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McCormick Laboratory
Environmental Physiology of Fish

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Curriculum Vitae: John T. Kelly

Dr. John T. Kelly

Assistant Professor

2006: Ph.D. University of California, Davis (Animal Behavior)
2001: M.S. University of California, Davis (Animal Behavior)
1995: B.S. University of Miami, Florida (Marine Sciences and Biology)

Professional Experience

2009-present:  Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, University of New Haven
2007-2009:     Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
2000-2006:     Graduate Student Researcher, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California,Davis. 
1998-1999:     Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Field Office
1995-1997:     Marine Biologist, The Nature Conservancy, Florida and Caribbean Marine Conservation Science Center

Research Interests

I am interested in the role physiology plays in the behavior and ecology of fishes, particularly migratory and anadromous species. The unique aspects of living in an aquatic environment creates both constraints and opportunities in everything from locomotion to stimulus detection to osmoregulation. In order to fully understand the biology of fishes, we need to understand both those constraints and how each species has adapted to them. With this understanding, we can then better assess the impacts of anthropogenic changes to those environments.

My current research focuses on the effects of low pH and aluminum on Atlantic salmon in the northeastern United States. Aluminum (Al) is a common, naturally occurring element in surface soils. It is present in small amounts in surface waters, but under normal pH conditions is not particularly soluble and rapidly complexes with colloidal and organic materials. Under these conditions, Al has minimal impact on fish physiology. However, low pH conditions increase the solubility and hence the bioavailability of Al, particularly inorganic monomeric (labile) species. Labile Al, even in minute amounts, affects salmon directly via several mechanisms, primarily damage to the gills, leading to impaired osmoregulatory and respiratory capacity. Previous work by our group addressed the impact of Al on the physiology of individual fish. The specific objectives of my research are to 1) develop techniques to measure acid-aluminum impacts on northeastern stream ecosystems and to conduct a region-wide assessment of acid-aluminum impacts, and 2) to conduct a paired-watershed experiment establishing the link between observed short-term physiological responses of fish and long-term survival and production in natural stream ecosystems.

2005-2007:   Environmental Biology of Fishes, Associate Editor

Books & Special Editions

Allen, P.J., J.A. Israel, J.T. Kelly and A.P. Klimley (Eds). 2007. Green Sturgeon and the Environment. Environmental Biology of Fishes, Volume 79, Numbers 3-4


Green Sturgeon and the Environment, held at the 39th Annual American Fisheries Society California-Nevada Chapter Conference, Sacramento, CA. 17-19 March, 2005. Organized with P.J. Allen, J.A. Israel and A.P. Klimley.

McCormick, S.D., D.T. Lerner, M.Y. Monette, K. Nieves-Puigdoller, J.T. Kelly, and B. Thrandur Björnsson. 2009. Taking it with you when you go: How perturbations to the freshwater environment, including temperature, dams, and contaminants, affect marine survival of salmon. American Fisheries Society Symposium 69:195-214.[pdf]

Campos B.R., M.A. Fish, G. Jones, R.W. Riley, P.J. Allen, A.P. Klimley, J.J. Cech Jr., and J.T. Kelly. 2009. Movements of brown smoothhounds, Mustelus henlei, in Tomales Bay, California. Environmental Biology of Fishes OnlineFirst [pdf]

Heublein J.C., J.T. Kelly, C.E. Crocker, A.P. Klimley, and S.T. Lindley. 2009. Migration of green sturgeon, Acipenser medirostris, in the Sacramento River. Environmental Biology of Fishes 84(3):245-58 [pdf]

Lindley, S.T., M.L. Moser, D.L. Erickson, M. Belchik, D.W. Welch, E.L.Rechisky, J.T. Kelly, J. Heublein, and A.P. Klimley. 2008. Marine migration of North American green sturgeon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137:182–194

Kelly, J.T., A.P. Klimley, and C.E. Crocker. 2007. Movements of green sturgeon, Acipenser medirostris, in the San Francisco Bay Estuary, California. Environmental Biology of Fishes 79(3-4):281-295 [pdf]

Klimley, A.P., P.J. Allen, J.A. Israel, and J.T. Kelly. 2007. The Green Sturgeon And Its Environment: Introduction. Environmental Biology of Fishes 79(3-4):187-190 [pdf]

Klimley, A.P., P.J. Allen, J.A. Israel, and J.T. Kelly. 2007. The Green Sturgeon and its Environment: Past, Present, and Future. Environmental Biology of Fishes 79(3-4):415-421 [pdf]

Curtis, T.H., J.T. Kelly, K.L. Menard, R.K. Laroche, R.E. Jones and A.P. Klimley. 2006. Observations on the behavior of white sharks scavenging from a whale carcass at Point Reyes, California. California Fish and Game 92(3):113-124

Klimley, A.P., R.L. Kihslinger, and J.T. Kelly. 2005. Directional and non-directional movements of bat rays (Myliobatis californica) in Tomales Bay, California. Environmental Biology of Fishes 74:79-88 [pdf]

Kelly, J.T. and A.P. Klimley. 2003. The occurrence of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, at the Point Reyes Headlands, California. California Fish and Game 89(4):187-196 [pdf]

Lema, S.C. and J.T. Kelly. 2002. The production of communication signals at the air-water and water-substrate boundaries. Journal of Comparative Psychology 116(2):145-150

Klimley, A.P., B.J. Le Boeuf, K.M. Cantara, J.E. Richert, S.F. Davis, S. Van Sommeran and J.T. Kelly. 2001. The hunting strategy white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) near a seal colony. Marine Biology 138:617-636 [pdf]

Bustamante, G, M. Chiappone, J. Kelly, A. Lowe, K. Sullivan-Sealey. 2000. Fish and fisheries of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: recommendations for their protection. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 51:242-257

Chiappone M., R. Sluka, K.M. Sullivan, E. Schmitt, G. Bustamante, J. Kelly, M. Vega, E. Pugibet, F.X. Geraldes and R.E. Torres. 1998. Comparison of grouper assemblages in northern areas of the wider Caribbean: A preliminary assessment. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 50:427-451