Caryn Vaughn, a George Lynn Cross Distinguished Research Professor and Presidential Professor in the Department of Biology and Oklahoma Biological Survey, was selected as a 2021 Society for Freshwater Science Fellow. She is one of six fellows selected nationally.
"SFS Fellows are those who have led, shaped, and inspired the field of freshwater science,” said Alonso Ramirez, president of the Society for Freshwater Science. “These scientists have been recognized for game-changing contributions to our field.”
“They have pushed the boundaries of freshwater science in research, teaching, policy, and management and have advanced our understanding in these areas,” he added. “They have also built and supported networks of scientific collaboration, increasing the capacity and reach of our science.”
Vaughn’s research focuses on the ecology and conservation of freshwater mussels, one of the world’s most imperiled faunas. Over the past 30 years, integrative research in her laboratory has demonstrated that mussels are hotspots of biological activity in rivers, providing biogenic habitat and modifying sediments, filtering the water, and storing and recycling nutrients.
Her research has been funded by multiple state and federal agencies. She has published more than 100 scientific articles and has received multiple awards for her research including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society. She has mentored 6 postdoctoral researchers, 21 graduate students, and numerous undergraduate researchers while teaching courses in ecology, stream ecology, and invertebrate zoology. She was Director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey for 14 years, is a past president of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, and serves on many boards and working groups addressing freshwater conservation issues.