Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Ecology and Conservation Biology
High School: Caldwell High School
Advisor: Dr. Joshuah Perkin
Thesis Title: J.K. Ellard, H.C. Roberts, J.S. Perkin , D.J. Daugherty, P.B. Fleming, 2022. Multiscale Movement and Habitat Associations for Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula). In preparation, Ecology of Freshwater Fish.
J.S. Perkin, M.R. Acre, J.K. Ellard, A.W. Rodger, J. Trungale, K.O. Winemiller, L.E. Yancy, 2022. Flow-recruitment Relationships for Shoal Chub (Macrhybopsis hyostoma) and Implications for Managing Environmental Flows. Under Review, North American Journals of Fisheries Management.
Research Focus: Alligator Gar, Movement Ecology, Habitat Usage and Association, Resource Conservation
Years Experience: 2+
Organizations & Programs: Texas A&M Subunit of the American Fisheries Society (Vice President), The Wildlife Society, LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Ambassadors (2021-2022) (2022-2023), Texas Bass Brigades Adult Leader (2021)
Activities: Fishing, Camping, Drummer for Local Church, Playing Guitar and Piano, Tennis
Awards: Featured in Texas A&M URS Student Spotlight Blog, LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Ambassadors, Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society 2022 Travel Grant Award, Harry Tennison Scholarship and Award by the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth
Experience: 2 Poster and 2 Oral Presentations on the university, state, and national research conference level, Internship - Riverscape Ecology Lab, Fall/Spring/Summer Research, Fisheries Technician Position, Intensive Field Work, Lab Work, Manuscript Writing, Public
Class Year: 23
Howdy! My name is Johnathan Ellard and I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries major from Caldwell, Texas and a second year LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Ambassador. I began my involvement in undergraduate research when I joined the Riverscape Ecology Lab under Dr. Joshuah Perkin right before my Sophomore year. Since then, I have been involved with freshwater ecology research, particularly studying the multiscale movement of Alligator Gar along the Brazos River.
The goal of this project is to give a clearer perspective on Alligator Gar movements across different spatiotemporal scales and habitats and potentially be able to predict Alligator Gar movement. This in turn will contribute to our understanding of the movements and habitat usage of this integral keystone species not only in the Brazos River but also throughout its range. This study will contribute to the scientific platform of this understudied species and what we know of its ecology as well as contribute to management practices. I have also been involved in a project that focused on flow-recruitment relationships for Shoal Chub within the Brazos River and implications for managing environmental flows from reservoirs into rivers.
Aside from these projects, I also aid in other projects as needed among our lab’s group of outstanding graduate and undergraduate scholars. My interest of fisheries sciences began long before my undergraduate research opportunity. As I completed courses and learned more about freshwater ecology and aquatic sciences, my desire for involvement within these fields only increased. I eventually was able to become plugged into a lab in which I have been presented the opportunity to learn and grow as a student and a person. Undergraduate research for me thus far has been an opportunity to expand my scientific mind and broaden my academic and professional experience in a field that I have interests in. It is a way for me to engage with others on projects that are not only beneficial to this field and the environment but possibly society. After my bachelor's degree I hope to continue my path in research by pursuing a master's degree related to freshwater aquatic sciences. I am truly blessed and excited to be a part of this program and I would love to talk to anyone who has questions about undergraduate research!