Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Jerrod Parker
Title: Large River Ecologist
Mailing address:
1910 Griffith Dr
NRSA 652
Champaign, IL 61820
Office address:
Address mailcode: 652
Office room: Room 131
Phone: (217) 300-0997

  • Factors limiting Smallmouth Bass populations: Mackinaw River, IL
  • Northern Pike demographics and habitat preference: Kankakee River, IL
  • Long-term fish population monitoring: Kankakee and Iroquois Rivers, IL
  • Side-scan sonar mapping and substrate classification: Kankakee, Iroquois, and Mackinaw Rivers, IL


 I am fascinated by the dynamic nature of flowing systems and interested in all aspects of lotic ecology. My research has primarily focused on methods to characterize fish assemblage structure and relating changes in these characterizations to the chemical and physical environment. I have a broad range of field experience in Midwestern lotic systems, from wadeable first order trout streams to large navigable rivers, but I’ve developed a particular interest in difficult to survey small rivers and backwater lakes. Ultimately, I hope my research adds to our collective understanding of lotic ecosystems, and allows for better informed decisions regarding the maintenance or enhancement of these resources.

Message to students:
Professional affiliations:
  • Society for Freshwater Science
  • American Fisheries Society
  • North American Lake Management Society
  • International Society for River Science
Selected publications:


Parker, J., Cao, Y., Sass, G. G., & Epifanio, J. (2018). Large river fish functional diversity responses to improved water quality over a 28 year period. Ecological Indicators, 88, 322-331. doi:

Gibson-Reinemer, D. K., Sparks, R. E., Parker, J. L., DeBoer, J. A., Fritts, M. W., McClelland, M. A., Casper, A. F. (2017). Ecological Recovery of a River Fish Assemblage following the Implementation of the Clean Water Act. BioScience, 67(11), 957-970. doi:

Parker, J., Epifanio, J., Casper, A., & Cao, Y. (2016). The effects of improved water quality on fish assemblages in a heavily modified large river system. River Research and Applications, 32(5), 992-1007. doi:

Mark W. Fritts, Jason A. DeBoer, Benjamin J. Lubinski, Jerrod Parker, Cassi Moody-Carpenter, Neil Rude, Greg Whitledge, Robert Columbo , Stephanie Liss, Edward F. Culver, John E. Epifanio, John H. Chick, Yong Cao, and Andrew F. Casper, The Long-term Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash Rivers Fish Population Monitoring Program 2013, INHS Technical Report.

Parker, Jerrod; Streams, Lakes, and Rivers; a Survey of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Floodplain Lakes. (2011) Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Management Report.

INHS Publink:
Program affiliates:
Professional society involvement and activities:

MS, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois (2014)

BS, Biology, University of Wisconsin Platteville (2009)

Lab name: Lab research: Lab publications: Lab current projects:

Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

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