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Eric F. Maurer

Title: Assistant Professor Educator
Office: 1409 Crosley Tower
Tel: 513-556-9706
Email: eric.maurer@uc.edu

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1994 (Ecology & Evolution).
  • M.S., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1992 (Ecology).
  • B.S., University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 1983 (Psychology, Zoology (Postbacc)).

Research Information

Research Interests

My research interests focus on how environmental changes interact with and influence: i) patterns of distribution and diversity, and ii) the evolution of species traits such as life history, morphology and behavior. I use a combination of research techniques in both the laboratory and the field to examine these issues and to test the predictions of ecological and evolutionary theory with respect to changes in the environment, both abiotic and biotic. I have worked with a variety of organisms, utilizing vertebrates (fish & amphibians) and invertebrates (macroinvertebrates and zooplankton) to address questions about how animals respond to environmental variation at both ecological and evolutionary time scales.


Research Projects-

Patterns of Distribution and Organismal Traits: A central question in ecology and evolution deals with the factors that influence patterns of diversity and geographic distribution. One model system I use to address questions about how the traits of organisms influence their distribution is a genus of small fish of the family Poeciliidae. Poeciliids, and the genus Gambusia, are livebearing fish living in a variety of habitats in the Americas, as well as the throughout the Caribbean. The genus shows striking variation in the extent of the individual species geographic ranges. Some species are strict endemics, known from single springs in Texas and Mexico, and at the other extreme are the two species of mosquitofish, introduced worldwide and now showing a global distribution. I take a comparative approach to these questions, using existing phylogentic hypotheses for the clade and comparing the life history and behavioral traits between species that differ in distribution and their ability to invade novel areas and habitats.


Environmental Variation, Climate and Arctic Lakes: Lakes, as can be seen in any satellite image, are a ubiquitous feature of the high arctic in Northern Alaska. On the coastal plain, these lakes, termed "thaw lakes" are continually formed and drained as the underlying frozen layer, the permafrost, thaws and freezes. This dynamic process of formation, expansion and drainage is referred to as the "thaw lake cycle" and is the dominant landscape process in the region. I am interested in how these processes influence the aquatic communities in arctic lakes, and how the thaw lake cycle and the communities may change in a warming arctic. Our research group is also interested in incorporating traditional knowledge about the landscape and the resources upon which arctic human communities depend.

Related Interests

1. Colonization of novel habitats: I have long been interested in how the colonization of a new habitat influence species traits. Previous and continuing research has examined how the shift from stream to artificial farm pond habitats has influenced the morphology and performance of cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) in the Great Plains, and how the colonization of temporary streams by a salamander (Ambystoma texanum and A. barbouri) has resulted in changes in behavior and life history.

2. Life History Covariation and Longevity: A new area of interest is examining how the manipulation of life history traits may influence correlated traits. Of particular interest is how the manipulation of reproductive effort impacts the longevity of organisms.

3. Science, Policy & Law: I am also interested in the interactions between science, policy and law, and the role of science in both the courts and the development of legislation and policy.

