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New Aquatic Ecologist Joins the ANHC; Documents Leopard Darter at Cossatot

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, September 29, 2017

Dustin Lynch is the new aquatic ecologist for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC). Lynch is an excellent fit for the mission, method, and family here at ANHC.

Lynch has a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he did his research through the Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. He holds a master’s degree in zoology from Oklahoma State University. He most recently worked as a post-doctoral research associate and collections manager at the Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates. Lynch oversaw the renovation and re-curation of more than 500,000 specimens in the museum’s fish, reptile, and amphibian collections.

Since starting work at ANHC, Lynch has participated in surveys, stream restoration projects, and biological inventory of natural areas. His research interests include ichthyology (study of fish), herpetology (study of reptiles and amphibians), astacology (study of crayfish), stream ecology, phylogenetics (study of evolutionary relationships among biological entities), natural history collections, and curatorial science.

Recently, the ANHC partnered with a multi-state, mutli-agency team to survey in the Cossatot River for the federally threatened leopard darter (Percina pantherina), one of the rarest fish in the state (pictured at left within red circle, photo by Dustin Lynch). Lynch was the one who spotted the fish, the first sighting in two years. Before this survey, leopard darters were thought to be potentially extirpated from the Cossatot River. Lynch documented two occurrences of the darter during this survey, as well as the occurrence of another species of global conservation concern, the Ouachita shiner (Lythrurus snelsoni).

ANHC is glad to welcome Dustin Lynch to the team and we look forward to many more exciting adventures ahead.


























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