Joshua is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation under the supervision of Drs. Paul Angermeier and Serena Ciparis. Joshua’s research is broadly focused on the conservation of stream ecosystems using a landscape perspective to address global change issues such as habitat loss and pollution. His current research on agricultural conservation practice effectiveness combines his passion for understanding and protecting stream ecosystems with his background growing up on his family’s cattle farm.
He received his B.S. from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) with a Wildlife option. While completing his undergraduate degree, Joshua worked for Dr. Shannon Brewer and participated in many research projects focused on the ecology and conservation of stream ecosystems; including two different undergraduate research projects that he led. Joshua’s experience working for Dr. Brewer led him to pursue his M.S. degree at OSU in NREM with an option in Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology. Joshua’s M.S. research focused on developing an environmental DNA (eDNA) protocol for documenting the presence of cavefishes and cave crayfishes in the Ozark Highlands ecoregion. The eDNA protocol Joshua developed is used by the Missouri Department of Conservation to monitor and protect cryptic groundwater-dwelling organisms.
In fall 2019, Joshua began his Ph.D. research that investigates the efficacy of agricultural conservation practices for protecting stream health while maintaining food production. This research is conducted with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation Districts so that results can guide future conservation programs. Efficacy of best management practices is controlled by complex interactions among landscape conditions, ecological responses, and social factors. Understanding these complex interactions requires insight from ecology, watershed engineering, and social science and Joshua’s participation in the Interfaces of Global Change Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program (IGC) has allowed him to build an interdisciplinary team necessary to complete this research. Further, Joshua’s participation in IGC has solidified his interest in a future career as a professor at a research university and simultaneously expanded his interest in shaping policy, which will motivate his future research program.