50 Years in a Ditch, I was a Teenage Astacologist

Roger Thoma has worked as an Aquatic Ecologist with MBI since 2008, and worked on MBI projects since 2004. He was most recently involved in finishing a three-year study of the conservation status of eleven Virginia crayfish and the genetics of a Virginia crayfish species complex.
Other recent research activity includes the conservation status of seven Tennessee crayfish. He worked as a Research Associate with the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University (OU), during which time he collaborated on numerous projects with MBI. This followed 22 years as an Environmental Scientist at the Ohio EPA working on the development of biological criteria (IBI-fishes) and a Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index for Lake Erie shorelines, as well as other water quality assessment methods. Past projects included a statewide distributional survey of Indiana’s burrowing crayfish with emphasis on select ecological components, life history studies of four Appalachian crayfish species, and conservation studies of numerous Ohio crayfish species and the crayfish fauna of the Flushing Escarpment.
From 1990-1991 he served as a biological expert with US EPA in Washington, DC. He received a B.S. in Fisheries Management from Ohio State University. He has discovered and described sixteen new species of crayfish and is currently working on descriptions of five others he discovered during his research with MBI. Although now officially retired,
Roger continues to work on his many projects with crayfish research, describing newly discovered species, and writing a field guide to Ohio’s crayfish fauna.




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