Research Support

  • (PI), Eric F. Maurer, Ph.D., Water Quality Impacts in Aquatic Communities: Salinity and Species Invasions, US Department of Agriculture. 80,000. 1994 to 1996. Status: Completed.
  • (Collaborator, Senior Personnel), Kenneth M. Hinkel, Richard Beck, Wendy Eisner, Collaborative Research: Changes in Lake Dynamics on the Arctic Coastal Plain of North America Over the Past Half-Century, NSF. 378,618. 2007 to 2010. Status: Active.
  • (co-PI), Guy Cameron, et. al., The Nature of Urban Sustainability: Understanding the Effects of Urbanization on Natural Ecosystem Function, UC URC. 25,000. 2008 to 2009. Status: Active.
  • (co-PI), Oerther, D., Maurer, E. F., Kinkle, B., Phosphorus recovery from sewage: Closing the Loop, US EPA. 10,000. 2005 to 2006. Status: Completed.
  • (co-PI), Carlarne, C., Oerther, D., Maurer, E. F., Phosphorus recovery from sewage: Design competition for sustainability , US EPA. 10,000. 2004 to 2005. Status: Completed.
  • (co-PI), Cohen, W., Maurer, E. F., Integrating computer-based physiology exercises across the curriculum, NSF Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Grant. 103,100. 1998 to 2000. Status: Completed.
  • (co-PI), Depoe, S., Maurer, E. F., Sustainability and curricular change across the University. 10,000. 2001 to 2002. Status: Completed.
  • (PI), Maurer, E. F., Integrated-Content Student Learning Community: Exploring our Environment, Developing our Voices, University of Cincinnati Provost. 5,400. 2002 to 2003. Status: Completed.
  • (co-PI), Oerther, D., et. al., Center of Excellence: University of Cincinnati Center for Sustaining the Urban Environment, University System of Ohio. 2009 to 2009. Status: Active.
  • (Collaborator), Beck, Richard; Eisner, Wendy; Hinkel, Kenneth; Maurer, Eric, Collaborative Research: Changes in Lake Dynamics on the Arctic Coastal Plain, National Science Foundation. (ARC 0713813), $378,618.00. 09/01/2007 to 08/31/2011. Status: Closed.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Oerther, D., C. Carlarne and E. F. Maurer. 2006. Using Phosphorus Recovery from Wastewater as a Context for Teaching Sustainable Development with USEPA P3 Support. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Conference. 2006: 92-98.
  • Sih, A., L. B. Kats and E. F. Maurer. 2003. Behavioral correlations across situations and the evolution of antipredator behavior in a sunfish-salamander system, Animal Behavior. 65:29-44. 
  • Mayer, A. L., K. Petren, A. Shelton, M. J. Cramer, B. Keane, J. Markert, B. Heath, E. F. Maurer, J. A. Roberts, and B. Tonnis. 2002. Scaling natal dispersal distances: confounding factors. Conservation Ecology 6(1).
  • Sih, A., L. B. Kats and E. F. Maurer. 2001. Does phylogenetic inertia explain the evolution of ineffective antipredator behavior in a sunfish-salamander system? Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology. 49:48-56.
  • Maurer, E. F. 1996. Environmental variation and behaviour: resource availability during ontogeny and feeding performance in salamander larvae (Ambystoma texanum). Freshwater Biology 35:101-109.
  • Maurer, E. F. and A. Sih. 1996. Ephemeral habitats and variation in behavior and life history: comparisons of sibling salamander species. Oikos 76:337-349.
  • Maurer, E. F. 1995. Technological tools and the teaching of environmental science. Kansas Science Teacher, 11:24-28.
  • Maurer, E. F. 1995. Chrysemys picta belli (Western painted turtle) feeding behavior. Herpetological Review, 26:34.
  • Sih, A. and E. F. Maurer. 1992. Effects of cryptic oviposition on egg survival for stream-breeding, streamside salamanders. Journal of Herpetology. 26:118-120.

Book Chapter

  • Maurer, E. F. 1994. Neglected places: water quality standards and ephemeral systems, a summary. In: C. Sturges, editor, American Association for the Advancement of Science Environmental Science and Engineering Fellows&39; Reports, pp 51-55. AAAS, Washington, D.C.

Technical Report

  • Maurer, E. F. 1995. Neglected places: water quality standards and ephemeral systems, US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Policy Analysis, white paper. 89 pp.

Under Review

  • Rehage, J. S., E. F. Maurer, E. N. Fischer, and A. Sih. Are all Gambusia equally invasive? Life histories, abiotic tolerances and establishment success among four congeners. Submitted to Oikos.

Work in Progress

  • Maurer, E. F. Habitat duration, foraging performance and life history: comparisons between sibling species. (in revision).
  • Maurer, E. F., J. S. Rehage and W. J. O’Brien. Life history comparisons of widespread and endemic fish species (genus Gambusia) and the evolution of range size (to be submitted to Conservation Biology).
  • E. F. Maurer, P. Yurista and  O’Brien, W. J. Demographic costs of vertical migration by cladoceran zooplankton in arctic lakes (to be submitted to Limnology & Oceanography).
  • Maurer, E. F. and W. J. O’Brien. Environmental variation and shifts in the life history traits of an aquatic snail (Lymnaea elodes) in arctic lakes. (manuscript).

