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Peter C Smiley (Rocky)

Research Ecologist

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My current and past research projects have involved assessing the responses of the aquatic biota and abiotic factors within agricultural streams and wetlands to restoration, conservation, and management practices. My research typically focus on community and population responses of fishes, but has also involved amphibians, reptiles, crayfishes, mussels, benthic macroinvertebrates, birds, and mammals.

My research program is part of the USDA Agricultural Research Services’ Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Watershed Assessment Study and Long Term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR), which are both nationwide research projects intended to document the effects of conservation and agricultural management practices. 

Notably, my research program is unique within the USDA Agricultural Research Service in that it is the only research program within the agency nationwide that is focusing on fish, amphibian, and reptile responses to agricultural conservation practices.

My current research program focuses on compiling quantitative information to guide the restoration of agricultural headwater streams. Click on the “Headwater Stream Restoration Research” hyperlink below for more information on my headwater stream research. My past research projects have evaluated the effectiveness of water control and erosion control structures in restoring and creating wetlands in agricultural watersheds to serve as habitat for aquatic animals.

I am a lifetime member of the Society for Ecological Restoration and its Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter and I am a co-founder, Past President, and current At Large Board Member of the SER Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter. I publish my research findings regularly in national and international peer review manuscripts. Additionally, I have coauthored two book chapters and I am the co-editor of the book “Ecological Restoration in the Midwest. Past, Present, and Future” that is available from University of Iowa Press.


Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS
Ph.D. Forest Resources, 2002
Emphasis in Fisheries Science
/Applied Ecology

University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
M.S. Biological Sciences, 1993

Hiram College, Hiram, OH
B.A. Art and Biology, 1991

Research Interests

  • Community Ecology
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Stream Ecology
  • Wetland Ecology

Click here for a Handout on my Headwater Stream Restoration Research

Click here to view Google Scholar entries for Peter C. Smiley Jr. (Rocky) in a new tab

Click here to view Dr. Smiley's Curriculum Vitae