Mittelbach, G.G., A.M. Turner, D.J. Hall, J.E. Rettig, and C.W. Osenberg. 1995.
Perturbation and resilience: a long-term, whole-lake study of predator extinction and reintroduction. Ecology. v. 76 p. 2347-2360
Rettig, J.E., N.R.Gray*, W.J. Kim*, A. Ali*, J.J. Arrington*, and E. Ubagharaji*. 2008. The nesting environment for bluegill in small ponds: Is there variation in seasonal nesting activity, colony activity, or nest characteristics?. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. Columbus, OH
Dibble, C.J.*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2008. Relative strength of top-down and bottom-up effects in a simple aquatic food web that includes an invasive fish. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
Rettig, J.E. and G.R. Smith. 2008. Double duty courses: Using an ecology course to fulfill a general education requirement for oral communication. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
Rettig, J.E., N.R. Gray*, W.J. Kim*, A. Ali*, J.J. Arrington*, and E. Ubagharaji*. 2008. The nesting environment for bluegill in small ponds: Is there variation in seasonal nesting activity, colony activity, or nest characteristics?. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
Smith, G.R., C.J. Dibble*, and J.E. Rettig. 2008. Small fish, big effects: The impacts of mosquitofish and ammonium nitrate on tadpoles, zooplankton, and phytoplankton. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
Rettig, J.E. and G.R. Smith. 2008. Class research projects in ecology courses: Methods to un-"can" the experience. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Memphis , TN
Rettig, J.E., J.K. McCloskey*, T.E .Waggoner*, and M.M. Tribue*. 2004 . Patterns of temporal variation for zooplankton and larval fish in two Ohio ponds. Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Madison , WI
Rettig, J.E., L.S. Schuman*, and J.K. McCloskey*. 2004 . Seasonal patterns of abundance: Do zooplankton in small ponds do the same thing every summer?. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Portland, OR
Rettig, J.E.. 2003. Investigating interactions between larval and adult bluegill and their zooplankton prey. Invited research seminar at The Ohio State University. ,
Smith, G.R., J.E. Rettig, and H.A. Dingfelder*
. 2003. Stressor effects on amphibian larval communities: Integrated experiments on the effects of nitrate. Annual Year-end Workshop of the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, US Geological Survey.. Austin, TX
Rettig, J.E.. 2002. Variation in adult bluegill diets from two ponds with differing macrophyte abundances. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/Herpetologists' League/Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles meeting. Kansas City, MO
Hatlelid, E.D.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2000. Area usage and daily behavioral patterns of a captive spotted leopard Pantera pardus pardus). Missouri Academy of Sciences [3rd Place - Biology III - Ecology and Behavior]. ,
Taylor, M.T.*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2000. Habitat selection and diet coposition in Arizona river otters, Lutra canadensis. Missouri Academy of Sciences [1st Place - Biology III - Ecology and Behavior] . ,
Rettig, J.E.. 2000. Performance and success in larval bluegill: the role of resources, predation, and habitat. 24th Annual Larval Fish Conference. Gulf Shores, AL
Todd, A.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2000. Microhabitat selection by northern cricket frogs, Acris crepitans, along a west-central Missouri creek. Missouri Academy of Sciences [2nd Place - Biology III - Ecology and Behavior]. ,
Smith, G.R., M.A. Waters*, and J.E. Rettig. 1999. Consequences of embryonic UV-B exposure on the growth and development of plains leopard frog tadpoles (Rana blairi). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/ Herpetologist's League/Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Meetings. State College, PA
Dilts, J., G. Smith, J. Rettig, A. Strautman, P. Gabrielson, and D. Heruth. 1998 . Creating a student-driven learning environment. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Association of College and University Biology Educators, Rockhurst College. Kansas City , MO
Dilts, J., D. Heruth, J. Rettig, and G. Smith. 1998. William Jewell College case study: Creating a student-driven learning environment. Enhancing Learning-Centered Environments: The Biology of the Future. Project Kaleidoscope Workshop. Liberty, MO
- American Fisheries Society
- American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
- American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
- Association for Women in Science
- Ecological Society of America
- The Ohio Academy of Science
- Sigma Xi
Grants, Fellowships and Honors
- Phi Beta Kappa -Earlham College. 1991
- National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 1992
- NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant: Interactions in a stage-structured species: Resource mediated stage dynamics. 1995.
Amphibian Populations Task Force Seed Grant: Stressor effects
on amphibian larval communities: Integrated experiments on the effects
of nitrate. (co-PI with Geoffrey R. Smith). 2002.
- Sigma Xi -Denison University. 2002.
Reviewer: Archiv fur Hydrobiologie, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences, Ecological Indicators, Ecology, Environmental Biology
of Fishes, Great Basin Naturalist, Ichthyological Research, Journal of Animal Ecology, Limnology
and Oceanography, Oikos, Oecologia, Transactions of the American
- Reviewer for Predoctoral Fellowships
for the AWIS Educational Foundation (2004-2008).
AWIS is the Association for Women in Science. Reviewed proposals in the
fields of ecology and evolution.
- Grant Reviewer: National Science Foundation (NSF) - Division of Environmental Biology, Ecology section (2002, 2003)
Reviewer: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Women's
International Science Collaboration (WISC) Program (2003)
Service to Denison
- Coordinator for Anderson Endowed Fund and Ronneberg Endowed Fund (Sept. 2007-present)
- Chair, Steering Committee on Institutional Self-Study for Denison’s Accreditation (Oct. 2007-present)
- Faculty participant, Denison Service Orientation program (2007) click here for information about DSO
- Member, HHMI-working group (2007)
2006 Fall Faculty Conference on Academic Challenges & Expectations
(jointly with members of the Faculty Development Commitee)
- Chair, Student Enrollment and Retention Committee (2005-2006)
- Member, Ad hoc Advisory Committee on Diversity (2005-2006)
- Co-secretary, Denison Chapter of Sigma Xi (2005-2006) (with G. Smith)
- Coordinator, 2005 Fall Faculty Conference on Quantitative Reasoning (jointly with S. Davis & K. Mead)
- Faculty participant, Denison Outdoor Orientation program (2005 & 2006)
- Member, University Council (Spring 2005)
- Member, Student Enrollment and Retention Committee (2004-2005)
- Coordinator, Denison Scientific Association 2004-2005 Seminar Series (with G. Smith)
- Member, Faculty Development Committee (Fall 2003-August 2006)
- Secretary, Denison University Chapter of Sigma Xi (2002-2003 )
- Faculty Advisor, Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) student organization (Fall 2003-present)
- Biology Department representative for Anderson Scholarship Committee (2001-2004)
- Faculty participant: June Orientation, June Orientation phone registration, & August Orientation (2002-present)