Presentations & Lectures

Invited Presentations

  • Maurer, E. F., D. B. Oerther, E. Corbett, R. Best, N. Doyle, J. Jones, K. Kirschner, B. Knipper and N. Quinn (2009). Water stress, quality, health and variability in infrastructure in the arid, rural state of Gujarat, India Ecological Society of America Millennium Conference: Water-Ecosystem Services, Drought, and Environmental Justice, Athens, GA.
  • Maurer, E. F. (1998). Legal/policy developments and aquatic habitats: implications and opportunities for basic ecological research American Society of Limnologists and Oceanographers & Ecological Society of America Joint Meetings, “The Land-Water Interface: Science for a Sustainable Biosphere, St. Louis, MO.
  • Maurer, E. F. (1997). Ephemeral streams, watersheds and water quality standards U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, National Meeting, “Development and implementation of tools for water quality-based pollution control, St. Louis, MO.
  • Maurer, E. F. (1996). Life history traits and geographic distribution in the tribe Gambusiini Symposium on the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior of Poeciliid Fishes, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, University of Kentucky.
  • Maurer, E. F. (1994). Neglected places: water quality standards and ephemeral systems Symposium on Science in the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, EPA, Washington, DC.

Paper Presentations

  • E. Corbett, R. B. Best, N. Doyle, J. Jones, K. Kirschner, B. Knipper, N. Quinn, E. F. Maurer, R. Mehta, D. Oerther (2009). Water quality and public health in rural villages: Gujarat, India. University of Cincinnati Undergraduate Research Symposium, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Healey, N.C.; J.D. Lenters; K.M. Hinkel; A. Irmak; S.L. Jones; E.F. Maurer; Y. Sheng; L.C. Smith; B.S. Winston; B.L. Potter (2009). Lake Evaporation On the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska: Results From an Energy Balance Study of a Thermokarst Lake Near Barrow, Alaska. Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
  • Oerther, D., C. Carlarne and E. F. Maurer (2006). Using Phosphorus Recovery from Wastewater as a Context for Teaching Sustainable Development. American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Carlarne, C., E. F. Maurer, R. Lamendella,, D. Oerther, C. Luedeker, H. Lubbers, B. Lieberth, A. Bove, B. Herman, and C. Zdinak (2006). Capturing nutrients from the waste-stream: Scalable approaches to increase food security and environmental sustainability in developing economies. National Sustainable Design Expo and P3 Competition, Washington, DC.
  • Maurer, E. F. (2005). Life history shifts across varying resource availability and predation regimes. Ecology at Multiple Scales, IX International Congress of Ecology & Ecological Society of America, Montreal, Canada.
  • Atikovic, E., Clark, C., DeFranchi, G., Hosny, A., Gonzalez-Fernandez, M., Humrighouse, B., Kleier, K., Lamendella, R., Mouch, D., Noonan, D., Pumphrey, S., Riks, A., Yates, B., Oerther, D., Maurer, E., Saikaly, P., Carlarne, C. (2005). Phosphorus Removal from Wastewater: Closing the Phosphorus Loop. Environmental Protection Agency, “People, Prosperity and the Planet Competition”, Washington, DC.
  • Rehage, J. S., Barnett, B., Maurer, E. F., Sih A. (2001). Do invasive and noninvasive Gambusia respond differently to novel biotic interactions?. Keeping all the parts: preserving and sustaining complex ecosystems, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Madison, WI.
  • Rehage, J. S., Barnett, B., Maurer, E. F., Sih A. (2000). Feeding preferences of invasive vs. noninvasive Gambusia species. Communicating and Advancing Ecology, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Snowbird, UT.

