Ashley Smith


University Address

115 Ecology


Research Interest

Fisheries & Aquatic Biology
Population Ecology


My research focuses on an endangered group of freshwater mussels known as unionids. As an adaptation for stream dispersal, unionids attach their young to the gills and fins of a host fish. I am specifically interested in a group of six species in Minnesota that have specialized to infect only one fish species - freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens). I am interested in the extent that the dispersal and migration of drum effects the movement of different mussel species, and whether or not all species are similarly effected or if other factors are more important to movement between mussel populations. As many unionid species are endangered, I hope that this work can one day be broadly applied to other species as well