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Division of Fishes

Arid-Land Aquatic Food Web Ecology

Museum of Southwestern Biology



Mailing Address:


Division of Fishes

Museum of Southwestern Biology

MSC03 2020

1 University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Ayesha Burdett

(505) 277-0964

Tom Turner


(505) 277-7541

Funding information:

NSF arid-land ecosystem study DEB 0717047  (2007)

NSF aquatic research and education program DEB 0133233  (2002)

Internships for undergraduate students were provided by NSF-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates Supplements and an Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program entitled "Undergraduate Opportunities"

Study area along the Middle Rio Grande with sample sites included. Placement of dams illustrates alteration of the channel over time.

Web page by Corey A. Love; Last updated April2010

Since 2006, the Division of Fishes at the Museum of Southwestern Biology has been harboring a study focused on food web dynamics. The study is conducted in a 280km river reach centered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, locally known as the Middle Rio Grande. For arid-lands like New Mexico, the abundance of freshwater is a major concern; water is a limiting resource for growing metropolitan areas and agriculture. Because the human population relies so heavily on water, it is easy to overlook non-human species and ecosystems which are also dependent on this precious commodity.

The study described here is a long term project focused on longitudinal and temporal changes affecting just such an ecosystem. The overall question is regarding food web dynamics– who is eating who, and where does the energy come from?

The following pages of this website contain information from a secondary project concerned with the invertebrate sampling carried out in the food-web study.