Lectures

  • (2008). Carbon Math- The Integration of Science and Inupiat Knowledge in the Arctic. “Managing Your Carbon Footprint”, US Green Building Council Symposium.
  • (2006). An Ecologist’s look: the ecological roots of sustainability. College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, University of Cincinnati.
  • (2010). Vulnerable Places: Field Research in the Arctic & the Galapagos Islands. Sycamore High School.
  • (2006). Avian Flu, Global Public Health, Pandemics and Ecology. Honors Scholars Program.
  • (2002). Time, rates and time constraints: responses to global environmental change. Free Inquiry Group, Cincinnati, OH.
  • (2009). President’s Advisory Council on Environment & Sustainability: Evolution & Current Efforts in Carbon Emissions Planning. University of Cincinnati.
  • (2009). Virtual Worlds, Climate Change & Water Resources in India. University of Cincinnati Honors Council.
  • (2009). Climate Change on Ice: The Arctic, Indigenous Peoples & a Dash of Policy. Engineers Without Borders, University of Cincinnati.
  • (2010). Galapagos Islands: Conservation, Biosecurity & Citizen Science. The UC “Eyes on Galapagos” Project. Engineers Without Borders, University of Cincinnati.

Honors & Awards

  • 2009 recipient of the University Honors Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Cincinnati, 2008 to 2009.
  • "Most Inspiring Faculty Member", 2003 to 2007. 2007. Jessica Lawrence, Eleanor Hicks Award for the Outstanding Undergraduate Female Senior. 2007. Ninnia Lescano, Darwin T. Turner Scholar. 2003. Ashley McKendree, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Scholarship.
  • 1997 University of Kentucky Outstanding Advisor Award, 1997 to 1997.
  • "Honors" for Comprehensive Exams, University of Kansas Graduate School, 1993 to 1993.
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994 to 1994.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow, USDA, 1994 to 1996.

Experience & Service

Work Experience

  • 1996 to 2000, Assistant Director, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
  • 2000 to 2010, Director, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Post Graduate training and Education

  • 1994 to 1994, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science & Technology Fellow, AAAS, Washington, DC.
  • 1994 to 1996, USDA National Research Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Events Organized

  • Workshop. Sustainability and curricular change across the University, University of Cincinnati.

Service

  • Committee Member, UC President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability, 1992 to 2011
  • Committee Member, National Council of Environmental Dean’s & Directors 2006 to 2010
  • Committee Member, Steering Committee, Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, 2004 to 2011
  • Committee Member, Steering Committee, Center of Excellence: Sustainable Urban Environments, 2006 to 2011
  • Committee Member, Search Committee, Watershed Ecology, 2009 to 2010
  • Search Committee, Philosophy of Life Sciences & Environmental Policy, 2009 to 2009
  • Committee Member, Teaching Effectiveness Committee, Department of Biological Sciences, 2004 to 2011
  • Committee Member, B.I.S. Review Committee for interdisciplinary degree program proposals, 2006 to 2011
  • Member, NSF National Science Foundation Arctic System Science, Near-surface Processes Community of Practice, 2004 to 2011
  • UC College of Engineering Search Committee, Sustainable Urban Engineering position, 2007 to 2008
  • Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Steering Committee, Ohio EPA Environmental Science & Engineering Scholarship Program, 2004 to 2011
  • Review Board/Panel, AAAS Reviewer of American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship Proposals, 1997 to 2010
  • McMicken College of Arts & Sciences Academic Planning Team, 2004 to 2006
  • Search Committee, Director of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, 2005 to 2006
  • Search Committee, Director of School of Architecture and Interior Design, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, 2002 to 2003
  • Member, Arts & Sciences Department Heads Council, 2001 to 2009
  • 2009 to 2010
  • Other, Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection Faculty Advisor, 2002 to 2011
  • Committee Member, Center for Environmental Studies Steering Committee

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • 1991 to 1993 ,non-degree coursework, School of Law, University of Kansas. Law 938 Environmental Law I (Air & Water Pollution, 3 cr) Law 939 Environmental Law II (Toxics Regulation, 3 cr) Law 984 Public Lands & Natural Resources (3 cr) Law 940 Environmental Law Seminar (Wildlife Law, audit)
  • 2003 to 2003 ,September Institute, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Faculty Development, University of Cincinnati Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, 2003.
  • 2003 to 2006 ,NSF Faculty Institutes to Reform Science Teaching, National Science Foundation, Akron, OH. Faculty Development, FIRST II, University of Cincinnati Team, 2003-2006.
  • 2004 to 2004 ,Carnegie Council workshop, Carnegie Council, NY, NY. Selected as participant in a faculty development workshop-Integrating Ethics into Environmental Studies: Ethics, Science, and Civic Responsibility. Held at New York University, NY, NY
  • 2004 to 2004 ,Perspectives on Biodefense, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Workshop sponsored by US EPA, University of Cincinnati and VA Medical Center
  • 2007 to 2007 ,Linking environment to other disciplines & cultures in a 21st century curriculum, National Council on Science & Environment, Skaneateles, NY. Council of Environmental Deans & Directors workshop for Adminstrators, National Council on Science & Environment. Funded by UC Faculty Development Grant.
  • 1998 to 1998 ,Med-Law Workshop: Perspectives on the impact of genetics on society, University of Louisville, School of Law, Louisville, KY
  • 1997 to 1997 ,DNA Science: Workshop in Recombinant-DNA Technology, NIH-HHMI funded workshop
  • Ecological Society of America, . Member

Courses Taught

  • Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Level: Both
    Term: 10A

  • 15-BIOL-610 CONSERVATION BIOL
    Conservation Biology
    Level: Both
    Term: 10W

  • 15-EVST-600 ENVIR LAW & POLICY
    Environmental Law & Policy
    Level: Both
    Term: 09W

  • Environmental Capstone
    Environmental Capstone
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 10W

  • Ecology of Emerging Infectious Diseases
    Ecology of Emerging Infectious Diseases

  • Human Dimensions of Global Climate Change
    Human Dimensions of Global Climate Change
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09W
    Comments: New Honor's Seminar course integrating novel technologies into the course-primarily the virtual world software "Second Life", but also the use of wikis & blogs.
  • 15-BIOL-691 LIMNOLOGY
    Level: Both
    Term: 10A

  • Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09W
    Comments: Project-based course and travel abroad experience to the Galapagos Islands (Winter break 2009)
  • Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09A
    Comments: Project-based course and travel abroad experience to the Galapagos Islands (Winter break 2009)
  • Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09A
    Comments: Project-based course and travel abroad experience to the Galapagos Islands (Winter break 2009)
  • Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Research in Natural Laboratories-Galapagos
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09A
    Comments: Project-based course and travel abroad experience to the Galapagos Islands (Winter break 2009)
  • Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Level: Both
    Term: 10W

  • 20-CEE-600 ENV CHEM & MICROBI
    Ensuring Environmental Sustainability
    Level: Both
    Term: 09A
    Comments: Lecture/discussion course with focus on International Sustainable Development project in India. Students traveled abroad Winter break 2010.
  • 20-CEE-601 ENV CHEM/MICRO LAB
    Ensuring Environmental Sustainability: Lab
    Level: Both
    Term: 09A
    Comments: Lecture/discussion course with focus on International Sustainable Development project in India. Students traveled abroad Winter break 2010.
  • Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Level: Both
    Term: 10A

  • Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Global Biodiversity: Law & Policy
    Level: Both
    Term: 10W

  • 15-EVST-395H HUM DIMEN CLIM CHG
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 11W
    Comments: Completely redesigned as part of a NASA Global Climate Change grant administered by the National Council on Science & Environment. UC is a Phase II institution in this project-implementing curricular modules developed by Phase I schools using current NASA environmental data (e.g., satellite remote sensing).
  • 15-EVST-500 ENVIRON INTERNSHIP
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 10S
    Comments: Course offered every term since 2000 till Summer 2010
  • Study Abroad: India
    Study Abroad: India
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09W
    Comments: Winter break trip for two weeks with 12 students to work on a research project related to water quality, access & sustainability in rural India
  • Study Abroad: Galapagos Islands
    Study Abroad: Galapagos Islands
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 10W
    Comments: Study abroad and research experience to the Galapagos Islands with 14 students, Winter break, 2010
  • 15-EVST-425 RDGS ENVIR STUDIES
    Level: Undergraduate
    Term: 09U

  • 15-BIOL-610 CONSERVATION BIOL
    Term: 11W